Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) play a vital role in shaping American culture. They provide opportunities and education to many highly successful young Black students and have propelled many students to accomplish great feats.
These institutions are largely found in the southeast due to necessity. Black people were not provided a chance to be educated in larger and already established predominantly white institutions for a significant period following the reconstruction era. So, HBCUs were the solution to this problem, these places of higher learning have worked to educate large segments of the Black community for more than a century.
Today, we are breaking down the state of Alabama and recognizing the HBCUs that are still thriving to this day.
Alabama A&M University
The institution is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and was founded in 1875 by a former slave named Dr. William Hooper Councill. The four-year school currently has an enrollment of 6,100 students according to its website.
Alabama State University
The school was originally founded in Marion, Alabama in 1867 by nine formerly enslaved men now known as the Marion Nine. The school would later relocate to Montgomery, Alabama where it is today. Alabama State is a four-year school that currently enrolls approximately 4,072 according to college tuition compare.
Bishop State Community College
Bishop State Community College was originally the Mobile Branch of Alabama State College (ASU). The institution was founded in 1927 but didn’t officially become Bishop State Community College until 1989. The two-year college enrolls approximately 2,860 people according to US News and World Report.
Gadsden State Community College
Gadsden State Community College was designated as an HBCU in 1997. The two-year community college was formed when four schools merged Alabama Technical College, Gadsden State Technical Institute, Gadsden State Junior College, and Harry M. Ayers State Technical College. The school has five different campuses and more than 4,000 students.
Council Trenholm State Community College
This community college was formed through the consolidation of John M. Patterson State Technical College and H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College in April 2000. In 2015, H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College officially became H. Councill Trenholm State Community College. The school had an enrollment of 1,526 students in 2021.
J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College
Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the community and technical college was founded in 1961 as Huntsville State Vocational Technical school. The name was later changed in 1966 to J. F. Drake State Technical Trade School in honor of the late Joseph Fanning Drake, long-time president of Alabama A&M University. The school has an enrollment of 831 students according to US News and World Reports.
Lawson State Community College – Birmingham
This school was established in 1949 as a career and technical school. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the community college has an enrollment of 4.233 students in 2021.
Miles College was founded in 1898 and is the only four-year HBCU in the historic city of Birmingham. Miles College has an enrollment of 1,501 students as of Fall 2021.
The Huntsville-based HBCU was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1896 to educate the recently-freed African-Americans of the South. The four-year school has an enrollment of 1,461 students according to US News and World Reports.
Selma University was incorporated in 1881 under the name Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School of Selma and was founded by Baptist Church leaders. The name would later be changed to Selma University in 1908.
Shelton State Community College
The two-year community college based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was founded in 1952 as Shelton State Technical College and merged with Brewer State Junior College in 1979. The school currently has an enrollment of approximately 4,350 students according to US News and World Reports.
Stillman College is the only four-year HBCU located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The school was founded in 1876 but was known as Tuscaloosa Institute until they were charted in 1895 and became Stillman institute named Dr. Charles Allen Stillman, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa. Today, Stillman College has an enrollment of approximately 712 students according to US News and World Reports.
Talladega College was founded as the Swayne School in 1867 and was later chartered as Talladega College in 1869. The school is located in Talladega, Alabama, and has an enrollment of approximately 1,300 students.
The historic Tuskegee University was founded in 1881 as Tuskegee Institute by Dr. Booker T. Washington. The school is located in Tuskegee, Alabama, and has an enrollment of around 3,053 students.