Wiley College, the first historically Black college west of the Mississippi, was founded in 1873 by Bishop Isaac Wiley of the United Methodist Church. Its mission was to provide education to “newly freed men.” In 1882 the Freedman’s Aid Society also chartered the school.
Over time, the purpose of Wiley College was to train teachers for careers at black elementary and secondary schools. It has since grown from a vocational college to an institution that awards an Associate’s degree and Bachelor’s degrees in 21 disciplines.
Wiley College is best known as the real life college of Professor Melvin Tolson and his incredible debate students, as represented by Denzel Washington in the Hollywood movie, The Great Debaters. Wiley College gives a nice account of the facts from the 1920s and the movie at this Weblink.
Wiley College is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It provides students with a liberal arts and career-oriented education in a Christian environment. The college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school has one of the best student-faculty ratios in the nation and is recognized for providing higher education opportunities to non-traditional students through its management institute program. Wiley is the first school in East Texas to issue laptop computers to its students and faculty.
Among Wiley’s disciplines are English, biology, business, computer science, social sciences, organizational management, business administration, elementary education, criminal justice, accounting, communications, and secondary education.
Wiley College is located in Harrison County on 63 acres west of Marshall, Texas; between Dallas to the west and Shreveport to the east. The closest large airport is located in Shreveport, thirty minutes away. The campus of Wiley College has 14 structures for teaching, research and student housing. Wiley College is one of three institutions of higher learning situated in Marshall, which has an estimated population of 25,000 people. Increasingly, students of other races, as well as international students, are finding Wiley College to be an attractive place to acquire a college education.
Wiley is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Red River Athletics Conference and sponsors basketball, softball, and track and field. Men’s sports are basketball, baseball, soccer, and track and field. Women’s sports are volleyball, basketball, softball, and track and field.
ADDRESS: 711 Wiley Avenue, Marshall, TX