Throwback: University was first ‘virtual’ school

First Virtual School graphic, 1957. Text includes, first school in the nation to offer a complete freshman curriculum on TV. Four back and white photos on graphic include a class schedule from 1957, teachers and interview subjects being broadcasted and the old University of Detroit studio. Cronology: University of Detroit TV College and the years 1957, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62 are clearly visible on the class schedule. The Sacrament of Penance is seen in one of the documents held by a professor.As we begin this semester with online instruction due to COVID-19, you might be interested to know that University of Detroit pioneered virtual classes as long ago as 1957.

To accommodate a shortage of teachers, the University began broadcasting college classes on Detroit Public Television. In the fall of 1957, the University was the first in the nation to offer a complete freshman curriculum on television.

Classes included English, History, Psychology, Spanish and Theology.

Learn more on the first “virtual” classes at the University and across the country from the Archives and Special Collections.