Miles College Launches Classes Without Walls, Expands Educational Reach

Special to the Times

Dr. George T. French

Miles College has launched a new initiative designed to broaden access to a four-year college education so that those in the Birmingham area and beyond can advance towards an education with a fully accredited institution.

The sprawling campus in Fairfield has long been the site of outstanding higher educational opportunities and achievement for students from all over Alabama, as well as from several states and countries, but this summer, the College is expanding its reach to allow all students to take several online courses with options of learning online or on campus.

In announcing this new initiative, Miles President George French, said, “Our online education programs and degree courses will be taught by trusted and creditable academicians who are firmly entrenched in the latest approaches to providing student-centered instruction.”

“It is imperative,” French continued, “that we continually improve students’ access to learning opportunities.  Individuals who work, or are just not interested in learning in traditional campus classroom environments, can jump-start their career or acquire new skills through online classes.  These online courses are self-paced and budget friendly, and will also create openings for non-traditional students to select college courses that can be accessed from the comfort of their own homes, and give them a second chance to obtain a college education.  In either scenario, Miles advances its educational mission for students in Alabama and beyond.”

Miles’ online programs will start this year, with courses offered through July 14.  Successive terms also will be offered starting August 14 to October 13, and another term October 16 to December 15.  Interested students should apply online through or call (205) 929-1851.

Course offerings will include Accounting, Business Administration, Management, English, Computer and Information Sciences, Criminal Justice and Political Science.

These new online courses are designed to help the College reach even a greater number of potential students and build on the mission started in 1898. Since becoming President in 2006, French is proud of the successful growth of the institution. The physical College campus has grown exponentially. In the year he became President, he steered the acquisition of 41 acres adjacent to the campus, doubling the institution’s land size.  In 2013, the College unveiled the results of a $20 million capital campaign, as the new 200-bed dormitory, student activity center/cafeteria, and welcome/admissions center were opened.

The primary focus, however, has always been its students, and as a result, Miles has one of the fastest growing student bodies among its class of institutions.  Now with nearly 2,000 students, more funding has been directed toward student scholarships and academic support. The College’s student activities and athletic teams have become some of the best in higher education. Last year, Miles won the HBCU National Debate Championship, the football team won its conference championship, and the marching band was named number one among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

With this program launch, Miles continues its historical mission to provide accessible, quality educational offerings to develop strong students and alumni who make positive contributions to the state and the nation, administrators said.