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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Barber-Scotia College

Scotia Seminary in Concord, ca. 1891. Image courtesy of the Historic Cabarrus Association. Barber-Scotia College was founded in Concord in 1867 as Scotia Seminary, a Presbyterian preparatory school for young, newly freed African American women. For more than a generation the institute prepared these women to become teachers, social workers, and members of other professions. Over time the school grew, and significant changes in programs and policy were initiated. In 1916 the curriculum was expanded and the school's name changed to Scotia's Women's College. In 1930 the college merged with Barber Memorial College of Anniston, Ala., and the name Barber-Scotia College was adopted two years later. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded by Barber-Scotia in 1945.

Barber-Scotia College became coeducational in 1954. By the early 2000s the college was an accredited four-year liberal arts institution, continuing its historical relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The student population continues to be primarily from North Carolina and South Carolina, although students have come from many states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several foreign countries.

Educator Resources:

Grades K-8:


"Barber-Scotia College," in W. Augustus Low and Virgil A. Clift, eds., Encyclopedia of Black America (1981).

"Barber-Scotia Junior College," Crisis 49 (August 1942).

Charles I. Brown, "The Male Student at Barber-Scotia College," Quarterly Review of Higher Education among Negroes 25 (July 1957).

Additional Resources:

Barber-Scotia College:

Barber-Scotia College, NC Highway Historical Marker L-102:

Session laws and resolutions passed by the General Assembly [1975], North Carolina Digital Collections:

Image Credit:

Scotia Seminary in Concord, ca. 1891. Image courtesy of the Historic Cabarrus Association. Available from (accessed Apr. 30, 2024).

Origin - location: