Coppin State University traces its roots back 115 years to a one-year teacher-training course preparing African-American elementary school teachers for the classroom. From there, Coppin grew in Baltimore. In 1938, it began granting Bachelors of Science degrees and was named the Coppin Teachers College. Nearly 30 years later, it gave out its first Bachelors of Arts degrees and was renamed Coppin State College. In 2004, it became Coppin State University.
In recent years, Coppin State has struggled with financial management, poor graduation rates, and low morale. In 2012, Coppin’s faculty voted “no confidence” in then-president Reginald Avery; he resigned. An interim president has led the school since 2013, but as of July 1, the historically black university has a new leader: Maria Thompson, formerly the provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Oneonta, is the first woman to head the school. She joins Sheilah in the studio to talk about her plans.