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Alabama’s six Historically Black Community Colleges, including Drake State, accepted into Thurgood Marshall College Fund

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Residents who choose to attend any of Alabama’s six historically black community colleges (HBCCs), including Drake State Community & Technical College, will now have access to more scholarships and professional development opportunities through a prestigious national partnership.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announced a resolution Tuesday that establishes the following colleges as members: Bishop State, Drake State, Gadsden State, Lawson State, Shelton State, and Trenholm State community colleges. Named after the U.S. Supreme Court’s first black justice, TMCF is a nationally recognized nonprofit membership organization that supports more than 50 historically black colleges and universities.

“I am grateful to have represented our six Historically Black Community Colleges within the Alabama Community College System,” said Drake State Dr. Patricia Sims. “I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund leadership team for their visionary excellence. This partnership solidifies our position as a leading two-year HBCC institution, and we look forward to collaborating with TMCF and its esteemed partners to cultivate the next generation of talented leaders and innovators. Together, we will continue to impact our community, the nation, and the world.”

Alabama’s HBCCs are the first historically black community colleges to be inducted into TMCF. To date, TMCF has provided more than $300 million in scholarships, programmatic and capacity-building support to its member schools and students.

“Adding community colleges to our membership is part of an intentional move toward a more inclusive talent strategy. A four-year degree is one path but not the only path to career success,” said TMCF President & CEO Dr. Harry L Williams.

“HBCCs play a critical role in local and regional economic development by offering workforce upskilling and reskilling programs. HBCCs across the country offer associate degrees and industry-recognized certificates and credentials that can launch students into the workforce to fill skilled positions that offer good pay without the requirement of a bachelor’s degree. HBCCs also offer students the ability to obtain core, academic credits that can be transferred to a four-year university for a bachelor’s degree.”

Alabama is home to more HBCCs and HBCUs than any other state. Alabama’s Historically Black Community Colleges collectively contribute more than $600 million to the state’s economy and support more than 9,000 jobs, according to an independent economic impact study. Drake State graduates have contributed $37.1 million to the regional economy, and for every dollar invested in the college, taxpayers gain $2.30 in added tax revenue and public sector savings.

“Alabama’s community colleges exist to be a pillar of community for students of all backgrounds to be able to have the resources to reach success, and these national relationships help bolster the advantages and access students have to significant opportunities that support their pursuit of excellence,” said Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.

“The connections students and Alabama’s HBCC leaders will have through the Thurgood Marshall College are bound to strengthen the avenues the colleges provide to residents who trust our colleges with the training they desire for their future.”

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