Valley Street


The mission of the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Title III Program is to enhance the academic programs, fiscal management, and physical resources of the Valley Street Campus. Activities and services provided by the program address the enhancement of student support services, the integration of technology into curricula and instruction, and the improvement of physical facilities. Goals include increased student enrollment and retention, the achievement of students' educational goals, and expanded capabilities of information technology for students and faculty.

The Title III Grant Administration Office is located in the Prater Administration Building on the Valley Street Campus. For more information, individuals should contact the Title III Grant Administration Office, at 256-549-8667. The Title III Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education through its Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program (HBCU).

Title III Grant Administration Office

Shameka Gilyard
Title III Director

Tarva Vaughn
Program Facilitator

Ariel McElwee
Instructional Technology Advisor

Craig Carter
Computer Technician

Ricky Tillis
Program Advisor/Campus Director

Donna Adams
Clerk II

To schedule a tour of the Valley Street Campus, please email 


Currently, the Valley Street Campus houses the following:

Construction Technology

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Certified Nursing Assistant

Dental Assisting 

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Medication Assistant

Several academic courses



To schedule a tour of the Valley Street Campus, please email 


Valley Street has a long and storied history in Etowah County. It opened its doors in 1960 as the Gadsden Vocational Trade School, a private vocational training school for Black Americans. It was founded by Eugene N. Prater, director of the Veterans Continuation Program for Negroes, in response to discontent expressed by Black veterans in Etowah County for being denied admission to the all-white Alabama School of Trades.

Eugene Ned Prater at the Valley Street Campus monument dedication in 2008

In 1972, the school was renamed Gadsden State Technical Institute. In October 1997, the school – now known as the Valley Street Campus – was designated as a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) by the U.S. Department of Education. The following year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III Program began on the Valley Street Campus. The mission of Title III is to further provide resources and support that will strengthen the quest for an individual’s successful completion of their goals by encouraging intellectual and technical skills of students and faculty.

Martin Luther King III speaks at the ceremony designating the Valley Street Campus as an HBCU

Eugene Ned Prater speaks during the ceremony attended by state and local government officials and community leaders.