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Men struggling to finish at black colleges (696 hits)


Just 29 percent of HBCU males finish bachelor's degree in six years

Black men at HBCU's are graduating at declining rates, according the AP article below. This points to a real problem. Where is the problem? One indicator is achievement gaps in high school. If Black graduates are coming out of high school unprepared for college work, then no matter how caring and supportive HBCU campuses may be, we get the results indicated in this study. This is a reality that we must embrace as early as pre-school. In 2007, graduation rates at HBCUs was 28.5% for men and 43.1% for women.

Here is the report of the outcomes of the study by Associated Press:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - They're no longer the only option for African-American students, but the country's historically black colleges and universities brag that they provide a supportive environment where these students are more likely to succeed.

That, though, is not necessarily true.

An Associated Press analysis of government data on the 83 federally designated four-year HBCUs shows just 37 percent of their black students finish a degree within six years. That's 4 percentage points lower than the national college graduation rate for black students. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE


The leadership at iZania.com has made a commitment to the next generation of children with our support of African Centered Education for those in grades K-12. If we don't fix the problem early, the most caring and supportive environment won't make up for students who aren't prepared to learn at the college level.

What are your thoughts about solutions to correct this trend?

Roger Madison
www.izania.com
Posted By: Roger E Madison Jr
Thursday, April 2nd 2009 at 12:21AM
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Part of the problem, I believe, is many come to college unprepared for college life. It’s a huge change; for many it’s the first time they’re living on their own. The social life of fraternities, football and basketball games, parties, etc. can be overwhelming and a lot of guys get caught up in it and by the time they come down from the clouds, they’re so far behind. We need to make sure they understand that they need to be able to prioritize by putting school first, social life second. This is something that should also be explained to the parents, especially parents of first generation college students.

Thursday, April 2nd 2009 at 4:32PM
Clark, you make some good points. But that is the case on all campuses. It was no different for me back in the 60's. Indication are, however, that the decline at HBCUs is greater than other schools -- where many claim that they arejust a number. Where is the caring and nurturing role that HBCUs claim as their strength?

Your analysis fits any college student leaving home for the first time. Are there any viewers who are on HBCU campuses today? What are your experiences? What are the colleges doing to strengthen their profiles?

This type of news turns prospective students away. At one time our HBCUs attracted our best and brightest. Where is the value proposition for our best?


Thursday, April 2nd 2009 at 11:29PM
Roger E Madison Jr
Hey Roger, what would be interesting to see is the percentage breakdown of black males completing degrees at all colleges, vs. the completion rates at HBCUs. Such a study might also shed some light on some of the issues at HBCUs, and how they might be addressed.

But if the issue is HBCUs attracting and keeping black males, and the extent to which they are successful at graduating them, then the focus of such a study should be on the HBCUs themselves. Without having researched the subject, it does appear that the HBCUs need to find a way of articulating their value.

The legacy of these schools is that they provided a quality education for African Americans when other colleges were closed to them, and I think there is still the perception that these schools were “alternatives” and now that educational opportunities have opened up for African Americans, many see them that way still, rather than a first line choice. We need to find a way to promote these schools because they have tremendous value.


Friday, April 3rd 2009 at 4:55PM
Clark,
You raise an interesting question about the comparisons. The answers would be revealing. Here is an excerpt from the AP article:
UNCF, the United Negro College Fund, which represents 39 private HBCUs, said on its Web site the "average graduation rate at HBCU(s) is higher than the average graduation rate for African-Americans at majority institutions" — a claim that is contradicted, both for HBCUs and UNCF members, by the AP's findings.

After inquiries from the AP, the organization removed that statement.

This suggests that things are worse at UNCF schools.

I agree that the problem seems to rest squarely on the HBCUs. The article highlights some of the actions being taken at Philander Smith College, as an example of new strategies. There is tremendous value on these campuses. Our heritage in this country, our striving and achieving is captured in ways on these campuses that can never be duplicated elsewhere. There is more work to be done to reverse this trend.


Friday, April 3rd 2009 at 7:40PM
Roger E Madison Jr
What ever happened to finishing in 4 yrs.?
Friday, April 3rd 2009 at 9:48PM
Earl,

I didn't want o be the first one to ask. When my children went off to school, that was my challnge to them. No fith year seniors. Work hard, stay focused, and finish on time. In fact, I refused to allow my son to have a car on campus. I promised him that I would give him my car if he finished on time. One of the proudest moments in my life as a father was turning over the keys to my car when he marched across that graduation stage -- on time! At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This was not an HBCU school, but the principle remains.

We accepted the challenge because the Registrar at Chapel Hill cautioned us that Black students should take a reduced load to help them to perform better. They were recommending that we plan for our childfrn to graduate in five years! I was insulted, and challenged my son to help prove them wrong. It may have been the most stressful and difficult thing he ever did in his life. But he made us all proud.

Thanks for asking.

Roger
Saturday, April 4th 2009 at 5:33PM
Roger E Madison Jr
Thank you Roger.... I beleive it can be done. I am so glad here that news.
Saturday, April 4th 2009 at 5:52PM
Staying focused and not giving up is the key. Also taking advantage of all resourses will do wonders. My math proffesor just made a comment yesterday that a basket ball player that does well on the court perfects his or her game with practice and that is the same with a students work ethic. Personaly for me a little prayer to stay focused works wonders with me. I learned that my goal is to suceed and I know I have to work hard at it and working hard will pay off. I also taught myself that priorities are very important.
Saturday, April 4th 2009 at 6:21PM
I cant forget the most important thing is beleiving in myself that I can do it cause no one else will do it for me.

Saturday, April 4th 2009 at 6:23PM
Corey, thanks for your feedback. I hope a couple of old guys who have been ther and done that will encourage your to rise to your fullest potential.

Saturday, April 4th 2009 at 7:47PM
Roger E Madison Jr
You are welcome Roger. I am thankful that my father motivates me to stay strong and push foward. Just reading alot of input on this site encourages me aswell and I am truly thankfull to see so many positive and intelegent men and women of color.
Saturday, April 4th 2009 at 7:56PM
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