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Harris-Stowe State University
3026 Laclede Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63103-2199
(314) 340-3300
Contact: Meghan Sprung
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College Overview  
     Welcome to Harris-Stowe State University! As you perhaps know, Harris-Stowe State University is both one of the state's oldest public institutions of higher learning and one of the state's youngest. It began in 1857 as a normal school, established by the St. Louis Board of Education, and became a part of the state system of public higher education in 1979. Its first major predecessor institutions were the St. Louis Normal school for whites that later became known as Harris Teachers College, and the Sumner Normal School for African-Americans (founded in 1890) which later became known as Stowe Teachers College.
     At times during its long history in higher education, the two predecessor institutions had missions that expanded and contracted with the needs of the times; however, during these mission changes, teacher education consistently remained the university's primary offering. For a number of years, both colleges had an extensive junior college division, with pre-professional offerings in many different career fields.
     In June 1993, under a new state law, Harris-Stowe State University was authorized to expand its mission in order to address hitherto unmet higher education needs of metropolitan St. Louis in key applied professional disciplines. Thus, the university became again virtually a new institution. Now, in addition to its traditional excellence in teacher preparation, the university offers an increasing number of new baccalaureate degree programs — in Business Administration, Secondary Teacher Education, Criminal Justice, Health Care Management, Accounting, Information Sciences and Computer Technology, and Hospitality/Tourism Management. Additional new baccalaureate programs in other key fields are now being planned.
     The entire university community warmly welcomes you to its campus — which is also significantly expanding. We are hopeful that you will take full advantage of the many new higher education opportunities that are now available at Harris-Stowe State University. We are happy to have you join us in this truly historic period of our institution. We also want you to know that the university family, as a whole, will do all it can to make your years with us not only academically successful, but also personally pleasant and rewarding. We are strongly convinced that each of you has the potential to achieve high and important goals. We want you to believe the same and to put forth your very best effort toward that very attainment.
Quick Facts
Undergrad Population: 1715
Graduate Population: 0
Student Body: Coed
In State Tuition: $5586
Out of State Tuition: $10597
Room & Board: $8700
Applications Due: Rolling Admissions ($15)
Degrees Offered: Bachelor's Degree
Online Classes: yes
Percent Men: 35%
Percent Women: 65%
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Majors Offered


•Urban Ecology

Business Administration
• Entrepreneurship

Criminal Justice
• Juvenile Justice
• Law Enforcement

Early Childhood Education

Elementary Education

Health Care Management

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Information Sciences & Computer Technology
• Computer Studies
• Management Information Systems

• Statistics
• Applied Mathematics
• Pure Mathematics

Middle School Education

Professional Interdisciplinary Studies

Secondary Education

Urban Education
• Public Administration
• Urban Studies

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College History
     Harris-Stowe State University traces its origin back to 1857 when it was founded by the St. Louis Public Schools as a normal school and thus became the first public teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River and the 12th such institution in the United States. The earliest predecessor of Harris-Stowe State University was a normal school established for white students only by the Public School System of the city of St. Louis. This school was later named Harris Teachers College in honor of William Torrey Harris who had been a Superintendent of Instruction in the St. Louis Public Schools and also a United States Commissioner of Education.
     The College began offering in-service education for St. Louis white teachers as early as 1906. In 1920, Harris Teachers College became a four-year undergraduate institution authorized to grant a Bachelor of Arts in Education Degree. In 1924, the college received accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation from other agencies followed, including accreditation by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
     A second predecessor institution was Stowe Teachers College, which began in 1890 as a normal school for future black teachers of elementary schools in the city of St. Louis. This normal school was also founded by the St. Louis Public School System and was an extension of Sumner High School. In 1924, the Sumner Normal School became a four-year institution with authority to grant the baccalaureate degree. In 1929, its name was changed to Stowe Teachers College, in honor of the abolitionist and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. These two teacher education institutions were merged by the Board of Education of the St. Louis Public Schools in 1954 as the first of several steps to integrate the public schools of St. Louis. The merged institution retained the name Harris Teachers College.
     Later, in response to the many requests from alumni of Stowe Teachers College and members of the greater St. Louis community, the Board of Education agreed to restore to the College's name the word "Stowe" and to drop the word "Teachers." In 1979, the General Assembly of the State of Missouri enacted Senate Bill 703 under which Harris-Stowe College became the newest member of the State system of public higher education. The institution's name was again changed by the addition of the word "State" and became officially known as Harris-Stowe State College. In addition to the name change, the College's baccalaureate degree was changed to Bachelor of Science in Education. In compliance with the new state standards and teacher certification requirements, the College's Teacher Education curriculum was modified and three separate Teacher Education majors were approved: Early Childhood Education, Elementary School Education and Middle School/High School Education.
     In 1981, the College received state approval for a new degree program — the Bachelor of Science in Urban Education. This program is the only one of its kind at the undergraduate level in the United States and is designed to prepare non-teaching urban education specialists who will be effective in solving the many urban-related problems facing today's urban schools. In 1993, the State Governor signed into law Senate Bill 153, which authorized the College to expand its mission in order to address unmet needs of metropolitan St. Louis in various applied professional disciplines. In response to that authority, Harris-Stowe developed two new baccalaureate degree programs:
     •Business Administration, with professional options in Accounting, Management Information Systems, General Business and Marketing;
     •Secondary Teacher Education, with subject-matter options in Biology, English, Mathematics and Social Studies.
     Finally, on August 25, 2005, by mandate of the State of Missouri, Harris-Stowe State College obtained university status. Today the University hosts collaborative graduate degree programs with Maryville University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Webster University. The University continues to expand, adding new campuses and buildings as part of its 21st-century initiative to offer opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students seeking a variety of degrees.
     Thus, from its beginnings as two normal schools in the mid and late 19th century to its present status as a state institution of public higher education, Harris-Stowe State University and its predecessor institutions have always been in the forefront of teacher education. Now, with its mission expanded to include other professional disciplines, the University will provide greatly needed additional opportunities to metropolitan St. Louisians in other important fields of endeavor. The University will continue its quest for excellence in all of its offerings and strive even more to meet the complex and demanding challenge of preparing students for effective roles in this region's various professions.
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