Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair(s)

Jennifer Ritterhouse


Jennifer Ritterhouse


Lawrence Culver


Barry Franklin


In 1971, Leon Sullivan, founder and chairman of the Board for the Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, created the Career Intern Program. The purpose of the Program was to identify and help dropouts and potential dropouts from high school graduate and select and start a career. In order to accomplish these ambitious goals, Program leaders introduced a variety of educational innovations designed to help interns succeed where traditional educational methods had not. During the Career Intern Program's operational life, CIP leaders turned to the federal government for funding, and the National Institute of Education became CIP's primary funder from 1972 to 1976. This collaboration caused several programmatic changes that simultaneously challenged and improved the Program and its ability to fulfill its purposes. When the NIE period ended, the Department of Labor funded the CIP until 1981, after which the Program failed to find further funding and ceased operation. This thesis looks at the civil rights, urban, and economic roots of the Career Intern Program. By looking at these origins, this thesis seeks to derive the Program's original goals, and also by extension how the Program changed during its operational life, especially during the NIE period in Philadelphia. By looking at the Program, education will be identified as a part of the urban and civil rights historiographies, a topic which has largely been underdeveloped by historians of these topics. Also, the CIP-NIE period serves to shed light on private organization-federal agency collaboration during the post-War on Poverty era. Overall, this thesis hopes to contribute to an expanding historiography and help create a more comprehensive narrative of the post-World War II urban north.




This work made publicly available electronically on August 2, 2010.