Alot of colleges and universities started out as “Normal Schools” for the training of schoolteachers. Normal Schools seem to have started coverting to “teachers colleges” after WWI. So when did the last Normal School close or become a college?
I dunno. The more meaningful change, I would think, is when teachers’ colleges became state universities.
It isn’t always that simple, since a college or university can also have “normal” in its title, and some schools dropped the “normal” without ever renaming themselves as “Teacher’s Colleges”.
For example, in California, the California State Normal School became San Jose State Teachers Training College (1921) and later San Jose State College (1935) and San Jose State University (1974). But the Los Angeles State Normal School morphed directly into the Southern Branch of the University of California (1919) and later the University of California at Los Angeles (1927), without an intermediate step as a Teachers College.
One of the later conversions occurred in 1964, when Illinois State Normal University became Illinois State University. I can’t answer as to the last conversion, however; I wouldn’t be surprised if some university somewhere still has “normal” in its title today.
This is a damn good question, and one of interest to me, since my university was originally founded in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley Normal School. It initially offered two- and four-year degrees in education, although it stopped offering two-year degrees sometime in the 30s or 40s. It became Shippensburg State College in 1962 as more majors were offered than just education. However, most of its majors have a credentialing option; mine (communication/journalism) is one of the very few that don’t.
I think the reason so many normal schools changed was to answer a two-fold problem. First, there was the issue of change or die. In order to attract more students and thus more money, they had to expand their offerings beyond elementary education. Second, as more American children began to attend public high schools, there was increased demand for teachers who could teach specific subjects like math, science, English, business and so forth. It made sense to offer degrees in these fields whether the college student wanted to teach or not, since certification is usually a simple matter of adding education courses; a minor could easily substitute for those.