Press Release

October 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Benjamin L. Cardin and Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Sojourner-Douglass College $600,000 to expand their licensed practical nursing education program.  The grant is awarded under the Predominantly Black Institutions and Schools Program.


“Investment in education is one of the best ways to boost Maryland’s economy and provide quality, high-paying jobs for our citizens,” said Senator Cardin. “We have a critical shortage of nurses in our country, so this grant is tremendous news for Sojourner-Douglass College, which will use these funds to expand its licensed practical nursing education program.”


 “The cost of college tuition has been skyrocketing.  It is putting stress on families and students who have to struggle just to be able to pay their bills,” said Senator Mikulski.  “We are also facing a nursing shortage that is only getting worse.  I am proud that Sojourner-Douglass College will receive this funding, and I will continue to fight to make nursing education a priority in the federal checkbook.”


Sojourner-Douglas College’s main campus is in East Baltimore, but the funds will be going to three of its seven Maryland campuses.  Sojourner-Douglas College became a private, independent institution in 1980, and today enrolls approximately 1,500 students who are predominately African American (98 percent) and low-income.  The $600,000 will establish a Predominately Black Institutions (PBI) project to expand and strengthen its licensed practical nursing programs in East Baltimore, Annapolis, Cambridge, and Salisbury.


The project’s goals are to increase the quality of nursing education through Interactive Television (ITV) distance learning, increase faculty effectiveness at teaching ITV, and increase the number of students who complete the licensed practical nursing program.  The PBI project will provide students with opportunities to use pre-clinical simulation technologies and state-of-the-art clinical skill labs to ensure quality training.  Ultimately, the goal is to broadly address the state and national nursing shortage by preparing more new nurses with the most up-to-date patient care methods.


The U.S. Department of Education’s Predominately Black Institutions and Schools Program assists institutions of higher education with at least 40 percent African-American students.  Sojourner-Douglas College offers 17 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs.