There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!
School Spotlight: Alcorn State University
Alcorn State was the first Historically Black land grant university in the U.S., and is the second oldest public university in Mississippi. It counts Medgar Evers as an alumnus, so it’s no surprise that Alcorn students were engaged activists in the civil rights movement of the 20th century—and that the university continues to support and invest in Black culture and commerce. One of its standout institutes is the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center; Alcorn was previously an agricultural and mechanical college and maintains strong ties to the farming communities of the South. Though it’s no longer focused exclusively on ag, the university still has strong offerings in the field and a robust research program to go along with them: The School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Research Unit, which aims to develop food and animal production systems that are humane and sustainable.
Alcorn offers more than 50 degree programs, from associate all the way through doctorate. Undergrads have access to majors including business administration, military science, fine arts, education, and psychology. There’s also the advanced technologies program, which lets students choose degree concentrations in everything from geographic information science (GIS) to radiation technology, specializations in computer networking and IT, plus studies in robotics and automation tech. The popular nursing program is housed on a branch campus in Natchez, along with the business program; the rest of the university’s roughly 3,000 undergrads spend their time on the main campus near the town of Lorman. Students can study abroad in locations including Costa Rica and Morocco, and try language immersion programs via the six-week Chinese and Russian Summer Language Institutes.
Alcorn touts its friendly and active campus and collaborative, accessible professors, as well as a five-mile walking and biking trail. The Braves compete in 15 NCAA Division I sports, and students can join more than 60 clubs and organizations. One of the most popular on campus is the Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band, which boasts more than 200 members. Alcorn is well-served by its HBCU networks and the generosity of donors, as both a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and as the recipient of a record $25 million donation in 2020 from Mackenzie Scott.
Image Credit: Top, Courtesy of Alcorn State University