Explore HBCU – Lawson State Community College

Staff Writer
April 21, 2022

Lawson State Community College is a public, historically black community college located in Bessemer and Birmingham, Alabama.


Lawson State Community College is composed of two main divisions: an academic division and a career/technical division.

The technical division of the college was founded as Wenonah State Technical Institute in Birmingham, Alabama in 1949 with an initial funding of $75,000. The school opened with eleven instructors and 75 students enrolled across ten courses and one related subject.

The academic division of the college, originally named Wenonah State Junior college, was created in 1965. In 1969, in honor of Dr. Theodore Alred Lawson, the college was renamed Theodore Alfred Lawson State Junior College. Both the academic and technical divisions merged in 1973, and became one school known as T.A. Lawson State Community College. This location is currently Lawson State’s Birmingham Campus.

In 2005, as the state of Alamaba worked to eliminate duplicate community college programs, Bessemer State Technical College—originally founded in 1963—merged with Lawson State. This location is currently Lawson State Community College’s Bessemer location. 

T.A. Lawson State has been recognized and celebrated by the White House, having been selected to host a visit by President Barack Obama in 2015. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and has been featured as a Top 50 Community College—making history in the state of Alabama—as well as being moved from 33 out of 50 on the list of top community colleges to number five in 2013. 

Programs & Opportunities

Lawson State Community College provides an array of educational and technical educational opportunities through varied modes of instruction. The college prides itself in preparing students for gainful employment, career advancement, college transfer, and workforce development. 

Lawson State Community College offers more than 100 programs spanning four divisions within business & technologies, career technical programs, general studies for college transfer, and health professions programs. For three years in a row beginning in 2017, Lawson State’s Nursing Programs have been ranked as high as #1 and #2 in the state. The school also offers other gateway and/or special program options including dual enrollment, GED classes, distance education, and adult education opportunities. 

Lawson State also hosts several clubs and organizations dedicated to service, student connection, technological innovation and application, scholarship, and leadership. The school chairs four varsity athletic programs—men’s basketball and baseball, and women’s basketball and volleyball—that belong to the Alabama Community College Conference and National Junior College Athletic Association. 

Learn more about what Lawson State Community College has to offer here.

Alumni Affairs

Lawson State Community College alumni can be found in various sectors and industries of business, politics, healthcare, education, and entertainment. Some of Lawson State’s alumni include, but are not limited to:

  • Christen Carter earned an Associate of Science degree in General Studies from Lawson State in 2016 and is now a Registered Behavior Therapist/Mental Health Technician.
  • Raven Young earned an Associate of Science degree in Biology from Lawson State in 2014 and is now an Admissions Coordinator at Guidehouse, a business consulting firm.
  • Brittney Terry earned an Associate of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and is now a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at UC Riverside.

Financial Information

At Lawson State Community College, in-state tuition for in-person and online courses totals to $123 per semester credit hour and $246 for out-of-state students. In total, tuition is an estimated  total of $4,800 for one academic calendar year, while out-of-state students pay two times that rate.

For students who are in need of assistance with educational costs, Lawson State offers financial aid designed to supplement the students’ ability to pay for educational expenses.


Lawson State Community College seeks to provide affordable and accessible quality educational opportunities while enhancing the quality of life for the diverse communities it serves. 

Learn more about Lawson State Community College here.