Innovation was a cornerstone of a Kirkland College education. In the 1960s and 1970s, only a handful of colleges in the United States offered an undergraduate degree in creative writing. According to the Associated Writing Programs, 24 colleges conferred a BA in creative writing in 1975. Kirkland was one of them.
More than 20 Kirkland undergraduates concentrated in creative writing. Many of them later earned MFAs or MAs in writing from prestigious programs at the University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, Columbia University, Vermont College, and others. Some pursued successful careers in magazine and book publishing, journalism, teaching writing and literature, or related fields.