Bluefield State College is an historically black college located in Bluefield, West Virginia. It is a part of West Virginia's public education system.
The school was founded in 1895 as Bluefield Colored Institute — a school for teacher training in the state's then segregated system of education.
Following desegregation in the 1950s and the continuing loss of population in the region, the school has fought off repeated attempts to merge it into nearby Concord University, which is also a state college. These attempts are likely to continue in the future.
Although Bluefield State is recognized as an historically black institution, it has largely lost its identity as such. During the first half of the 20th century, the area of southern West Virginia that historically supplied much of the school's students had a substantial African American population. However, a large percentage of the school's former African American student base emigrated from West Virginia in the last half of that century, as a result of the end of institutionalized segregation, the decline in coal mining jobs because of intensive mechanization, and greater economic promise in other regions of the country.
The school is the only non-residential four-year college in the state system. It administers the separately accredited New River Community and Technical College, which conducts classes throughout the southeastern part of West Virginia.
Bluefield State's athletic teams, known as the Big Blues, compete in NCAA Division II as a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The school is not connected in any way with Bluefield College in nearby Bluefield, Virginia.
- Bluefield State College (http://www.bluefield.wvnet.edu/)