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Tennessee Historically Black Colleges and Universities Success

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About HBCU Success in Tennessee

In 2018, Tennessee became the first state to have a full-time, statewide higher education professional focused on strengthening the capacity of its historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), both public and private. HBCU is a federal designation for accredited postsecondary institutions that were founded before 1964 with the primary mission of educating black Americans. Today, there are 99 federally-designated HBCUs nationwide, and six in Tennessee: American Baptist College, Fisk University, Lane College, LeMoyne Owen College, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University. Tennessee’s seventh HBCU, Knoxville College, lost its SACSCOC accreditation in 1997 but was re-authorized in May 2018 by the Division of Postsecondary School Authorization to operate as a higher education institution and is seeking re-accreditation by a federally recognized agency.

The HBCU legislation directs the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to work with state departments and agencies, businesses, educational associations, philanthropic organizations, and other partners to accomplish five statutory goals:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to participate in state programs;
  2. Foster enduring private-sector initiatives and public-private partnerships while promoting specific areas and centers of academic research and programmatic excellence throughout all HBCUs;
  3. Improve the availability, dissemination, and quality of information concerning HBCUs to inform public policy and practice;
  4. Share administrative and programmatic practices within the consortium for the benefit of all; and
  5. Explore new ways of improving the relationship between the state and HBCUs.

Tennessee’s HBCUs are active and essential parts of the higher education sector, locally and nationally. Whether providing health and wellness programs to the community, developing partnerships to advance diversity in the workforce, or contributing to civic discourse, Tennessee HBCU students, faculty, and staff make the community richer and stronger. 

Spring  2020

Remembering Our Heroes

From The President: C.T. Vivian, We Shall Never Forget

John Lewis' long civil rights legacy began in Nashville

Fisk University joins the world in mourning the loss of one of her “Sons Ever on the Altar” Congressman John Lewis as well as honoring his legacy and commitment to justice and nonviolence.


Responding to COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected all aspects of society. Tennessee HBCUs have been leading the way in proactive response to support those most at-risk and in-need.

Historically black colleges work to help students amid virus

HBCU President serves as a witness in Senate HELP Committee hearing

LeMoyne-Owen College, community helping students impacted by COVID-19

The HBCU professor racing to develop an antiviral drug for COVID-19

Meharry Medical College joins COVID-19 vaccine trials network

Oprah Winfrey donates $2 million to HBCU Tennessee State and its surrounding community


Community Engagement

Tennessee’s HBCUs have a long tradition of active engagement in the overall welfare and justice for their communities. This year has been no exception, with remarkable participation from HBCU leaders.

Gov. Lee appoints new Capitol Commission member as debate over Nathan Bedford Forrest bust rages

LeMoyne-Owen College quadruples endowment with $40 million from Community Foundation


New Academic Programs

As the state continues its strategic push for 55 percent of Tennesseans to have a postsecondary credential by the year 2025, Tennessee’s HBCUs are working to fill the gap by offering cutting-edge and relevant academic programs to students.

Meharry Medical College gets $8 million for school program

Local medical college partners with Wharton business school on new degree program

Fisk University partners with Asurion to launch new data science scholarship program with $200,000 investment

Fisk and Meharry arrive at agreement to fast-track medical and dental school admissions


Tennessee's Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Institution Location General Information News and Social Media
American Baptist College Nashville, TN 615-256-1463 @_ABCedu @_ABCedu
Fisk University Nashville, TN 615-329-8500 @FISK1866 @FISK1866
Knoxville College Knoxville, TN 865-521-8068 (fax)  Knoxville College
Lane College Jackson, TN 731-426-7500 @theLaneCollege @theLaneCollege
LeMoyne Owen College Memphis, TN 901-435-1000 @LOC_Magicians @LOC_Magicians
Meharry Medical College Nashville, TN 615-327-6000 @MeharryMedical @MeharryMedicalCollege
Tennessee State University Nashville, TN 615-963-5000 @TSUedu @TennStateU

Click the links below for additional information related to TN HBCU Success and HBCU institutions across the state.