Historically Black Tougaloo College in Mississippi has entered into a partnership with Southern Illinois University Carbondale to assist students from the private, liberal arts college to enroll and earn a degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Law.
The two educational institutions have instituted a 3+3 dual degree program agreement for qualified college students. Successful students will have the opportunity to complete both their bachelor’s degree and law degree in six years. Tougaloo College students must complete the application to enroll in the dual degree program no later than the end of their freshman year and maintain a minimum 3.4 GPA. Program candidates must complete three-fourths of the course work required for a bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College and all of their major and thesis requirements by the end of their junior year. They will then enter law school and can apply 30 credit hours from SIU toward their bachelor’s degree.
Tougaloo College students will also have access to SIU Law’s Diversity Prelaw Summer Institute, which helps high-achieving juniors and seniors from colleges around the country gain insight on legal careers and preparing for law school. Students will receive assistance to prepare for the Law School Admission Test while honing skills necessary for law school, such as understanding how to read and analyze cases. In addition, students take field trips and interact with lawyers, law students, and law school faculty.
Camille Davidson, dean of the SIU School of Law, said that “SIU Carbondale has a long history of inclusivity, and I am excited that this agreement with Tougaloo furthers that mission. It is important for society to continue working toward real access to justice and training attorneys from various backgrounds. We trust a justice system when we see ourselves as advocates and decision-makers. This agreement is another step in ensuring that students, including those from underrepresented populations, have the opportunity to reach their goals in the legal profession.”
Dean Davidson is a graduate of Millsap College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she majored in business administration. She earned her law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center.