27 October, 2017
Gadsden State Community College has earned the designation of being the most affordable Historically Black College or University in Alabama from Best Value
Schools. It was also ranked No. 4 in the country by the website. Gadsden State students pay $150 per credit hour in tuition and fees.
“We are proud of the affordability designation,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president. “It is Gadsden State’s mission to provide an affordable, accessible and comprehensive education that prepares our diverse student population for success.”
Gadsden State’s Valley Street Campus is the only institution in the area to be deemed an HBCU campus, which is earned by institutions of higher learning that were established before 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.
“Since being formally established in 1960, the Valley Street Campus has been instrumental in providing technical education to students in Etowah County,” said Carl Byers, campus director. “We provide quality education and innovative workforce development in a variety of fields including marketing management, HVACR, carpentry, massage therapy and nursing assisting.”
The Valley Street Campus was established as the Gadsden Vocational Trade School, a private vocational training school for African-Americans. It was founded by Eugene N. Prater, director of the Veterans General Continuation Programs for Negroes, in response to discontent expressed by black veterans of Etowah County in not having higher-learning opportunities. The trade school was approved by the Veterans Administration for training under the GI Bill for African-American veterans.
In 1972, the school was renamed Gadsden State Technical Institute. For 10 years, until desegregation in 1970, it was the only technical school enrolling African-Americans. In 1985, it merged with Gadsden State Community College.
Other Alabama HBCU campuses on the Most Affordable HBCU in the U.S. list include Concordia College in Selma (No. 50), Stillman College in Tuscaloosa (No. 43), Miles College in Fairfield (No. 40), Talladega College (No. 28), Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa (No. 15), Lawson State Community College (No. 10), Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery (No. 8) and J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College (No. 7).