All Articles Tagged "college"
Colleges and universities are standalone institutions. When you graduate, your diploma says you went to one particular school. But colleges also tend to fall into categories that group them into a special place in higher education. For example, the party schools. The liberal arts schools. The Ivy League. The colleges with great sports programs.
And the HBCUs.
Last week, we tweeted this NPR interview between John Silvanus Wilson, the new president of Morehouse, and “Tell Me More” host Michel Martin. The interview covered a wide range of topics — from the financial struggles that HBCUs face to the low level of alumni giving to the need for operational improvement at black colleges where the financial aid office gets the most criticism from alums.
But the big question is this: Do we still need HBCUs?
A former executive director for an Obama initiative on historically black colleges and universities, Wilson said this about the continued need for these institutions: “They continue to serve a special function. We have a better time graduating students. It is a more nurturing environment, in some cases.”
But, he said, “It is because, as many people are recognizing across higher education, black and white, the value proposition and the financial model, particularly for liberal arts institutions – they are under a lot of stress.”
HBCUs at one point provided an opportunity for African Americans to go to college when other schools wouldn’t allow it. Now that the options are broad, students still choose the HBCUs for the unique experience they offer.
But, according to Wilson, HBCUs haven’t done, what women’s colleges have done. Women’s colleges, at one point,offered opportunity to a group that wouldn’t otherwise have had a chance at a college education. But today women’s colleges are thriving where HBCUs struggle.
“So you see Wellesley and Smith and Mount Holyoke doing major capital campaigns, just like … the more sophisticated institutions in higher education,” said Wilson. “You have to remain sophisticated, and you have to remain up-to-date with the current definition of institutional strength in higher education. That has not happened to the same degree with HBCUs, and I would say that with the all-male institutions we lag in that respect as well.”
According to one reader, Tiarra Currie, who talked with us on Twitter about this topic, she chose Syracuse and Columbia’s Teacher’s College, in part, because what she heard from HBCU alumni convinced her it wasn’t the right environment for her.
“When I hear tales from HBCU students, the most common commentary is unorganized, lack of financial aid, and homecoming,” she told us in an email.
As a women’s college grad, my personal experience was one that was, to use Wilson’s word, current. The roles and needs of women have evolved, both individually and in society. Women’s colleges, in my experience, have tried and — in many ways — succeeded in keeping up with that.
If you went to an HBCU, I’d be curious to hear if you think black colleges have done a good job of keeping up with their evolving student body.
But by no means, does that imply that women’s colleges, or any college, for that matter, has it figured out completely. The New York Times reported just a few days ago that colleges and higher education associations are making it a “priority” to better meet the needs of a student population that’s a little older and more interested in part-time coursework, online classes, and other untraditional options. By taking these steps, they hope that graduation rates will rise.
Moreover, the job market is making a college education seem extraneous. New Labor Department research shows that nearly half — 48 percent — of people with a four-year degree are doing a job that doesn’t require one. However, The Christian Science Monitor points out that people who have a college degree make more money.
“At the same time, the story of economic progress is one of continuous development of new tools and the skills to use them – and good jobs will flow to nations that can keep pushing further down this path,” writes the article.
So the issue isn’t whether we need higher education. It’s whether that education is meeting modern needs. Which has less to do with HBCUs or women’s colleges or party schools. It’s a transformation that all schools of every stripe have to make to meet the challenges of the modern world.
With so many adults (people over the age of 25) going back to school, Black Enterprise has four things you should keep in mind if this is a step you’re considering. Besides cost, there are lifestyle issues to consider.
“Family members will need to understand your absence from their activities, like football, basketball, dance, etc. Timing is important before making a decision like this, because support is crucial to achieving success in all areas, including the home, work and school,” the article says.
In other words, deciding to go back to school is a life-altering decision. For more about what you should be thinking about before taking the plunge, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.
A study released this past Tuesday by the Education Department revealed that the high school graduation rate is the highest it has been in thirty-five years, reports The Wall Street Journal. Data from the study showed that in 2010, 78.2 percent of high school students received their diploma in four years. This is actually a 2.7 percent increase from the previous year.
According to the Associated Press, education officials believe that the upward swing in graduation rates is reflective of the competition for new jobs and our nation’s suffering economy. The national dropout rate that year was a mere 3 percent. While rates are up, more than one-fifth of students were still unable to graduate in four years. Many of those who were unable to complete their curriculum in four years remained in school for an additional two or more years to finish.
“If you drop out of high school, how many good jobs are there out there for you? None. That wasn’t true 10 or 15 years ago,” Arne Ducan, Education Secretary expressed to the Associated Press.
