Prairie View A&M University
Historically Black College

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch from Negro Education: A Study of the Private and Higher Schools

PRAIRIE VIEW NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE. Principal: I. M. Terrell

A school of secondary grade with one elementary class. Over two-thirds of the pupils are girls. The school has extensive industrial and agricultural equipment, but the work has suffered from ineffective organization. The institution is owned by the State and supported partly by the State and partly by the Federal funds for agricultural and mechanical education. It was founded in 1879 and is controlled by the Board of Directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas through a special committee.

Attendance.—Total, 552; elementary 115, secondary 437; male 130, female 422; all boarders. Practically all the pupils were from Texas. Of the 505 reporting home address, 265 were from city homes and 240 from farm homes. The reported enrollment for the year was 700. The proportion of male students has recently increased.

Teachers and workers.—Total, 46; all colored; male 31, female 15; academic teachers 15, music 2, agriculture 4, boys industries 11, girls' industries 6, matrons 2, other workers 6. Of the 29 reporting place of training, 11 were trained at Prairie View. Some of the teachers are poorly prepared.

Organization.—All pupils are expected to spend 3 hours a day in agriculture or industry. The organization of the academic work into four classes is commendably simple.

Elementary : The first year class includes United States history, physical geography, arithmetic, grammar, and industrial courses. The ages of the pupils range from 13 to 20 years.

Secondary: The secondary work is done in the three upper grades of the "normal" course. The subjects are: Algebra, 1 year; rhetoric, 1; drawing, 1; psychology, education and management, 1; history, 1; elementary science, 2. While the sélection of subjects is simple and intelligent, there are too many courses running only 12 or 24 weeks. No practice teaching is reported and the subject of hygiene is neglected.

Industrial: Most of the pupils have three 45-minute periods a week of industrial work. The small number of special-trades pupils take from 25 to 30 hours per week in the shops. The trades, with the number of pupils enrolled, were: Blacksmithing, five; printing, one; carpentry, three; tailoring, four; broom making, four. Shoemaking and hat making are also taught. The work in blacksmithing and carpentry is of a distinctly practical nature. The tailoring department spends a large part of its time making school uniforms. The printing and broom-making departments are engaged in commercial work. The condition of the buildings indicated little practical repair work done by the carpenters.

The girls' industries were handled by six teachers. The work in plain sewing and -making was good. Some work in millinery was done. The girls are also admitted to the courses on broom and mattress making.

Agriculture: One teacher and three helpers have charge of the instruction and practical work. About 365 acres are cultivated. The farm equipment and live stock are ample. Only 28 pupils are specializing in agriculture. No general course for all pupils is reported.

 

 

Financial, 1912-13.—The accounts are kept on a simple cash basis. There is no separate record of departmental transactions. No inventory had been taken of the movable property. A cumbersome requisition system for purchasing supplies, which entailed unnecessary expense and loss of time and labor, was in use. As far as can be determined the more important items for 1912-13 were as follows: :

Income, excluding noneducational receipts $49, 985
Expenditures, less noneducational receipts 58, 448
Value of plant 237, 200

Sources of income: State appropriations, $37,485; Federal funds, $12,500. The noneducational receipts amounted to $97,757, of which $92,183 was from board and uniforms (the items could not be shown separately), and $5,574 from the farm. The State legislature appropriated $40,000 during the year to make up the deficit and to pay off the indebtedness.

Items of expenditure: Salaries, $36,895; material and supplies, including food stuffs for boarding department, $36,461 ; student labor, $27,435; fucl. light, and water, $14,769; " maintenance" and "contingent" expenses, $9,871; repairs, $8,395; uniforms, $7,601; equipment for shops, farm, and boarding department, $7,113; outside labor, $6,400; advertising and printing, $661 ; improvement of roads and grounds, $604.

Plant.—Land: Estimated value, $36,250. The land comprises about 1,400 acres, of which 45 acres are in campus, 365 acres in the farm, and over 900 acres in pasture and grazing land. Effort has been made to improve the general appearance of the campus.

Buildings: Estimated value, $150,000. There are 12 large buildings and 18 others of various sizes, including a number of small cottages and barns. The more important are: The main building, three-story brick, containing chapel, offices, classroom, and library; five girls' dormitories, of which three are three-story brick structures and two are one-story frame; the trades building, a two-story brick; and the science building, a two-story frame. The buildings were in poor condition and the dormitory rooms unclean and disorderly.

Movable equipment: Estimated value, $50,950, as follows: Farm equipment and live stock, $21,000; shop equipment, $17,100; furniture, $7,400; books in library, $2,500; scientific apparatus, $2,000; current assets, $950.

Recommendations.—1. That the organization be made more effective.
2. That effort be made to increase the attendance of young men so that it at least equals the number of young women. To this end the dormitory facilities for young men should be improved.
3. That inventories of all school property be made, a system of accounting adapted to the needs of the institution installed, and the books audited annually by an accredited accountant.
4. That a course in agriculture and practical work in gardening be made a part of the general curriculum.
5. That the curriculum provide for a thorough study of hygiene and its applications to dormitories and dining room.
6. That cooperation be established between the dining room and the domestic science department.
7. That practice teaching be included in the training of teachers.

Dates of visits : April, 1914; March, 1915.

 

1 Appointed since date of visit.

improvements in the system are reported.

 

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