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On this date, we celebrate the founding of Coppin State College (CSC) in 1900 in Maryland. It is among over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America (HBCUs).
An urban, residential college located northwest of Baltimore City is a University System of Maryland member. The Baltimore City Public Schools’ Board of Commissioners established the college for African American teachers as a one-year training class. From 1900 to 1952, classes met in elementary and secondary school buildings in various parts of the city. From 1900 to 1963, Coppin was a single-purpose institution designed to prepare elementary school teachers.
In 1926, the Board of School Commissioners authorized the use of the name Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of an African American educator who received a degree from Oberlin College in 1865 and made significant contributions to the education of African American youth. In 1938, Coppin Normal School was renamed Coppin State Teachers College with the authority to grant the Bachelor of Science degree; in 1950, it became a part of the Maryland Public School System under the State Department of Education. On July 1, 1952, the college moved to its present site on West North Avenue.
Coppin is a four-year, multipurpose college committed to the central city. On its 50-acre campus are 500,000 square feet of modern buildings. Over 3,600 students are enrolled in day, evening, and weekend undergraduate and graduate courses. The college is characterized by a special kind of growth attuned to the needs and interests of the residents of Baltimore City. Coppin became a multipurpose institution in 1963 when the Maryland General Assembly authorized the college to prepare arts and sciences majors in various disciplines and offer a secondary education program.
It was also in 1963 that Coppin State became a member of the Board of Trustees of Maryland State Colleges, breaking from the Maryland State Board of Education. In May 1970, the Board of Trustees made Coppin a full-fledged liberal arts college. On July 1, 1988, Coppin State College became a part of the newly formed University System of Maryland.
This change in the governance structure did not result in a change in role and mission. The university offers programs in arts and sciences, social work, nursing, criminal justice, and teacher education at the undergraduate level and special education level, and masters of arts in teaching, rehabilitation counseling, adult education, and criminal justice at the graduate level.
In addition, its undergraduate and graduate academic programs are accredited by several specialized agencies. Teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. The Maryland State Board of Examiners of Nurses approves the nursing program and is accredited by the National League of Nursing. The Council on Social Work Education and Rehabilitation Counseling Education have accredited their Social Work and Rehabilitation Counseling Education programs.
Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, and Professional Schools
by Levirn Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994