“When I grew up on the South Side of Chicago it wasn’t great, but I had lots of friends who dropped out and they could go work in the stockyards or steel mills and they could buy a home, support a family, do OK.”
The study also revealed that students are more likely to drop out of school during their senior year. An estimated one in twenty are expected to drop out before graduation day. Locations with the highest dropout rates include: Arizona, Mississippi and Washington D.C., concluded a previous study by the department.
“The trends are hopeful but our high school dropout rate is still unsustainably high and it’s untenable in many of our African-American and Latino communities. We have a long way to go here. There’s no young person who aspires to be a high school dropout. When someone drops out, it’s a symptom of a problem. It’s not the problem itself. Something has gone radically wrong,” said Duncan.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is partnering with its local television station, WRAL-TV, on a fellowship program to encourage diversity within broadcast journalism. In its first year, the fellowship will run from March 13 to 17, and the deadline for applicants has been extended to January 25.
Dr. C.A. Tuggle, Reese Felts Distinguished Professor and head of the electronic communication specialization at UNC-Chapel Hill said WRAL general manager Steve Hammel initially approached the school after working with a similar program at Arizona State University.
“Lots of people are of the opinion that local television news quite often does not reflect visually the makeup of the market,” Tuggle told Madame Noire. “Local TV news as a whole has been talking for 10 years or more about how we need to develop more diversity in the ranks of news reporters, news anchors, news managers and more. This is a way to do that. If we can get an idea of who these students are, we can track their careers and build a pipeline.”
Students can apply if they are a graduating senior or a graduate student finishing his or her program this year at any college or university. The deadline was originally December 31, but due to the holidays, the program decided to extend the application period. Tuggle said that has been fruitful, and since early January, they have seen interest from students not only from UNC, but also Texas, Kentucky, and even abroad.
During the five-day intensive, 10 to 15 students will work with UNC professors and WRAL employees to learn more about what to expect upon entering the industry full-time and will gain on hands-on reporting experience. Because students should already be versed in the industry, as they are graduating this year, the program will mostly work to help them get polished up to head out into the workforce.
“On the resume reels sent to potential employers, they typically want to see three solid stories, so the main goal is to help the students develop their first story,” Tuggle said. “One that really shines and can be a selling point for the job applicant.”
Tuggle also highlighted the importance of reaching students as young as high school age, teaching them about journalism and working to build a diverse industry. This is the first year of UNC-WRAL program, so hopefully it will continue to grow and inspire other groups to work to increase diversity in broadcast journalism.
More evidence of the browning of America. The eighth edition of Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates, released by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), found that the population of U.S. high school graduates is rapidly growing more racially and ethnically diverse. There was also a modest decline in the number of graduates after almost two decades of sustained growth. The former means that the pool of potential college students will be more diverse.
“These two trends will define the ‘new normal’ for our colleges and universities—and will require those of us working in higher education to change the way we do business,” said David Longanecker, president of WICHE, which published Knocking at the College Door with support from ACT and the College Board, in a press statement.
This shift in the demographics of high school students will require policymakers and practitioners to address the needs of traditionally underrepresented groups.
“Institutions will no longer be able to rely on growth in the number of traditional-aged students to boost funding. At the same time, the changing demographics of our high school graduating classes will mean greater demand for a college education from students we traditionally have not served well,” stated Longanecker. “Higher education must commit to finding innovative, cost-effective ways to prepare those students to succeed in our 21st century global economy.”
According to the study, The District of Columbia, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont all saw declines in high school enrollment (losses of 15 percent or more). And the new stats in the press release indicate that by 2019/2020, 45 percent of the nation’s public high school graduates are projected to be non-white, up by more than seven percent over the class of 2009.
Driving this trend is the rapid increase in the number of Hispanics completing high school — between the 2008/2009 and 2019/2020 school years, the number of white public high school grads will drop by 228,000, while Hispanic graduates will increase by 197,000. However, there is a disturbing drop among African-American enrollment and completion. The number of black non-Hispanics is expected to drop by 41,000.
Also expected to drop are the number of people enrolled in college. Moody’s Investors Service says the income crush and uncertain job landscape is keeping students away.
“Before the financial crisis of 2008, colleges and universities routinely raised tuition and saw little impact on the number of prospective students who applied. Indeed, some private colleges said that applications actually increased when they bolstered prices, apparently because families equated higher prices with quality,” The New York Times reports.
What do we need to do to raise educational interest from black students?
Wells Fargo presented the United Negro College Fund with a check for $3 million during the “34th Annual An Evening With the Stars” event, which will air on BET on January 27. This is the latest contribution from Wells Fargo to educational programs and, specifically, the UNCF and programs benefiting minorities on the path to college.
