Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
All information has been taken from the Helderberg College website , dated 11 March 2005.
Helderberg College is situated in Somerset West , South Africa, about half an hour’s drive from Cape Town. The College is within easy reach of an international airport, shopping malls, beach and mountains and provides a relaxing and refreshing environment in which to study and live.
Helderberg College is one of more than 92 Seventh day Adventist institutions of higher learning throughout the world. We welcome men and women, irrespective of church affiliation, race, colour, sex, age or nationality who are willing to live in harmony with the goals, principles, standards, and traditions of the institution.
The College’s education philosophy aims at the harmonious development of the complete person and emphasises spiritual values as the basis for all educational activities at the College. Students are encouraged to adopt a positive life style, which will lead to the highest use of a student's physical, mental, social and spiritual abilities.
The courses of study have been developed to train students for successful and satisfying careers and the programme serves as an incentive and preparation to meet the severest demands of contemporary life. All students who take full advantage of the opportunities offered to them will find Helderberg College to be a gateway to service in the widest sense.
CLAREMONT UNION COLLEGE: 25 years (1893-1917)
The first Seventh-day Adventist College outside North America, Claremont Union College opened its doors on 1 February, 1893. It was situated on 23 acres of land within walking distance of Kenilworth station. The impressive buildings and comprehensive curriculum are testimony to the vision of those early educators. The original stately double-storey college building has since been proclaimed a national monument and is today the focal building in a modern shopping complex.
Union College offered primary, secondary and tertiary education. College subjects included Greek and Latin, Trigonometry and Geometry, Chemistry and Physics, Logic and Moral Science. Besides the classical academic education, emphasis was placed on character development, a vocational programme, laws of health, physical training and culture. The College was open to all races and no distinction was made with regard to religious affiliation. In fact, half the students were not Seventh-day Adventists.
Over the 25 years of its existence, two distinct education points of view have waxed and waned with regard to curriculum. The ultimate goal was the same and that was to graduate students who were well prepared for life’s tasks. The initial view favoured a strong four-year classical education such as was taught at other notable colleges and academies. With the passage of time, the emphasis swung to the offering of a shorter, more practical course. Despite academic polemics and financial problems compounded by the Anglo-Boer War, the College filled a vital role in providing a religious atmosphere with values that rang true for the 50-100 young people who studied there each year. It graduated 31 students, and many of these have been signally influential in both church and society.
SOUTH AFRICAN TRAINING COLLEGE (1919-1922), later SPION KOP COLLEGE (1922-1927)
The site for Claremont Union College had been chosen because of the strong conviction that a secluded, rural location was most conducive to true education, but by 1917 sprawling urban growth posed a threat. Consequently the College was relocated on a mission station 20 miles from Ladysmith, Natal, and 1918 was spent in erecting buildings, largely from materials salvaged from Union College. Staff and students transferred to the new site and classes began in 1919 with an enrolment of 27. Standards 5-8 were taught, along with a Worker’s Course for those preparing for church work. As the College grew, a strong practical emphasis in the curriculum emerged. Two three-year courses, a Training Course and Normal Course, were developed.
When the college was advanced to the status of a junior college, major changes in academic offerings included the introduction of a one-year course in Shorthand, a two-year Normal Course, and a four-year course resembling the classical course originally offered at Union College. The latter did not get much support and by 1923 all courses were two years in length: the Theological Course, Bible Workers’ Course, Teacher Training Course and Commercial Course.
It is interesting to note the swing in emphasis between the two colleges: the majority of the 31 graduates from Union College were teachers, while from Spion Kop the majority of the 30 graduates were from the Theological and Bible Workers’ courses.
It soon became evident that the remote location and inaccessibility of Spion Kop College were insurmountable obstacles and in 1925 a committee was appointed to select a new location. After looking at 50 farms in the Western Cape, the committee unanimously chose Bakkerskloof with its flourishing almond and apricot orchards flanking Helderberg mountain. They purchased the 370 acres for ten thousand pounds, and the third phase of college development began.
HELDERBERG COLLEGE: (1928- )
The new African Missionary College, as it was first called, opened in 1928 with the two dormitories completed and plans for the construction of the administration building well under way. Apart from these, there were two staff cottages, farm sheds and outbuildings. The original name was misleading to the residents of Somerset West and the institution was renamed Helderberg College after the mountain towering protectively above it. Despite the depression, the total enrolment climbed to 154 by 1930, and has grown steadily ever since. Today there are more than 60 buildings on campus including the church, administration and lecture buildings, library, auditorium, gymnasium and cafeteria, student centre, three-storey student residences, married students’ flats, staff flats and homes, and separate primary, high and pre-primary schools.
The growth of the College is probably best reflected in the number of graduates which has increased from 8 in 1929 to an average of 40-60 a year. Many of these graduates have continued their studies in South Africa and abroad.
The academic growth of the College can be viewed from three perspectives: the course offerings, academic qualifications of staff, and library holdings.
A review of the course offerings of the past reveals periods of significant change and development. The first few years after 1928 saw a continuation of the courses offered at Spion Kop College. The staff were few in number but were well qualified, with the business manager, W B Commin, a chartered accountant. In the early thirties, courses were lengthened to three years, and course contents combined to best meet the needs of the church: Theological-Normal, Domestic Science-Normal, with Commercial-Normal being added in 1946. A two-year Bible Instructors’ Course was also offered.
