All Articles Tagged "HBCUs"
There is something about attending a historically black college or university that isn’t always easily summed up in words. There is something special, reverent that—if you are fortunate enough to have attended and graduated from one—you can’t always explain to someone who explored different higher education options. Some people doubt the relevance of an “all black” school in a “real world” that is far from all black. Some dismiss the caliber of education received at HBCUs as sub par.
For those who chose to attend an HBCU when they very easily could have chosen their pick of the litter, you know what others do not. You know that there is no place that can embrace you, challenge you, love you, frustrate you, prepare you and propel you into destiny quite like the right HBCU. You, like I, didn’t reserve your alma mater as a back up plan. You surveyed your myriad options and decided that it, hands down, was the best choice. When others tout their degrees from other institutions they deem more rigorous and acceptable, you smirk because—without taking anything from their accomplishment—you know the truth…and the truth never needs to be argued. It stands alone.
There seems to be a kinship shared amongst graduates of historically black institutions. If you’re out and you come across someone else who graduated from an HBCU, it’s as if there is an immediate commonality, even if he or she attended a different school. “You went to Spelman? Man, I went to Hampton.” And so the conversation goes. It’s almost like we’re all a part of this overarching fraternity. Yet, at the same time there is unending rivalry as well. It is understood that not all HBCUs are created equal. As such, it is common for alumni to one up each other in a quest to solidify their institution of choice as the best.
I recently attended a fundraiser where another attendee asked what school I graduated from. When I responded, he followed with a quick, “Ok, so you graduated from the second best HBCU that exists huh?” Baffled, I asked which institution was considered the best. He informed me that his alma mater, FAMU, was. I chuckled because, again, the truth never needs to be argued.
You see, I am a proud graduate of Howard University, the place we alums affectionately refer to as the Mecca. Like many HBCUs, Howard feels like home. In fact, as you walk onto the hilly campus, you are greeted by a sign that literally says “Welcome Home.” You are surrounded by a sea of beautiful blackness. And while it may seem sometimes that it’s just about looking the part, Howard’s campus is filled with brilliantly beautiful minds. As you walk through the hallways of Douglas Hall, you are reminded of legends who walked those very halls centuries earlier. It is difficult to not be humbled by the sheer weight of the importance that such an institution, and other institutions like it, has played in the history of people of the African Diaspora. It gives me great pride to be associated with such a legacy of excellence.
I recently saw a poster that said that the first African American Supreme Court Justice, African American U.S. Senator, female mayor of a major city, African American female lawyer, African American U.S. governor, African American U.S. Ambassador, African American General in the U.S. Army, and I could go on and on, were all graduates of Howard University. That is what an HBCU education will get you, for those who were wondering. To all of my fellow Bison, I send an “awwwww HU” your way. And to my HBCU companions who didn’t choose Howard, I love you too. But like Kanye, when he hopped on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift, I submit to you “No disrespect to your school, Howard is the best; in fact, it’s the standard.” I kid. Not really.
While I am clearly biased—I unabashedly, indubitably, and unequivocally herald Howard as the best—I am sure that if you are a graduate of a historically black institution that you have a similar pride in your alma mater. Let’s talk about it.
Are you proud that you attend or have graduated from a historically black institution? If so, what sets your school apart from the others?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
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African American entrepreneurship was the topic of a recent summit sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA), the US Department of Education and the White House. As JohnathanHolifield, the co-founder of The America 21 Project and a participant at the summit acknowledges, “We need to create a thrust to complement existing entrepreneurship and small business leadership to ensure that African Americans as well as Latinos and others are connected to the innovation economy.”
According to the Washington Informer, the forum was moderated by Marie Johns, SBA’s Deputy Administrator.
“Our job at the SBA – which boasts 17 development centers on HBCU campuses across the country – is to ensure that innovative ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit can be harnessed, and then transformed into successful businesses,” she said at the forum.
HBCU representatives were central voices to the forum, including Bennett College President Julianne Malveaux as a panelist. Malveaux, who believes that African Americans were the original entrepreneurs in this country, revealed that Bennett College has been assisting with entrepreneurship over the past four years, with the construction of several of its new buildings. The construction of four of the campus’ buildings was a $21 million project in Greensboro, NC that meant economic opportunities for the area’s residents.
“One of the things that I insisted [on], was that the major contractor made sure 50 percent of the [sub-contractors] were people of color. . . [and] that’s the role we [currently] play” in creating black-owned and operated businesses,” he said.
