At the culmination of the Civil War, many northern areas were looking to build college to cater to the sudden influx of students looking to pursue higher education now that they were free to do so. Imagined to be a black theological school when it was chartered in 1867, Howard University was created through a mix of private contribution and government endowments (something it still enjoys today), standing today as a historical setting for primarily African-American academic advancement in Washington DC.
Currently enrolling over 10,000 students, this traditionally black, coeducation, nonsectarian, private school (a mouthful in itself) offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in the setting of history. In operation over 200 years now (and seeing the likes of Thurgood Marshall walk its halls, who came to Howard after segregation laws didn’t allow him to go this hometown school… in the 20th century… in Maryland), students are educated to be the leaders of tomorrow in the same buildings where many historical firsts for African-Americans took place.
Offering a 256 acre, 13 school campus students here are offered everything from Bachelor to PhDs in a boggling 181 different programs of study. Undergrads seeking four year degrees have 27 different Bachelor’s to choose from (Dentistry to Teacher Education), and graduates seeking further degrees/certifications to keep up with an ever-advancing world have a Law School, Med School, and a total of 18 Master and 3 PhD degrees to seek (with 63 Master’s majors and another 29 doctoral).
Howard values its distance learning programs, expanding them to fulfill the ever changing needs of its students and the working world. Currently offering not just online classes, but almost entirely online degrees, Howard utilizes Blackboard to deliver a variety of digital classes of the same high quality as their traditional counterparts. Classes are begun the same day as regular classes, are conducted without face to face meetings (for the most part), and the college has an extensive online orientation on their site (not just for students, but for faculty as well). In addition to a post-graduate programs to keep pharmacists up to date about an ever-changing health care system (Non-Traditional Post-Baccalaureate Pharm.D degree), there are two Bachelor degrees offered for distance learners. A Clinical Laboratory Science B.S. is offered without coming to campus, though it does require proctored face-to-face exams (which don’t necessarily happen on Howard’s campus) and a pre-requisite certification in the field already (most looking for this option are already working in a laboratory setting with an Associate’s). Also, those looking for a change from an Register Nurse to a B.S. in nursing can do so with one year (three semesters including summer) of online courses, never having to cease working in the hospital they’re already employed at to try and attend classes.
The degrees are offered in addition to more general online classes across many divisions. Semester offerings change constantly, allowing for many different students to access key general education requirements on their own study times. Some do involve in class attendance, but all key learning is done online (leading to much extra HOMEwork, as the normal in class worktime no longer applies).
Research is also highly values at Howard, as it is the only historically black college to be given a “Research 1” tier (the highest ranking for a research school of any color) and utilizes its DC location to give students access to world class facilities and up to date experiential learning environments. Howard also contains the most extensive repository of African American writings and cultural documentation in its Moorland-Sprigarn Research Center.
With a “particular emphasis upon educational opportunities for Black students”, Howard continues its (contentious) history of providing a full education and to developing “distinguished, historically aware, and compassionate graduates” to be the leaders of tomorrow.