Founded in 1909, the National Training School for Women and Girls educated black women from around the world. Unlike other prominent black schools, such as the Tuskegee Institute, the founders did not request money from white donors.
Nannie Helen Burroughs, the daughter of formerly enslaved people, piloted the project. Burroughs wanted each student to become “the fiber of a sturdy moral, industrious and intellectual woman.” She created a vigorous and demanding curriculum of academic and vocational courses.
The National Training School offered a unique combination of educational opportunities for African-American young women and girls. The school offered academic training equivalent to the upper grades of high school and community college, religious instruction, and training in domestic arts and vocations.
It was the first American institution to offer all of these opportunities within a single school.
The National Training School received the National Historic Landmark designation and the National Register of Historic Places listing on July 17, 1991.