Started in 1975, ADAPT was a special program designed for freshmen as a comprehensive and coordinated introduction to expectations of university-level work. It consisted of special courses in various departments. Content from these courses was closely interwoven and made maximum use of students' own experiences. ADAPT students worked closely with experienced professors, and classes were much smaller than most freshman classes. Advisors were members of the program so they were able to discuss students' programs and goals with unusual understanding.
ADAPT programs were based on the work of Jean Piaget in the field of cognitive science.