Harris-Stowe State University: Committed to Excellence in Leadership, Services and Academics

By Terence Finley, Feb. 4, 2021.

For the past 163 years, Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU), a Historically Black University, has served the St. Louis community by catering to the needs of underserved populations within the region and ensuring a workforce that has the skills necessary to meet the demands of employers. In a climate of scarcity, we have renewed our commitment to being an anchor institution that serves as an economic engine for the region. We remain steadfastly focused on addressing the needs of our students and the St. Louis metropolitan community. We are committed to an agenda that promotes excellence in leadership, service, and academics.

Academic Excellence

Harris-Stowe State University has evolved into a dynamic and influential center of scholarship, research, and education. Harris-Stowe attracts the best and the brightest by offering quality education at an affordable price. This year, we introduced new scholarship programs to ease the financial burden of matriculating local high school graduates. This program offers a unique opportunity for high-performing students to become campus leaders – keeping their talent and post-graduation potential in St. Louis. Harris-Stowe's academic offering also includes programs emphasizing STEM education. We are proud to be ranked in the nation’s Top 50 for conferring Mathematics degrees to African American students. But we will not rest on our laurels. Our biology program is the fastest-growing major, and we are in the process of adding a new computer science program to meet the needs of the workforce in the region.  

Our programs are competitive, and our faculty are credentialed from some of the country's top academic institutions. We stand ready to serve the community and aim to be a beacon of light for many as we strive to continue to build upon this great legacy for which this institution was founded.

Growth in Academic Programs

Building on the success of Harris-Stowe Teachers College, Harris-Stowe State University has emerged as the premiere institution offering educational degrees in the St. Louis community. While preparing teachers remains a priority, it was the foundation on which this historic institution was formed. HSSU has emerged as one of the fastest-growing universities in the state, offering more than 50 majors, minors, and certificate programs.  

Community

The University is engaged and committed to improving our region through meaningful dialog and educational outreach. We are extending the campus footprint into the community while welcoming the community into the hallowed halls of Harris-Stowe. We continue to make a significant and positive impact on the St. Louis region by providing a wealth of educational resources and opportunities. As one of the front-runners of the north County Renaissance, we have expanded our academic footprint by opening the Harris-Stowe State University Community Impact Network Education Center in North St. Louis County. We supply early college access and workforce development opportunities to communities outside of our main campus through this Center. Harris-Stowe will be intentional and relentless in shaping the requisite talent to empower the 21st Century workforce. We will focus on the development of an innovation ecosystem that incorporates entrepreneurism while still addressing the most critical cultural, social, economic, and development needs of our community. 

Partnerships

The University continues to expand its academic offerings and is at the forefront of national trends by establishing innovative opportunities for our students. This academic year, Harris-Stowe launched partnerships with the St. Louis Cardinals, who donated $1.1 million to our STARS Park revitalization campaign; the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to develop the next generation of STEM professionals in our workforce; and St. Charles Community College to allow for students to enroll in courses at both institutions simultaneously. One of our strengths is our commitment to collaborating with a variety of stakeholders to enhance educational opportunities for our students. 

Capital Projects

A new STEM & academic classroom building, residence hall and student center will help us grow our unique programs and help attract more honor students. In an effort to serve the unmet educational needs of the State, HSSU has the lowest cost of attendance of all four-year state institutions in Missouri. A lack of financial resources has impeded our ability to keep pace with capital projects like many of the state’s larger private institutions. We are recommitting our focus to improving the infrastructure of the University so that we can continue to attract the best and brightest students from around the country.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have always filled the void left by more exclusive and expensive universities in educating underserved populations. While much remains to be done, we continue to position ourselves to build upon this institution's historical legacy. This is a pivotal time in our country for HBCUs, and HBCUs must continue to be at the forefront of this movement. To that end, it is a great time to be a member of the Harris-Stowe State University Hornet family! The ‘HSSU Magic’ lives on and will continue to make a positive impact on our community, the region, and the State. 

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Terence Finley

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Harris-Stowe State University
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