Historically black colleges is a term that social scientists and historians use when referring to colleges founded on the idea of educating African American students. One of the oldest and most significant of those schools in North Carolina is Johnson C. Smith University. Established in 1867, the school opened as Biddle University. Mary D. Biddle was a wealthy local woman who donated more than $1,000 to help the school open its doors in exchange for the school naming itself after her departed husband. When Jane Berry Smith made an even larger donation to the college in the 1920s, it adopted its current name in honor of her late husband. Though the university’s original admissions policy prohibited females from attending classes, it changed its charter and admitted women in the 1930s. The university then added a dormitory just for women.
This historically black college offers African American students the right to gain access to the same resources that white students have on much larger campuses. The university features three individual colleges or departments on its campus, which include a college of arts and sciences, a professional studies college and a college dedicated to math and science. Located in Charlotte, the university offers a number of opportunities for students both on campus and in the surrounding city. JCSU now offers more than 20 undergraduate programs for those students.
Johnson C. Smith University Accreditation Details
Before you submit an application to any college or university, you should also make sure that the campus has regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is especially important for those who need financial aid. If you fill out the FAFSA and select a college that does not have accreditation, the government will not give you any type of federal aid such as a student loan or grant. Johnson C. Smith University wants students to feel confident when they submit their applications, which is why it lets all prospective students know that it has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Like other organizations of this type, the SACS ensures that students receive the education they deserve through the use of regular accreditation investigations that occur once every 10 years.
Johnson. C. Smith University also has accreditation from two other organizations for a few of its degree programs. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education granted JCSU accreditation for its teacher preparation program, and it has accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Education for its social work program.
Johnson C. Smith University Application Requirements
Taking a tour of the Johnson C. Smith University campus before you apply is a great way to ensure that it meets all your needs. After taking a tour, you’ll have the chance to meet with an admissions counselor to go over all the steps you need to take and to get help filling out your application. All incoming freshmen must submit a transcript that shows they followed a college prep program of study in high school. North Carolina considers a college prep program as one that includes four years of English courses, three years of math classes, two years of courses in a foreign language, social science and a lab science and at least three electives. You will also need to take the ACT or the SAT and send in your scores from that test. When applying to take one of those tests, you can request that the testing board mail your score directly to the university.
JCSU looks at your responses to the application questions, your test scores, the high school classes you took and your high school grades. The university also looks at any extracurricular activities you did and any interests you had outside of school. After filling out the online application, you can fill out the FAFSA to see if you qualify for financial aid too.
Tuition and Fees
While some schools charge two separate tuition rates for residents and out of state students, Johnson C. Smith University charges the same rate for all students. The cost of tuition plus miscellaneous fees is around $18,200 a year. This figure covers the cost of all your classes and any fees charged by the university and lets you take a full course load each semester. If you decide to live on the JCSU campus, the cost of room and board will increase the rate you pay to around $30,000 a year.
JCSU offers grants for students, musicians, students who have family members who work for the university and those who have a sibling currently enrolled in classes. Other financial aid that comes directly from the school are available to students with a high school GPA of 2.0 or higher, those who scored highly on a standardized test and those who graduated at or near the top of their classes. Students can use those programs in combination with federal aid to cover all their costs. Most JCSU students qualify for both grants and loans and may qualify for one of the work study jobs on its Charlotte campus too.
Degree Programs Available
JCSU offers a number of degree programs that you won’t find at other colleges such as its degree in interdisciplinary studies. Designed for students who like thinking outside of the box and those who can’t narrow down their interests to just one field, the interdisciplinary studies program lets students work with an adviser to create their own program of study. You’ll have the chance to pick and choose from dozens of other fields of study and even do an internship or two along the way.
The community health education program is another of the more unique options. This field of study combines elements of health care, education and business. Courses cover topics like the psychology of health, public school health, human sexuality and substance abuse. Students later work in elementary or junior high schools and in community health clinics. There is also a social work program available that helps students get certified in social work before working for government agencies in Charlotte and other nearby cities. Johnson C. Smith University designed this program in a way that makes it easier for students to transition from the college to an MSW graduate school program.
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