The Transitional Year Program collection is arranged alphabetically within loose chronological groupings and includes material related to running the program. This includes documents on the greater world of TYP students, either the one they have come from or are going to. As many current and past TYP students are minorities, several files contain material on affirmative action programs and the recruitment of talented minority students, as well as attempts to lure qualified staff to the program. There are many résumés of prospective employees and letters of recommendation in the collection, in addition to some painfully truthful letters to prospective employers written by the heads of the program on behalf of TYP students.
Correspondence between TYP directors and university administration, community groups in Boston and New York, and state and national education agencies represent a large part of the collection. Newsletters, university publications and student assignments also appear in much of the collection. Many documents in the collection appear on mimeograph masters.
The collection contains many requests for information about the TYP from prospective students, institutions, and Brandeis alumni. Material surrounding the program’s efforts to administer the PSAT and SAT for TYP students and payment forms to the College Board (CEEB) frequently appear throughout the collection.
TYP directors collected many university meetings minutes, which are most complete in the first few years of the program, roughly 1969 to 1974. The collection reflects the program's involvement with a wide variety of student issues including health, financial aid, and housing.
Brandeis University nearly decided to defund the Transitional Year Program in 1978. Until then, the TYP tended to fly under the radar of university administration. In an effort to learn more about the TYP accomplishments, the President's Office ordered Thompson Williams, who had returned from a deanship in the university to head the TYP, to define the program for the administration. Thompson's effort is explored in Box 7 and Box 8. The student newspaper, "The Justice," also wrote several articles on this topic and other TYP-related issues, some of which appear in the collection.
Director Williams faced considerable pressure to shut down the program in 1979 and was given a year to compile statistics on the TYP's success. In 1980, surveys went out to colleges and former students. These surveys along with their response are housed in Box 9.
While most of the collection contains printed documents, Box 16 contains generic reel-to-reel tapes in addition to files.