Dr. Elaine Johnson Copeland is currently the President of Clinton Junior College. Clinton Junior College is a private, two-year institution, supported by the African MethodistEpiscopal Zion Church. The College has been providing quality education to African Americans since 1894. It is currently the only historically Black Junior College operating in North or South Carolina. The College offers the Associate of Arts Degrees in liberal Arts, business, andreligious studies, early childhood education and science. Clinton Junior College has a mission of providing educational opportunities to students who may present deficiencies in their academic transcripts, while challenging those who present significant academic promise.
Copeland has served as President since 2002. She is a South Carolina native and returned to the state when she retired from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She began her career in the public schools and taught biology at Jefferson High School York, SC from 1966-70. She is Associate Professor Emeritus ofEducational Psychology and former Associate Dean of the Graduate College and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was also Associate Professor of Educational Psychology (Division of Counseling Psychology where she taught counseling psychology courses. Copeland has taught psychology courses and headed the Business department at Clinton Junior College where she encouraged her students to use the Internet as a powerful interactive resource in the study of psychology and business. She held the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Livingstone College, her alma mater in 2000-01. During her tenure there, she assisted in establishing a collaborative program with the University of Illinois that provides summer research experiences for Livingstone College undergraduates and lucrative fellowships for graduates who pursue graduate study at the University of Illinois that lead to academic careers. Copeland attended the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management during the summer of 2001 and the Seminar for New Presidents in 2002.
She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Dr. Copeland has written more the 30 published works, articles, monographs, book chapters, and book reviews, in the field of counseling and higher education. Her most recent work is a chapter, Creating a Pathway: The Role of Black Colleges in Access Retention and Graduation. This chapter is included in a book entitled, "How Black Colleges Empower Black Students" (2006). She has received numerous awards for her work in increasing diversity, and for her leadership in increasing the number of students of color in graduate education. She served as the first African American President for the National Association of Women in Education in 1989. Dr. Copeland holds degrees from Livingstone College, (B.S. with honors), 1964 Winthrop University (M.A.T.) 1971, the MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987, and a Ph.D. (with high honors), in Counseling from Oregon State University, 1974.
She has developed Multicultural Counseling, psychology, and business courses and has a wealth of experience working with diverse populations. She is a member of many professional and civic associations and honor societies. Among these are the American Association for University Women (AAUW), the American Psychological Association and the American Education and Research Association and Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. Nationally she serves on the Commission for the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and on The American Council on Education (ACE) Commission for the Advancement of Racial and Ethic Equity, (CAREE).
At the local level she has served on the Rock Hill Rotary (2004-2006) and Chamber of Commerce Boards (2004-2005) and the Upper Palmetto Board of the Rock Hill YMCA. She is currently on the York County United Way Board and is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Copeland was honored as citizen of the year by Rock Hill Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In November of 2005, she received the first Leadership award from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. She also received the Rock Hill Christian Educators Association International Award in December of 2005 and the Spirit Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for Education in April of 2006. A dedicated educator, Copeland has devoted over 40 years to this field.