Coppin State University is a historically black college located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is part of the University System of Maryland. The University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Coppin State University was founded in 1900 at what was then called Colored High School (later named Douglass High School) on Pennsylvania Avenue by the Baltimore City School Board who initiated a one-year training course for the preparation of African-American elementary school teachers. By 1902, the training program was expanded to a two-year Normal Department within the high school, and seven years later it was separated from the high school and given its own principal.
In 1926, this facility for teacher training was named Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of an African-American woman who was a pioneer in teacher education, Fanny Jackson Coppin.
By 1938 the curriculum of the normal school was lengthened to four years, authority was given for the granting of the Bachelor of Science degree, and the name of the Normal School was changed to Coppin Teachers College. In 1950, Coppin became part of the higher education system of Maryland under the State Department of Education, and renamed Coppin State Teachers College. Two years later Coppin moved to its present 38-acre (150,000 m2) site on West North Avenue.
In acknowledgment of the goals and objectives of the college, the Board of Trustees ruled in 1963 that the institution's degree-granting authority would no longer be restricted to teacher education. Following this ruling, Coppin was officially renamed Coppin State College, and in 1967 the first Bachelor of Arts degree was conferred. In 1988, the College became part of the newly organized University of Maryland System (now the University System of Maryland.) The school was officially renamed Coppin State University on April 13, 2004.
Coppin's first president (1930–1956) was Dr. Miles Connor. He was succeeded by Dr. Parlett Moore in 1956, who served until Dr. Calvin W. Burnett took over as Coppin's third president in 1970. Burnett served the institution for thirty-three years, until Coppin's fourth president, Dr. Stanley F. Battle, was appointed on March 3, 2003. After Dr. Battle departed for North Carolina A&T State University in 2007, Coppin's fifth president, Dr. Reginald Avery was hired. Avery was given a vote of no-confidence by Coppin State faculty in February of 2012 and in October he announced his resignation (effective January 22, 2013).
Organizations participate in the Student Government Association at Coppin State. There is currently a board called the SAPB (Student Activities Planning Board) which plans students events for and by the student body.
The Coppin State Eagles play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and in the NCAA's Division I. The school has men's teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, tennis and track, and women's teams in basketball, bowling, cross country, softball, tennis, track and volleyball.
In 1997, the Coppin State Men's Basketball team defeated the University of South Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship becoming just the third #15 seed to defeat a #2 seed. In the 2007–08 season, Coppin State became the first team in NCAA College Basketball history to reach the NCAA Tournament with 20 losses.
Coppin took over nearby Rosemont Elementary School in 1998. Coppin is the only higher education institution in Maryland to manage a public school. Rosemont Elementary is in the Greater Rosemont Community, an area adjacent to the university. In 1997, the Maryland Department of Education (MSDE) had declared Rosemont to be "below acceptable standards." As operator of Rosemont, Coppin hired staff and developed the school's educational program. In 2000, Rosemont Elementary first-graders led Baltimore City in largest percentile gains in first grade reading. In 2003, Rosemont was removed from MSDE's "watch list" citing that Rosemont has "made enough progress to exit the school improvement program."
Coppin operates the Coppin State University Community Nursing Center, a fully equipped medical clinic that offers affordable health care for children and adults that is across the street from the university's campus. Coppin formed The Coppin Academy, a public charter high school for students in grades 9–12. The goal is to encourage young people to attend college.
Coppin is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the undergraduate and graduate academic programs are accredited by a number of specialized agencies. Teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education.
The nursing program is approved by the Maryland State Board of Examiners of Nurses and accredited by the National League of Nursing. The Social Work and Rehabilitation Counseling Education programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and the Council of Rehabilitation Counseling Education, respectively.