Educator Letting World Know About Contributions of HBCUs - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Educator Letting World Know About Contributions of HBCUs

Email




by

This past week, I participated in the Salzburg Global Seminars, which have taken place in Salzburg, Austria, since 1947. The seminar’s theme is “Optimizing Talent – Closing Education and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide.” One of the participants in the seminar is Gilbert Rochon, the president of Tuskegee University. Although the seminar is focused on countries across the world (e.g., Russia, Korea, South Africa, England, Brazil, and the United States) and many of the participants were not familiar with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Rochon inserted many comments and examples related to the contributions and successes of HBCUs into the seminar conversations.

I interviewed Rochon and asked him about the role that HBCUs play in terms of alleviating inequities. In his opinion, HBCUs advance equity in three significant ways.

First, they enroll low-income, first-generation, and often underprepared African American students and add immense value to their lives, giving opportunity when many other institutions do not.

Second, HBCUs involve students in hands-on undergraduate research, working directly with faculty members. These mentoring/apprenticeship relationships lead to increased participation in the graduate and professional programs. For example, HBCUs are the number-one producers of Black architects, veterinarians, and African Americans who pursue medical degrees.

And, lastly, they help the United States meet its STEM mission by producing 23 percent of Blacks in the sciences—a disproportionate number given that HBCUs only make up 3 percent of American colleges and universities.

Rochon also pointed out that 85 percent of HBCU students are on some type of financial aid, demonstrating these institutions’ commitment to educating, serving, and empowering low-income students. He also pushed back at critics of HBCUs that claim that these institutions are not playing a significant role.

  New Orleans’ Black Colleges Prepare to Reopen in January

Rochon highlighted an article in the Washington Monthly that evaluated colleges and universities based on students’ anticipated graduation rates and institutions’ ability to exceed that rate; HBCUs fare well on this evaluation. This evaluation system, he says, is much more equitable in that it takes into account students that are low-income, Pell grant eligible, first generation, and often underprepared. It also tracks an institution’s ability to increase social mobility and its involvement in the community. 

I am glad that Gilbert Rochon was at this seminar in that people around the world need to know more about the contributions of HBCUs, especially their efforts to combat inequity. All too often only the most elite institutions garner attention outside the United States. It is time for other countries that want to add value to their students’ lives to look to HBCUs as role models. Conversation across international lines will not only inform others but they will strengthen HBCUs by bringing new ideas and opportunities their way.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Idaho Initiative Helps Admit 20,000 Students to College BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho State Board of Education has announced that more than 20,000 high school students have been admitted to Idaho’s public colleges and universities. According to the board, this is the third year students with qualifying grad...
Handling of Sexual Violence Examined at Hampton U., William and Mary HAMPTON, Va. — Federal officials are investigating the handling of campus sexual violence at Hampton University and the College of William and Mary. The Daily Press reports that the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigatin...
Regents Detail Secret Harreld Meetings During U. of Iowa Search IOWA CITY, Iowa — A majority of University of Iowa governing board members have described under oath how they secretly recruited Bruce Harreld weeks before hiring the businessman as president, circumventing the Iowa Open Meetings Law, court records s...
Report: University of Kansas Women Faculty Still Minority LAWRENCE, Kan. — A recent report says women faculty are still in the minority at the University of Kansas, where they’re also twice as likely to resign from their posts as male colleagues. The Lawrence Journal-World says university economics profe...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *