Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Alabama college offers $75,000 in trade scholarships to women only

Dean says goal is to promote ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’

An Alabama college is offering $75,000 in scholarships for trade programs – but only to female students.

The goal “is to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in Gadsden State’s career technical programs,” according to a news release from the community college.

The list of “qualified programs,” include welding, construction technology, and civil engineering.

“This scholarship program is an initiative to get more women into manufacturing, construction, and transportation careers in order to help develop the workforce in our area,” Dean Alan Smith stated in the news release.

Smith did not respond to a voicemail on Monday that asked for comment on potential legal problems for the scholarship.

A spokesperson did not directly address questions about the legality of the program.

“The scholarship program closed on May 29 and all scholarship funds have been expended,” Director of Public Relations and Marketing Jackie Edmondson told The College Fix via email on Monday.

“Monies came from Federal Perkins funds that are provided to colleges to offer scholarship opportunities for special populations, including those who are non-traditional and/or underrepresented,” she said. Edmondson provided a link with more information.

“Individuals preparing for careers that are non-traditional for their gender,” is considered in the group of “non-traditional learners,” according to the information sheet.

She did not respond to a follow-up email on Monday that asked for comment on the legality of the program and what she meant by it being “closed.”

But Ed Barlett of SAVE Services said the program violates Title IX, a federal law that forbids discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education.

Gadsden State should either “discontinue the illegal program, or offer scholarships of a similar value to male students,” Bartlett told The Fix via email.

“Such illegal policies can be traced to Marxist ideology, which classifies men as ‘oppressors’ and women as ‘victims’, regardless of the fact that females now outnumber men in college enrollments,” Barlett told The Fix.

MORE: Young men continue to reject college

The college offers other scholarships that exclude on the basis of race or sex.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Scholarship “is awarded to a minority student enrolled in a Valley Street Campus program.”

Another scholarship gives “priority” to “African American students.”

The community college is recognized as a historically black college, but 71 percent of its students are white, according to 2023 enrollment data.

Programs that exclude on the basis of race or sex have been edited following criticism or federal complaints.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently made slight edits to its “women of color,” program following media attention and a civil rights complaint.

The Creative Regal Women of Knowledge program added that “participation is open to all students regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin,” to other language that promoted it only to black women.

The edit “does not alter the serious violations of the civil rights laws that have been taking place for years and were ongoing in the spring 2024 semester,” according to comments from Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson.

His organization, the Equal Protection Project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation, filed the federal complaint.

MORE: Clemson opens female-only programs to all to end federal investigation

IMAGE: Rich Legg/Getty Images Signatures with College Fix edits

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
College Fix contributor Claire Bettag is a student at Saint Mary's College of Notre Dame, where she is studying business administration with a specialization in marketing. Within the campus community, she holds the position of president for both the Turning Point USA chapter and the College Republicans chapter.