The best route out of poverty is through the college quad. Spend four years in college, and all that book learning, mind opening, and network expanding will help even the lowest-income student jump up several rungs on the economic ladder.
However, HBCUs get unfair treatment when it comes to discussions of graduation rates, and here is why. Believe me, I'm concerned about national graduation rates, as well. However, HBCUs get unfair treatment when it comes to discussions of graduation rates, and here is why: All but four of the Southern states have graduation rates below the national average.
In addition to a number of other factors, many students in Southern states lack access to high-quality public schools. Research tells us that these students are less likely to graduate.
If one looks at predominantly white institutions PWIs with student bodies that are similar to the various HBCUs, one finds similar graduation rates. The majority of HBCUs enroll students with lower SAT scores, and although I'm no fan of these tests, they are the only proxy we have for academic preparation besides high school grades.
If institutions increase their selectivity and only accept students who are superbly prepared for college, graduation rates increase. How about comparing HBCU graduation rates with those institutions enrolling similarly prepared students?
With some exceptions, those colleges and universities with rich endowments have the highest graduation rates. These institutions can afford to provide all the programs and services needed to ensure the retention of students. How would HBCUs fare with equal funding?
The African-American college graduation rate nationwide is 41 percent.
At HBCUs the rate drops to 37 percent. This statistic leads critics to claim that HBCUs must not be contributing significantly to the education of black students, or, worse yet, that they're harming them.
Again, graduation rates at all institutions should be higher, but one must consider the individual characteristics of HBCU students.
Some researchers have found that HBCUs graduate students at the same rate as PWIs and in fact add value to students who are low-income and underprepared. HBCUs are constantly compared with Ivy League institutions when it comes to graduation rates -- a comparison that would make most of the nation's colleges and universities look pretty bad.
Few institutions have the resources of Harvard or Princeton.
What are the underlying reasons for these comparisons? Instead of singling out HBCUs as a whole when discussing graduation rates, the media, scholars and op-ed writers should tackle the underlying issues that have long led to inequity in higher education -- issues such as unequal funding and lack of adequate K preparation.
And, when discussions are had, they should compare HBCUs to like institutions with similar student populations. It's important to be critical of institutions when they are not graduating students, but it's also important to be fair in those criticisms. Lastly, once the comparisons are fair, HBCU leaders need to look closely at their graduation rates and make it a priority to increase them at a steady pace.
Benchmarking against similarly populated institutions be they HBCUs or PWIs that have achieved better graduation success can be an effective method of making significant change. The best way to keep critics quiet is to show significant gains in student success.
HBCUs can be true to their historic mission of serving the underserved and also be shining examples of the best strategies for educating African-American students.Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.
While black students comprise about 12 percent of college and university enrollment, fewer than half that proportion of faculty are black. Fewer than 5 percent of faculty . Despite being named historically black colleges and universities, it’s actually incorrect to assume that only black students attend these schools.
In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S.
Department of Education, non-black enrollments in were 23 . It includes a discussion with the cast on the significance of pursuing a good education in the Black community and the incomparable value of attending historically black colleges and universities.
Hibel: From the book, The Future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Ten Presidents Speak Out, 2 former President Brown of Savannah State University predicted that, "The future should see historically black colleges and universities very strong.
There will probably be fewer institutions, but those that remain should be strong and. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.
This was because the overwhelming majority of predominantly white institutions of higher-learning disqualified African Americans from enrollment during.