Alabama’s HBCCs join Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Alabama's historically Black community colleges make a presentation before the Thurgood Marshall College Fund board to become members of the national organization. (Photo: Drake State)

Alabama’s six historically Black community colleges (HBCC) have joined the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which will provide access for the colleges’ students to more scholarships and professional development opportunities through a national partnership.

“Adding community colleges to our membership is part of an intentional move toward a more inclusive talent strategy. A four-year degree is one path but not the only path to career success,” TMCF President and CEO Harry L Williams said in a release.

Bishop State, Drake State, Gadsden State, Lawson State, Shelton State and Trenholm State community colleges are the first historically Black community colleges to be inducted into TMCF. The nationally recognized nonprofit membership organization supports more than 50 historically black colleges and universities, including public historically Black colleges and universities and predominantly Black institutions that enroll nearly 80% of all students attending Black colleges and universities.

A brief look at Alabama’s six historically black community colleges.

TMCF, which to date has provided more than $300 million in scholarships, programmatic and capacity-building support to its member schools and students, noted that HBCCs play a critical role in local and regional economic development through workforce development that leads to good-paying jobs and an academic foundation for students interested in transferring to four-year institutions.

Alabama’s HBCCs together contribute more than $600 million to the state’s economy and support more than 9,000 jobs, according to an economic impact study. Drake State graduates have contributed $37.1 million to the regional economy, and for every dollar invested in the college, taxpayers gain $2.30 in added tax revenue and public sector savings, according to the college.

“This partnership solidifies our position as a leading two-year HBCC institution, and we look forward to collaborating with TMCF and its esteemed partners to cultivate the next generation of talented leaders and innovators,” said Drake State President Patricia Sims.

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