Experts: HBCUs Need to Start Prepping Potential College Students

"Rather than react to perpetual questions about their relevance, HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions should be proactive about drilling down deeper into America’s K-12 systems in order to better prepare students for the demands of a postsecondary education," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.

"That was one of the key points made Thursday at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference during a panel discussion about empowering HBCUs and PBIs. ...

Dr. Monique Guillory-Winfield, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of Southern University System 'related how beliefs persist in some quarters that certain initiatives and policies—such as performance-based funding and the Obama administration’s College Scorecard—are in place to let HBCUs simply 'die on the vine' as they struggle with declining funding and enrollment.

'We have to work to ensure that that does not happen,' Guillory-Winfield said.

Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president at Florida Memorial University, said instruments such as The College Scorecard must take into account the educational backgrounds of students admitted to a given school.

'We all know at HBCUs when we start gathering data and comparing ourselves to one another, somehow HBCUs come out on the bottom,' Artis said. She suggested that any low ratings for HBCUs are often the result of the fact that they admit students with lower levels of academic preparedness and higher levels of poverty, which she said is the biggest predictor of college completion. ...

Artis also called for the restoration of the summer Pell grant in order to help keep students on track during the summer when they would otherwise go home to 'toxic communities' that she said could derail their college plans."

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Publication Date: 9/29/2014

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