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Bluefield State College
Motto Making Education Possible
Established 1895
Type Public, HBCU
President Dr. Albert Walker
Location Bluefield, West Virginia,
United States
Campus Bluefield (main campus), Beckley, Lewisburg, Summersville, and Welch, West Virginia
Colors Royal Blue & Gold
         
Nickname Big Blues
Mascot Big Blue
Athletics NCAA Division II
Affiliations West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Website www.bluefieldstate.edu

Bluefield State College (BSC) is a historically black college located in Bluefield, West Virginia. It is a part of West Virginia's public education system and offers baccalaureate and associate degrees. The school is not connected in any way with Bluefield College in nearby Bluefield, Virginia. The only non-residential four-year college in the state system, Bluefield State administers the separately accredited New River Community and Technical College, which conducts classes throughout the southeastern part of West Virginia.

Contents

Academics

Instructional programs are offered in engineering technologies, business, teacher education, arts and sciences, nursing and health science professions, and a variety of career fields. Students may also complete the non-traditional Regents Bachelor of Arts degree through Bluefield State College. The college is also dedicated to offering a wide variety of off campus courses at centers in Beckley, Lewisburg, Summersville and Welch, West Virginia.

History

History at a glance
Bluefield Colored Institute 1895-1932
Bluefield State Teachers College 1932-1943
Bluefield State College 1943-Present

According to its charter, the school was founded in 1895 as Bluefield Colored Institute and created as a high school for the Negro youth in the nearby area. [1] It later served as a teacher training school in the state's then-segregated system of education.

In the late 1920s, the students and staff of the school referred to it as "Bluefield Institute", but this name was never sanctioned by the West Virginia legislature. [2]

By September 1954, the state-supported colleges in West Virginia were integrated. Three white students in a total body of 354 enrolled at Bluefield State.

By the 1960s the College had a comprehensive four-year program of teacher education, arts and sciences, and engineering technology. Gradually a variety of two-year technical programs evolved in response to local needs.

During the late 60's, black students protested that the state was transforming the school from a traditional black college to a white commuter college. One of the allegations made was that black faculty and staff were being fired and replaced by less qualified white personnel. On November 21, 1968 the racial tensions culminated in the bombing of the gymnasium. A $5,000 reward was offered by Governor Hulett C. Smith. Ironically, the administration responded by immediately closing the dormitories, which housed a significant percentage of the college's black student population, hastening the transition to a predominantly white college.

In 2003 the school's two year programs, except for those in nursing and engineering technology, were separated out from Bluefield State and became the foundation of the newly-formed New River Community and Technical College. [3]

Bluefield State College has emerged as a culturally diverse, four-year state supported commuter college serving southeastern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia with a primary thrust in the direction of career and technical two and four year programs. The liberal arts offerings of the College are focused to enhance its unique mission.

Student life

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Athletics

Bluefield State's athletic teams, known as the Big Blues, compete in NCAA's Division II as a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in men's and women's basketball, baseball, tennis and cross-country, men's golf and women's volleyball.

There are also several intramural sports including swimming, mixed martial arts, soccer, bowling and flag football.

Football

The college first fielded a football program in 1914. In 1927 and 1928, the Pittsburgh_Courier awarded Bluefield State the Black college football national championship. The school discontinued football in 1981.

References

  1. ^ Ambler, Charles H. (1951). A History of Education in West Virginia: From Early Colonial Times to 1949. Huntington, W.V.: Standard Printing & Publishing Company.  
  2. ^ Sims, R.P. (March 1929). "Bluefield Institute". West Virginia Review 15: 757. doi:10.2307/1065740.  
  3. ^ New River Community and Technical College. "College History…". http://www.nrctc.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=32. Retrieved 2007-10-06.  

External links


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