Rutgers University has focused energies on a “Lemonade Day” in Newark, New Jersey. The project is aimed at helping children from kindergarten to age 12 understand entrepreneurship through developing a lemonade stand.
Meanwhile in Charlotte, NC, Ron Stodgill, the director of the Small Business Incubator/Think Tank on Johnson C. Smith’s campus, relays the group’s initiatives to reach businesses in their local area. Although the group is making strides, Stodgill acknowledges that the growth won’t happen overnight.
To that end, Holifield points out one of the black community’s greatest business weaknesses.
“We have in our communities and in our HBCUs, good programs and good support systems,” he said. “but we lack emphasis on explosive-growth for the kinds of companies that are responsible for the disproportionately high amount of jobs [created].”
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When the congressional super committee charged with reducing America’s deficit failed to reach an agreement on what cuts should be made in 2013, some assumed HBCUs, of which their presidents and supporters warned were being targeted, were off the hook. But an article on The Root says not so fast.
Unless a new deal is struck, Historically Black Colleges and Universities could still lose more than $20 million per year in federal support through across-the-board cuts, or they could lose as much as $85 million per year through the normal appropriations process.
“This needs to go at the top of the ‘Must do — now!’ list of everyone who cares about HBCUs,” Michael Lomax wrote in his editorial, encouraging supporters to make their local congressional leaders accountable to the members of their jurisdiction who care about this issue.
Citing the more than 47,000 college graduates produced by HBCUs each year, the 180,000 jobs HBCUs represent, and their $13 billion dollar impact to the nation’s economy, Lomax says this is not the time for the government to back out on its long-standing support of these institutions, particularly as minorities grow in this country.
But do people—specifically the people in power—still want to support HBCUs? Some still hold the view that these institutions promote segregation and question the need for them now that America has become so “racially integrated,” others cite poor graduation rates as proof that HBCUs aren’t serving its students. Unless HBCUs receive large endowments from private parties, it seems unlikely that they won’t at least have to swallow the $20 million losses, further restricting their resources and their ability to adequately prepare its graduates for the work force. And then what will that do to representation of African Americans in the work place?
Do you support HBCUs? Do you believe they are a necessary part of the education system? Do you think the government will eventually try to phase out HBCUs by weaning federal support?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Ah, college. Such a wonderful time of enlightenment, self-discovery and growth. We learned so much about ourselves, the world we live in and, oh yeah, our field of concentration. However, we do wish that there had been a few other classes offered to help us navigate this thing called ‘life’ (*in my Prince voice*). In a dream world, here are some of the college courses that we wish we could have added to our school’s catalogue. We’re sure you’ll agree.
Can you imagine an historic black college with as many non-black students as African-Americans? Thanks to a barrage of recent financial problems, that perplexing thought is not out the realm of possibility. Southern University, a prominent black university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, saw its fall enrollment drop below 7,000 students this season, a decrease of roughly 5 percent from last year.
Conversely, area public colleges Louisiana State (LSU), UL-Lafayette and Southeastern enjoyed modest enrollment gains. Unfortunately, Southern isn’t alone.
Other Historically Black Colleges and Universities are suffering a similar decline. Now the million dollar question: Why the rapid decline in enrollment?
Are blacks turned off by HBCUs?
Are admission standards too strict?
Does the economy play a factor?
Are junior colleges viewed as being a more viable financial option?
Chancellor James Llorens points the finger of blame at a new registration process and financial aid policy that delays cash disbursements; preventing students from satisfying their debts.
“We lost some students just out of frustration,” said Llorens, who vowed the school will make every attempt to bring the students back to the university.
Keep in mind; tuition at HBCUs cost an average of $10,000 less per year than their predominant white counterparts.
The Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta stepped in as the next generous benefactor to rescue Morris Brown College from financial peril. On Sunday the congregation signed a $22,000 check over to the school’s president to help eliminate the university’s debt to the U.S. Department of Education, BET.com reports.
“This May, Morris Brown inked a deal with the federal government that would allow the college to settle its $9.9 million debt for just $500,000. The Department of Education gave Morris Brown until August 24 to make good on the offer. The hefty debt is part of the more than $30 million owed by the college to various creditors and ultimately what caused the college to lose its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2003. Morris Brown accumulated the debt after years of failing to refund unused federal student aid money,” BET.com reports.