The first real major change in curriculum came in 1951 when the College became a senior college and, under the guidance of A J Raitt, started to offer the degree courses of the University of South Africa (UNISA) as part of the regular four-year diploma courses. Students could complete the requirements of the B A, B Sc and B Com degrees within the four years. The UNISA connection served the College very well for the next 35 years with only minor adjustments to the curriculum. It included a recognised three-year primary teaching diploma in the eighties. The sixties saw a proliferation of diploma courses and some were lengthened and others shortened. A five-year theology programme was attempted, and even a pre-nursing course was published. The discontinuation of the primary teaching diploma by UNISA has left one area in which the College is still seeking official recognition.
Graduation exercises became more formal with the change of status to senior college. The 1955 graduating class was the first to wear full academic regalia, including colours to represent the various fields of study. All subsequent classes followed suit and today it is part of the tradition and policy of the college.
The need for wider recognition and closer control over the curriculum led to the next major change under the leadership of Dr A O Coetzee in 1976 when an affiliation agreement was entered into with Andrews University (located in Berrien Springs in Michigan in the USA), to offer the B Th (Bachelor of Theology) and B B A (Bachelor of Business Administration) degrees. From this initial agreement, the affiliated was extended to the B A degree which may also include a four-year elementary teaching qualification. Agriculture offered as a two-year Associate of Science degree met a specific demand for a few years but was later phased out. The eighties saw the introduction of a wider number of business and secretarial diploma courses.
The escalating cost of post-graduate study overseas precipitated plans to offer such degrees at Helderberg College. In 1981, under the leadership of Dr D Birkenstock, the Andrews University affiliation was extended when the M A in Religion degree was first offered on campus. The programme is spread over four years with a quarter being taught each year. Starting with Drs Strand and Heppenstall, many lecturers from overseas have made a real contribution to the ministerial force in Southern Africa. This post-graduate degree gave impetus to the rapid expansion of the library, and in 1983 the E G White Research Centre and Heritage Room were officially opened by Mrs Hedwig Jemison.
In 1997, under the leadership of David F Allen, an additional affiliation agreement was entered into with Southern Adventist University (located in Collegedale in Tennessee in the USA). This affiliation provided alternative accreditation and academic recognition for the BBA degree majoring in either accounting or management.
In terms of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Act (No 58 of 1995) and the Higher Education Act (No. 101 of 1997), private institutions of higher learning have been granted the opportunity of becoming fully accredited and registered providers of education, issuing their own degrees and diplomas. Those institutions that meet the requirements of SAQA and the Department of Education (DoE) will be able to take their place alongside the public sector institutions in providing nationally and internationally recognized programmes of study. Helderberg College has received such accreditation and registration as currently reflected on Registration Certificate 01HS01 dated 29 June 2001. Students who enrolled for degree programmes for the first time in 2001 would have begun a course of study culminating in a Helderberg College degree, backed by SAQA and the DoE. Students transferring to other tertiary institutions or wishing to engage in post graduate study will be able to do so with ease, as there will be a common registering body with controlled standards. In addition, the courses done at Helderberg College are accredited by AAA (Adventist Accrediting Association), which make them transferable to any one of the more than 90 Seventh-day Adventist institutions worldwide.
Students who are in Southern Adventist University and Andrews University degree programmes will be continuing with their respective programmes and will be able to graduate with a Southern or Andrews degree until 2004. We are conducting ongoing discussions with both Southern and Andrews as to a future partnership agreement whereby coursework done towards a Helderberg degree under SAQA and the DoE will receive validation from the respective universities. Both institutions are waiting on word from us in order to finalize the matter.
The second perspective of the academic growth of the College has been the qualifications of the staff. From the start, the College has had well-qualified staff. In 1936, the small teaching staff had five teachers with masters’ degrees, two with bachelors’, and the remainder with recognised diplomas. The first teacher with a doctorate was H L Rasmussen who joined the staff in 1947 to teach history. In 1949 the principal, W E McClure, returned from furlough with a doctorate, as did F C Clarke, whose specialty was science. The offering of UNISA degrees on campus made it easier for a number of the staff to earn B A degrees and in many cases this led to post-graduate work. In the seventies there were up to five staff with doctorates. Some of the first lecturers to earn a doctorate in a South African University included Dr Hofni Joubert (in the late fifties) and Dr Izak J van Zyl (in the seventees), and Delyse Steyn was the first lady lecturer to achieve this. Andrews University regards a master’s degree as the minimum academic qualification in lecturers, and the affiliation has contributed to the present situation where the majority of lecturers have a master’s degree.
The library is a barometer in any academic institution. Until 1952, the library at Helderberg College was housed on the top floor of the Administration Building, from where it was moved to the more spacious location on the ground floor of Anderson Hall. The book holdings increased from 4 000 in 1936 to 7 000 in 1947. In 1981, the Pieter Wessels Library, occupying all three floors in the renovated Meade House, was opened officially. While K B Cronjé was director of library services, book holdings topped 50 000, besides many other materials such as periodicals, audiotapes and teaching materials. In the basement are the E G White Research Centre and the Heritage Room which opened in 1983 with Dr I J van Zyl as director. Through the SABINET link-up with all the major libraries in South Africa, the Pieter Wessels Library has been an invaluable asset not only to staff and students, but to users of these other libraries as well.
Helderberg College owes a debt of gratitude to the many far-sighted educators who have laid a sound academic foundation, and faces the future with confidence that the structures are in place for offering recognised degree and diploma courses taught by well-qualified staff with adequate library services to facilitate study and research.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details