Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the civil rights capital of the world, Miles College serves nearly 1,700 students pursuing undergraduate degrees. The school was founded in 1898 for the purpose of educating future leaders within the black community. According to the university’s website, students here were already heavily involved in social justice campaigns at the time of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, which prompted leaders in this movement to focus their attention on Birmingham. In turn, the city became synonymous with civil rights.
The university has been preparing its students for leadership roles since its founding, and Miles College is the only four-year school to be recognized among the registry of Historically Black Colleges and Universities or HBCUs. As a state, Alabama has the highest number of HBCUs in the country at 15.
Miles College is a private school. Founded under the influence of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the university continues to promote its religious background but has since evolved into a broader liberal arts college. Students here enjoy access to a variety of student organizations and athletic opportunities, and musically inclined students will appreciate the school’s “Purple Marching Machine” marching band.
Approximately 30 percent of the school’s faculty comes from Asia or Africa, and students enjoy a relatively low student-to-faculty ratio of about 14:1. Miles College stands for social justice as well as “rigorous study, scholarly inquiry, and spiritual awareness.” Students here can choose from 28 undergraduate degree programs from six distinct academic colleges.
Miles College Accreditation Details
Miles College holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The teacher preparation programs available through the Division of Education have also earned accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students should check with individual programs for more information about accreditation.
Miles College Application Requirements
Applicants to Miles College will appreciate the school’s “open-door” policy, which means that students are generally accepted as long as they hold a high school diploma or GED while adhering to the minimum application requirements. Miles College accepts new students, transfers, returning students, non-degree-seeking students and veterans. Transfer students can earn credit for their previous coursework as long as the courses are the same and they’ve earned at least a “C” average.
Students who are interested in attending should submit all previous transcripts, standardized test scores, immunization records and a health form either via mail or online. To apply online, students need to create an account with the admissions website. Those who need financial assistance should also submit a completed application for aid. For students without ACT or SAT scores, the school administers a placement test to determine where a student stands on basic subjects, including English, math and reading.
Tuition and Financial Aid
As a private institution, Miles College charges all full-time students the same tuition rate. Students who take fewer than 12 credit hours per semester are not considered full time, and they’ll pay $448 per credit hour as of 2014-2015. Full-time students taking up to 18 hours pay $5,112 per semester. There’s also a semester-based “comprehensive fee” of $395. Boarding expenses vary based on where a student lives on campus.
Miles College offers financial assistance to students who need help paying for college. Students can apply for grants, scholarships, loans or work-study opportunities. To apply for aid, students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, which the school uses to determine eligibility. Scholarships are awarded for various reasons based on academic or other criteria. For example, the Mary Nell Thomas Memorial Scholarship awards $1,000 to a current student of Miles College with a relative who attended Westfield High School in Dolomite, Alabama. Recipients are encouraged to maintain a 3.0 GPA, but it’s not required.
As stated above, students at Miles College can choose from 28 baccalaureate degree programs, including criminal justice, early childhood education or management information systems. Undergraduate students will need to complete around 130 credit hours depending on their major.
In the criminal justice program, students will study under the school’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which also houses degree programs in legal studies, political science, social work, history and social science. The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, but the division that houses it does not hold individual accreditation in other areas. Criminal justice students must complete 126 hours in the regular day program. Miles College also offers a weekend-only criminal justice program that’s designed for students with an associate’s degree. The weekend program is held exclusively on Saturdays and takes about 18 months to complete. Those who earn a criminal justice degree will qualify to work in various areas of law enforcement.
For students who want to teach young learners, Miles College offers a degree in early childhood education, which goes up to 6th grade. Early childhood education courses cover topics such as literacy and social development, classroom management, beginning reading and phonetics, and visual and performing arts. The degree requires completion of 135 credit hours, and students must be admitted into the Teacher Education Program or TEP before continuing past the prerequisite courses. These courses include technology for teachers, foundations of education, educational psychology, introduction to teaching, and education of the exceptional child.
Miles College offers several programs under its Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, among them a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Sciences. This program is also jointly administered by the Division of Business and Accounting, and students who pursue the program will benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to the curriculum. Management information sciences majors help businesses utilize technology effectively. Rather than coding or programming, those who earn this degree will most likely work as technology consultants for businesses and other organizations.
According to the department’s brochure, graduates of the program should be able to apply data-modeling techniques in order to generate database models, develop business systems using current application tools, identify appropriate design techniques using effective analysis, and “implement a database model in a relational database management system.” Students must complete 134 credit hours to earn the degree, 66 of which come from core MIS courses. At Miles College, students can pursue a variety of programs in both traditional fields and niche industries.