HBCUs: Their Relevance and Impact in the 21st Century

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For over 100 years, black colleges and universities have be gaining momentum in society. Questions have risen whether this rise is helping or hindering the educational growth of the students in the 21st century. Since their institution in the early nineteenth century, the goal of HBCU’S has been, “dedicated to the enrichment and advancement “of the African American populace (Holfester). Dating back to the Jim Crow Era, HBCU’s have been the minorities way of gain post-secondary education. And, just as they are acclaimed for their achievements in educating the minority nation, they are criticized for ever changing ways. Black colleges find they constantly must prove their relevance in the educational system unlike their predominantly white counter …show more content…

The purpose behind HBCU’s is the success of a minority class. For the past one hundred years, they have been meeting this purpose. There are an estimated three hundred thousand students that attend historically black colleges each year. Eighty percent of these students are African American (Lomax). HBCU’S produce a disproportionate amount of African American scholars with college degrees. They majority of this minority class who have found success in society, can be tied to HBCU’s. Statistical data taken form the National Center for Education Statistics reports that HBCU’s produce, “one-third of all African American baccalaureate degrees in mathematics… two-fifths of African American degrees in the natural science, …. 50 percent of all African American public educators, 70 percent of the nation's African American dentists, and nearly 50 percent of all African Americans who pursue graduate or professional education” (Brown, 11). The numbers are rather staggering and prove the misconceptions about the lack of professional success false. The problem is, this advantage is one that can only be claimed by a minority group. It is easy to overlook the numbers of success from these schools because they do not serve a dominant group. Inferring from the data, one could …show more content…

They theorize that HBCU’s have more disadvantages to them then predominantly white institutions, and their relevance is rapidly declining. The arguments proposed find HBCU’s to have poor management, high debts, “poor quality of faculty, inadequate degree programs, campus infrastructure, and declining student enrollment” (Holfester). These are major disadvantages that opposers find with HBCU’s. Because of low funding and federal and state support, HBCU’s are often overlooked by high quality professionals. This has also led to faulty equipment and facilities and an inability for these schools to budget accordingly. Most HBCU’s are also located in the south, and racial discrimination during the time of development has place most of these institutions in harsh neighborhoods. Many of the disadvantages that people find with HBCU’s are of no fault on the institutions part. These institutions are given very little help, and are struggling because of what they were created to do. That is to serve the minority class. If these schools were treated like other schools, they could perform better and gain access to better facilities. If HBCU’s were not constantly trying to defend their reason for being, these schools would not have as many problems as they do

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that black colleges and universities have been gaining momentum in society for over 100 years, but questions have risen whether this rise is helping or hindering the educational growth of students in the 21st century.
  • Explains that historically black schools are less expensive than other colleges and universities because they receive less funding from state and federal governments, foundations and corporations.
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