April 13 (UPI) -- Morehouse College, the only historically black school for men in the United States, announced Saturday it will admit transgender students next fall who identify as males.
The Gender Identity Policy, which was approved by the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, will allow individuals who self-identify as men, regardless of the sex assigned at birth, to be considered for admission in the school in Atlanta.
The change applies to all students who enroll in the private school by the fall 2020 semester and students enrolled before then are not impacted by this policy.
The decision was made after 15 months of community engagement with faculty, staff, students and alumni led by a task force. Dr. David A. Thomas, the school's president, formed the task force.
Next, the committee will assess campus needs for the creation of diversity and inclusion programs, training and facilities.
"In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we're proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men who want to be part of an institution that has produced some of the greatest leaders in social justice, politics, business, and the arts for more than 150 years," Terrance Dixon, vice president for Enrollment Management at Morehouse, said. "The ratification of this policy affirms the college's commitment to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service."
All students are expected to self-identify as men throughout their education at the school. If a student transitions from a man to a woman, that student will no longer be eligible to matriculate at Morehouse. A three-person committee and ultimately the president will examine exemptions to this rule.
Trans women, or individuals who identify as women regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth, will not be considered for admission.
The school is the nation's largest liberal arts institution for men.
Prominent alumni include civilian rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., filmmaker Shelton "Spike" Lee, former Atlanta Maynard H. Jackson and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
Another school in Atlanta, Spelman College, which is intended for black women, approved a policy in September 2017 to formally enroll transgender students who identify as females.