The money will be distributed over three years ($1 million each year) with the donation going towards pre-college programs including: raising awareness about the importance of college; helping families with financial planning, working with the UNCF Empower Me Tour; and financial aid for college students, such as those who are taking part in the Wells Fargo Scholarship Program.
Wells Fargo is a sponsor of the two-hour “Evening With the Stars” program. Chaka Khan, Usher, Trey Songz, and Yolanda Adams are among the performers and presenters at this year’s event.
There’s still a little more time before college students head back to class. And while the holidays are a time for rest and catching up with family and friends, Black Enterprise suggests that it’s also a good time to work on building that post-graduate career.
“To fully benefit from your vacation, you must come up with a winter break game plan that will keep you on track with your socialization AND career goals,” the site writes. Among the things you could be doing are preparing for the next semester and look for internships.
Don’t worry! There’s time for some fun too. But keeping your eye on the prize will help you stand out from those who simply lounged around during their time off. For more, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
This year has been a great year to learn more about your own finances, how to start your own business, manage your finances and be savvy while doing so, according to Madame Noire Business. From small business tips on how to create your own mobile app as a small business to tips on preparing for the next tax season, MN Biz has informed, introduced and changed the way we see the business and financial part of our lives. Yesterday, we took a look at the big issues we covered over the past six months. Today, we look back on some of the best business advice from Madame Noire in 2012.
I became business editor here at Madame Noire on July 16. Since then, we’ve been working to bring you the most important and interesting stories about black businesses and entrepreneurs, the economy and politics, technology, and entertainment and media.
Here’s our look back at the hot stories and topics that affected the bottom half of this eventful year. Of course, we’re constantly looking for story ideas and feedback. So feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @MadameNoireBiz, and Facebook us on our page here (which will be hosting a chat about budgeting and money-saving tomorrow at 3pm).
Thanks readers for joining us this past year… Happy holidays!!
Unemployment Numbers Get Better… Sort of
Unfortunately, unemployment is a big problem for the black community. The latest jobs numbers show that things are slowly on the upswing, but we’re still dealing with joblessness among blacks that far exceeds the national average. In an effort to get people back to work, there are programs like this. And on the topic of jobs, people around the country are asking whether workers need unions. In Chicago, the teachers union went on strike and has spoken out about what they see as racism in the public education system.
It’s a select group of college students who can claim the title of a Rhodes Scholar. This year, a record three African-American female students were just chosen for the honor.
Joy A. Buolamwini, Rhiana E. Gunn-Wright, and Nina M. Yancy will be off to study at the UK’s Oxford University next year. The three women beat out 1,700 other American students who sought the scholarship.
The Rhodes Scholarships are considered by many to be the most prestigious awards given to U.S. college students. It was created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, an industrialist who made a fortune in colonial Africa. “Each year, 32 Americans are named Rhodes Scholars. The scholarships provide funds for two or three years of graduate study at Oxford University in Britain,” writes The Journal of Blacks in Education (JBHE).
Rhodes Scholars are also picked from 14 other destinations around the world for a total of about 80 Rhodes Scholars worldwide annually. Among the famous Rhodes Scholars are United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Newark Mayor Cory Booker; Apprentice winner, entrepreneur Randal Pinkett; and former President Bill Clinton.
While their numbers are few, there have been other black Rhodes Scholars, such as Alain LeRoy Locke. He was awarded a scholarship in 1907 and went on to become a major philosopher and literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance. “It is generally believed that at the time of the award the Rhodes committee did not know that Locke was Black until after he had been chosen,” reports JBHE. The next African-American Rhodes Scholar wasn’t selected until 1962, when John Edgar Wideman, now an author and professor at Brown University, was chosen. Other African-American Rhodes Scholars include Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School; Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore and now dean of the law school at Howard University; and Franklin D. Raines, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and former CEO of Fannie Mae. The first African-American woman selected as a Rhodes Scholar was selected in 1978, Karen Stevenson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The new awardees are already off to a great start. Buolamwini, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and computer science major, is currently working at the Carter Center in Atlanta. She has founded or co-founded three businesses. At Oxford, she wants to obtain a degree in African studies. Yale University graduate Gunn-Wright holds a Bachelor’s degree in African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She has been working at Women’s Policy Research and plans a Master’s degree in comparative social policy at Oxford. Unlike the other two, Yancy is a still in school. She is senior at Harvard University where she majors in social studies. She has interned at CNN, the Center for American Political Studies and in the British House of Commons. She is also a member of the Harvard Ballet Company. Yancy plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in global health science as a Rhodes Scholar.