The Benefits of an Historically Black College Education
When black universities were established in the late 1800s, they were essentially the only option for African-Americans to attain a secondary education in our then - segregated society. But even as our social landscape shifts, so do the priorities of the country’s finest historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) as they diversify.
First, there are the obvious advantages:
· Learning and growing in a social setting that fosters pride in heritage and culture.
· Being taught about historically significant events and people from a unique perspective.
· Fostering relationships with successful and distinguished educators.
· Providing a meaningful educational experience to their student bodies.
· More emphasis and access to historically black college scholarships and grants.
A Closer Look
A recent study from the Policy Information Center at Educational Testing Service (ETS) investigating a list of historically black colleges and universities found the paramount benefit of attending these institutions for minorities is:
These colleges steer young people into professions like sciences and engineering, where minorities are most underrepresented. Minority presence in these fields has been in decline due to unqualified graduates, especially when compared internationally.
A second benefit is that graduates in the sciences and engineering also further their educations and gain higher academic honors. A recent study discovered that once graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities enroll in graduate school, black students from these institutions are more likely than black students from traditionally white institutions (TWIs) to remain there. This suggests that HBCU culture is more appealing and helps entering graduate students to be somewhat better prepared for the experience.
HBCUs also generally cater well to their female population. Black females who graduated from HBCUs are more likely to choose business, engineering and academic science as their graduate majors than their counterparts from TWIs, the report found. This counters the common trend of female under representation in those fields.
New Trends and Benefits of Diversity
A new and refreshing trend, as HBCUs diversify their student bodies and curriculum, is that many have begun to reach out, in particular to Hispanics. Just like TWIs were in need of a more diverse environment, providing a more mixed society at Historically Black Colleges and Universities helps ensure that students are prepared for the diversity of the emerging business world.
Administrators maintain that the mission of HBCUs has always been to provide an education for anyone who seeks one. While it is important to embrace African-American history, they said, black colleges must adjust to a changing society to remain a valuable keystone.