The information below is offered as boilerplate text for Spelman PIs to use in the institutional context section required for many grant proposals.
If you need additional information for your proposal, or if you have suggestions for data to include on this list, please email Margaret Farrow.
Spelman College is a private, independent, historically Black college for women which is committed to academic rigor, career development, leadership, community involvement and positive social action. The College is committed to providing students with the benefits of a liberal arts education: intellectual and skill flexibility, intercultural experiences and competencies, writing and communication skills, and the ability to think critically. Curricular cornerstones include the First Year Experience (FYE), Sophomore Year Experience and the Major Capstone.
Spelman is located in an southwest Atlanta, Georgia. It is adjacent to Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse School of Medicine, which together form the Atlanta University Center. The consortium is served by the AUC Woodruff Library.
Spelman was founded in 1881 as Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary. Its name was changed to Spelman College in 1924. Spelman College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Spelman College, a historically Black college and a global leader in the education of women of African descent, is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. Spelman empowers the whole person to engage the many cultures of the world and inspires a commitment to positive social change.
“Firsts” and other distinctions
- In 1995, Spelman was selected as a National Science Foundation NSF/NASA Model Institution for Excellence.
- First HBCU to offer a women’s studies major
- First HBCU to establish a Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center (1981)
- One of only four HBCUs to be awarded a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society
- U.S. News and World Report ranks Spelman first among HBCUs and in the top 100 of liberal arts colleges. In 2015, the magazine names Spelman among the top ten “most innovative” liberal arts colleges.
- Spelman ranks second among HBCUs for the proportion of its graduates that go on to earn doctoral degrees in STEM fields. (NCSES 2013)
- Spelman is ranked fourth in the country in the baccalaureate origin of African-American doctoral recipients in STEM fields. In the social sciences, it is ranked second. (NCSES 2013)
- Spelman has the highest retention and graduation rate of all HBCUs. (HBCULifestyle 2015, EdSmart 2015)
- See additional rankings at About Spelman.
- First-generation college students make up between 15% and 18% of each entering class. (2015-16 Fact Book pp. 46-9)
- About 55% of Spelman students are eligible for Pell grants. (2015-16 Fact Book pp. 66, 68)
Existing Research Training Programs
Clare Booth Luce
Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, the goal of this program is to ensure students will be better prepared to pursue competitive merit-based scholarships, fellowships and other awards that will allow them to attain advanced degrees. The program allows for up to 16 students per year to be trained and currently supports five juniors.
Course-based Undergraduate Research as a Mechanism of Student Engagement and Retention (CURE)
Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP), the long-range goal of this program is to increase the quality and quantity of African American women who pursue STEM-related advanced degrees and fields, particularly in PhD programs. The program allows for up to 15 students per year to be trained and currently supports ten sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Enhancing Global Research and Teaching in STEM at Spelman College (G-STEM)
Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP), the goal of this program is to greatly increase the quality and quantity of international research opportunities available to students, as well as enhance the mentoring process between STEM students and faculty increasing the scholars’ ability to globally communicate technically and scientifically, as well as enter the global workforce. The number of students supported each year varies; currently, 72 sophomores, juniors and seniors receive support from this program.
Women in Science and Engineering Undergraduate Scholars Program (WISE UP)
This program is funded through the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program (S-STEM) at National Science Foundation. The goal of the Women in Science and Engineering Undergraduate Scholars Program (WiSE UP) is to offer competitive scholarships and academic/career-building support activities to academically talented, economically disadvantaged African American females who pursue a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree. WiSE UP provides a cluster of academic enrichment and support activities designed to promote student success in completing their bachelor’s degree and exploring graduate school opportunities.
Georgia-Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
This program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the overarching goal is to increase the quantity and quality of underrepresented minority (URM) students who earn associate and baccalaureate degrees and progressively increase the number of STEM Baccalaureate graduates who compete successfully for entry into graduate degree programs. The program supports up to 16 students per year and for the 2015-16 AY, supported 12 students from all classifications.
Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)
Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS), the goal of this program is to ensure students will be better informed about research and what it takes to pursue a doctoral degree and to achieve a research career. Additionally the program aims to have students see speakers as role models, since women and minorities are underrepresented in leadership positions in science. The program supports about 40 students per year and 125 students from all classifications have been supported by RISE from 2010-2014 including 15 pre-freshmen.
Student Quotes and Testimonials
- Spelman Factbook
- Leadership Profile
- U.S. News profile: Spelman College
- Carnegie Classification of Spelman College
- National Center for Education Statistics
- New York Times feature on social mobility of Spelman College alumne
- “College Factual” Datasheet for Spelman College
- StartClass data page for Spelman College
- Money Magazine’s value-added rating for Spelman College
- National Science Foundation institutional profile: Spelman College
- Spelman’s audited financial reports
- Quickfacts about Spelman (DUNS number, Authorized officials, etc.)
Sources of Higher Education Data
- National Center for Science & Engineering Statistics (NCSES)
- National Science Foundation WebCASPAR (also includes IPEDS data)
- Higher Education Research & Development Survey (HERD)
Sources of articles and reports