As the deadline approached, Rev. Dr. Marvin Moss began a month-long fundraising effort on the school’s behalf that brought in $22,000 from special offerings and online donations from members. Although the payment will ease Morris Brown’s standing with the Department of Education, the process is far from over. The administration will have to wait out a lengthy re-accreditation procedure that could take up to five years.
But for the church, the slow payoff will be worth it. “We recognize the historical significance of Morris Brown College to our community and the world,” Moss said in a statement. “We are grateful that our Cascade members have answered the call during these tough economic times. We are called to be a light in the community so we are pleased to participate in this vital way.”
NEW YORK (August 4th, 2011) — To support Historically Black Colleges and Universities, The Source Magazine is partnering up with the Thurgood Marshall fund for its second annual hottest homecomings of the South tour. The tour is designed to expose these institutions and help increase enrollment.
The two month long tour will consist of both fun-filled and informative events including step shows, concerts (with today’s hottest R&B and Hip Hop artists), comedy shows, fashion shows ( with styles from the latest designers) and an empowerment panel showcasing some of the nation’s top young leaders in film, politics, music and business. The tour is scheduled to kick off in Atlanta, Georgia and run from October through Thanksgiving weekend.
This year’s theme for the tour is “Leaders of the New School”. As a 20 year old media brand, The Source has been at the pulse of popular culture helping to recognize and cultivate tomorrow’s leaders. Whether it be in entertainment, business and or the community The Source
looks to spotlight talent. Each campus will have the opportunity to highlight those students worthy of special recognition and get them featured in The Source.
(AP) — As American colleges and universities gear up to meet a presidential goal to deepen the nation’s pool of college grads, historically black institutions face extra pressure from threats to the financial support that many of their students depend on, the presidents of some colleges said Thursday. About 100 presidents of historically black colleges are meeting in Atlanta and will discuss their role in President Barack Obama’s call for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Meanwhile, Pell Grants are under fire as some members of Congress look at cutting such programs to trim the budget. Many minority students depend on the needs-based grants to stay in school. To meet the president’s goal, John Wilson, executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, says the country will need to produce about 8 million more graduates — 2 million of whom need to be African-American, and 200,000 from historically black colleges.
(FinalCall.com) - To attend an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) or not is the question many Black high school students face every year. New research from Morehouse College economist Gregory N. Price and two fellow economists from Howard University, William Spriggs and Omari H. Swinton, finds graduates of HBCUs do better in the labor market long term than non-HBCU grads. Their report, “The Relative Returns to Graduating from a Historically Black College/University,” considered the benefits of earning a baccalaureate degree from an HBCU compared to a non-HBCU for Black Americans. “Our results lend support to the idea that HBCUs continue to have a compelling educational justification, as the labor market outcomes of their graduates are superior to what they would have been had they graduated from a non-HBCU,” according to their article. The researchers “Suggest that HBCU graduates realize higher earnings relative to non-HBCU. As such, our results lend support to the idea that HBCUs have a comparative advantage in nurturing the self-image, self-esteem and identity of graduates, which theoretically matters for labor market outcomes.”
By Linsey Isaacs
Eight years ago, Microsoft launched a premier technology competition where students incorporate technology to address some of the world’s most challenging social issues, such as hunger, poverty, health care, education and the environment. When Microsoft rounded out its list of competitors for this year’s competition, for the first time in its history, teams from several historically black colleges and universities will be participating.
Why is this the first time that HBCUs are participating in the competition?
Last year, The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities called for the engagement and strengthening of HBCUs. According to Tara Walker, academic developer evangelist for Microsoft, HBCUs have long been liberal arts colleges and therefore overlooked in the recruiting process for these competitions. But these highly recognizable schools are producing students in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Walker immediately made an effort to reach out to them.
“It’s more about awareness,” said Walker. “It’s not a conscious effort to exclude them.”
In the competition, there are two rounds that take place in the fall and the spring. Twenty-four teams between six HBCUs–Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University and Tuskegee University–competed in both rounds this spring. Round one was held on February 15th and the second round was held on March 14. None of the teams made the finals, but Tuskegee was recognized as having an exceptional entry.
The competition provides a dynamic opportunity for students to compete against peers nationally from a bevy of universities. In its first year, there were fewer than 1,000 students that participated. As of last year, more than 325,000 students registered. It originated as a way to get students directly involved in their field and to allow them to learn from mentors and leaders in the industry. As the premier student technology competition, students compete in creating software and media alternatives in order to build solutions that will change the world, said Walker.