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Cooperative Program in Elementary Education (CPEE) collection

Identifier: MS-0092

Scope and Contents

This collection contains transcripts, reports, notes, correspondence, and speeches related to conferences and administration of the Cooperative Program in Elementary Education.


  • 1955-1958

Conditions Governing Access

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Rights held by the University of West Georgia.

Biographical / Historical

In 1936, West Georgia College received money through the Julius Rosenwald Fund to expand the Rural Teacher Education Program that was created in 1933. Once the capital from this fund ran out in the late 1940s, the Rural Teacher Education Program was changed into the Cooperative Program in Elementary Education.

The Cooperative Program in Elementary Education (CPEE) was created in order to train future elementary teachers in a diverse program not only focused on the country but also on towns and larger cities. The program was funded by two sizeable grants from an anonymous Georgia foundation (likely the Woodruff Foundation) in the early 1950s. The program included three institutions - Oglethorpe University, West Georgia College, and the College of Education of the University of Georgia. Each college would operate its own program with local elementary schools allowing college students to work there and gain experience as teachers before graduating.

Each individual institution oversaw its own individual laboratory schools but all institutions met at various conferences to discuss the design of the overall program. There were multiple conferences held at Rock Eagle and others held in Atlanta and in the communites of each intitution. The overall goal of these conferences was to bring together the top leaders from each institution to discuss what CPEE needed and make changes. Teachers and administrators from the lab schools were often asked to give speeches at these conferences so others could better understand what was being done in the schools.

The colleges were encouraged to involve all faculty in the program and to get involved, as well, in the communities in which the laboratory schools were located. Two of the laboratory schools associated with West Georgia College (Sand Hill School and Oak Mountain School) gained a small amount of fame and were featured in national magazines because of their exceptional work. Norman Rockwell even visited Oak Mountain School for inspiration for a painting he did of a rural school.

The CPEE eventually evolved into West Georgia College's four year teacher education program. When Georgia's Board of Regents granted permission for West Georgia College to become a four year college, so that it could grant a bachelor's degree in teacher education, CPEE was already well underway. It became a solid foundation on which West Georgia College and the future University of West Georgia would build its education department, and, later, College of Education.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)




This collection contains materials related to the Cooperative Program in Elementary Education (CPEE) and the conferences held from 1955-1958 in order to discuss CPEE's creation and maintenance.


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to Special Collections at an unknown date prior to 2012.


Photographs and other materials pertaining to laboratory schools can also be found in the Collus O. Johnson papers, MS-0020. Photographs and other materials relating to laboratory schools and the Cooperative Program in Elementary Education (CPEE) can be found in the West Georgia College Teacher Training Program and Laboratory Schools collection, UA-0005-47.
Guide to the Cooperative Program in Elementary Education (CPEE) Collection
Avery Stanley
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States