Funding by the federal government through the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 to establish agricultural colleges fostered the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now Texas A&M University, at College Station. Classes began in 1876. At the same time, the state opened a vocational agricultural school for African Americans at Prairie View (Alta Vista Agricultural College), but the school failed for lack of students. In 1879, the legislature changed the purpose of the school, now Prairie View A&M University, to general education.
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