BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS

Bowie State University is the regional comprehensive university serving central Maryland.


[photo, William E. Henry Administration Building, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland] The University offers 23 undergraduate majors, 19 masters' programs, 2 doctoral programs, and 12 graduate certificate programs. It also provides an honors program, Army ROTC, and athletics, fielding teams in ten intercollegiate sports in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University's interdisciplinary College of Excellence strengthens the freshman and sophomore experience, preparing students for later graduate and professional study. Bowie also is the nation's first historically African-American institution to offer graduate programs in Europe.

William E. Henry Administration Building, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, September 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Martin Luther King, Jr., Communications Arts Center, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland] Bowie State University evolved from the first school opened in Baltimore by the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People in January 1865. Yet, its origins trace to Nelson Wells, who in 1845 founded the Wells Free School at Hanover Street and Cypress Alley in Baltimore. Wells, who died in 1850, funded that school, and he designated that his assets on his death be used to start a school for training Negro teachers. From that legacy, the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People began its work.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Communications Arts Center, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, February 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The school that the Baltimore Association opened in 1865 was located in William Crane's Building, the African Baptist Church, on the northeast corner of Calvert and Saratoga Streets. Supported by private funds, the school functioned during Reconstruction when State government did not support Negro education, though some funding was provided by the Baltimore City Council. Among those supporting the school were the Central Committee of the Society of Friends of England for the Relief of Emancipated Negroes, the New England Freedmen's Aid Society, the American Missionary Association, the Pennsylvania Freedmen's Relief Association, the federal Freedmen's Bureau; and the African-American community.

In 1867, the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People, aided by the Freedmen's Bureau, English Quakers and others, purchased and renovated for the use of the school, the old Friends Meetinghouse at Saratoga and Courtland Streets in Baltimore.

The school reorganized in 1893 as the Baltimore Normal School for the Education of Colored Teachers. "Normal" came from the French ecole normale, and the Prussian normal schools, that influenced American educators to establish norms or standards for the training of teachers. While it sought to prepare students to become elementary school teachers, originally the School first served as a middle and high school.

In 1908, the General Assembly designated the Baltimore Normal School as Normal School no. 3, a State institution, and placed it under the State Board of Education (Chapter 599, Acts of 1908). It then was located at the northwest corner of Saratoga Street and St. Paul Street in Baltimore. By October 1910, the school temporarily was held at 608 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore. In 1910, the State Board of Education purchased for the School some 187 acres of land at Jericho Park, one mile north of Bowie in Prince George's County.

After relocation to Prince George's County, the first building at Bowie opened on September 25, 1911. By its opening, the School was known as the Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie. Students and staff constructed its first buildings. The school focused on three areas of instruction: normal (teaching), industrial, and agricultural, including maintenance of a school farm that produced the School's food supply. In 1925, when the School began to offer college-level instruction, its high school curriculum began to be phased out. In 1928, the whole curriculum focused on college courses for the training of teachers, with a two-year professional course for elementary school teachers. It was renamed the Maryland Teachers College at Bowie in 1935. By 1935, a three-year program for teaching training was instituted, and by 1938, a four-year program.

Following the establishment of a liberal arts program, the school reorganized in 1963 as Bowie State College, a four-year liberal arts college, and began offering graduate courses in 1969 (Chapter 41, Acts of 1963). Formerly overseen by the State Department of Education, Bowie, at that time, was among the five State colleges placed under the Board of Trustees of State Colleges. On July 1, 1988, the College became Bowie State University (Chapter 293, Acts of 1988). In 1988, the University also joined the University of Maryland System, now the University System of Maryland (Chapter 246, Acts of 1988).

Within the University are the Graduate School and four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Professional Studies.

GRADUATE SCHOOL
The Graduate School began as the School of Continuing Education and Extended Studies. In July 2000, it reformed as the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. In 2005, the School reorganized as the Office of Graduate Studies, Research, and Continuing Education, and received its present name in January 2009.

The Graduate School offers courses in the evenings and on weekends. Classes are held at the University and at off-campus sites, such as Andrews Air Force Base Center (Camp Springs); Fort George G. Meade Center (Odenton); Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (California); University System of Maryland Shady Grove Center (Rockville); Garrett Community College (McHenry); and Montgomery College (Rockville).


[photo, Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Nursing, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland]

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

The College of Arts and Sciences formed in 1995 as the School of Arts and Sciences. It reorganized as the College of Arts and Sciences in November 2008.


Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics, & Nursing, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, September 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Computer Science Building, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland] The College includes eight departments: Communications; Computer Science; English and Modern Languages; Fine and Performing Arts; History and Government; Mathematics; Military Science (ROTC); and Natural Sciences.


Computer Science Building, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, February 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

In July 2004, the College of Business originated as the School of Business. It reformed under its present name in November 2008.

Within the College are three departments: Accounting, Finance, and Economics; Management, Marketing, and Public Administration; and Management Information Systems.


COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Origins of the College of Education parallel the origins of Bowie State University when by 1893 it had organized as the Baltimore Normal School for the training of teachers. In 1908, the General Assembly designated it as Normal School no. 3, a State institution (Chapter 599, Acts of 1908). After relocation to Prince George's County, the School by 1914 was known as the Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie. It was renamed the Maryland Teachers College at Bowie in 1935 and Bowie State College in 1963 (Chapter 41, Acts of 1963).


[photo, James E. Proctor, Jr., Building, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland] Under Bowie State College, the training of teachers was consolidated under the Education Department, which later became the School of Education and Professional Studies. In July 2001, it reformed into two schools: the School of Education, and the School of Professional Studies. In November 2008, these schools merged to form the College of Education.

Presently, the College has three departments: Counseling; Educational Leadership; and Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development.

James E. Proctor, Jr., Building, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, September 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


COLLEGE OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

In July 2001, the College of Professional Studies was created as the School of Professional Studies from the merger of a division of the School of Education with the School of Professional Studies. The School reformed as the College of Professional Studies in November 2008.

The College oversees four departments : Behavioral Sciences and Human Services; Nursing; Psychology; and Social Work.

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