In 1995, after four years in the United States Navy and two years at another college, I was ready for a change. I sought an institution that would challenge me academically and not treat me like a number. I wanted to be in a place where I did not feel like an out cast because I was older and had been out of my parent?s home for more that two seconds. I found all of this and more at Coppin State University.
At Coppin I found students who were serious about their education and shared my life experience. Many of my peers were non-traditional students like myself who had families and worked full time jobs. The faulty was knowledgeable and committed to the success of every person in the class. In the Special Education department, many of the professors had either taught or been principals in schools throughout the state of Maryland. They bought real world experience to every lecture and bought a unique perspective to teaching in an urban environment.
Being from New York and used to taking public transportation I quickly learned the bus and subway system. Baltimore is a fantastic city with much to offer the person willing to take the time to uncover her treasures. I was so taken with Charm City that I put down roots after graduation and made it my home.
Now Coppin State is not without its challenges. For one thing the graduation rate is quite low. This is due to a number of factors none of which have anything to do with professors intentionally failing students or other such nonsense that I?ve heard others talk about.
Going to college, any college cost money. And for many of Coppin?s students cost is an issue. Coppin students are not trust fund babies with silver spoons in their back packs. Many come from poor backgrounds and are seeking the American dream though higher education. For too many of these students the dream is deferred due to a lack of funds.
Others are just not ready for college academically or otherwise. This is not Coppin?s fault, but the fault of a failing public school system. During my time at Coppin I saw students take advantage of the many remedial courses offered to strengthen their skills. Professors gave selflessly so that each student could live up to their potential.
Another challenge is the area that surrounds the campus. Lake many HBCUs Coppin State is in a depressed area. Crime and drugs are prevalent. But ask any law abiding citizen who lives near the campus and they will tell you that Coppin State University is a beacon of hope, an oasis of higher learning in a sea of inner city turmoil. The campus and the students who attend serve as examples to the community of what can be accomplished through hard work and sacrifice.
Coppin State University is a great place to go to school. Since I graduated in 1998 I?ve watch my alma mater grow and improve. A new dorm, new dining hall, and a new physical education building are just some of the additions made to the campus. The curriculum and program offerings have changed to keep up with the demands of the 21st century. Coppin State is not for the whiney or the faint of heart. To be an eagle one must overcome obstacles, have good time management and stay focused. If you can do this and are looking to be part of a family that will nurture and nourish you, do what I did. Walk the campus and meet the people. You?ll be glad you did.
Oh, and if you want to be a nurse, teacher or work in law enforcement there is no better school in the state.