Friday, July 25, 2008

Black in America - Day 2

Last night's special focused on African American males and their impact on the black race. I expected some additional facts on education and African Americans, but this was not the subject of last night's broadcast.

As a result, I wanted to focus on the fact that there was a void in the television show about African Americans in higher education. This show missed out on some very strong issues in higher education - HBCUs/HWCUs and the success of African American undergraduates.

Between 1993 and 2003, the enrollment for African American undergraduate students increased more than 42% (Edmonds & McDonough, 2006). In 2006, these numbers reached over 2,299,000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).

According to NCES (2005), the nationwide African American undergraduate enrollment at HWCUs was over 1,734,000 in 2002. However, the graduation rates for these students were very low (Benton, 2001). In fact, over half of the African American undergraduate students enrolled in HWCUs fail to persist and graduate. The picture is worse for African American undergraduate students who attend HBCUs. Only 28% of these students actually complete their degrees (Gasman, Baez, Drezner, et al., 2007)

This leads me to one last sentence: What should HWCUs and HBCUs do about the African Americans (and Hispanic Americans) in higher education? Any suggestions?

-Millennial Professor

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