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Are Race Relations Responsible for the Surge in HBCU Enrollment?

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Are Race Relations Responsible for the Surge in HBCU Enrollment?


BY   Shantell E. Jamison
PUB   Ebony [/two_fifth][three_fifth_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”][perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]A survey finds that some HBCUs are seeing as high as a 39 percent increase in student enrollment[/perfectpullquote]This past year was quite eventful for college campuses, with students of color exercising their frustration with the racial climate of their universities in the form of protests.

And a survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed found that many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), are seeing a surge in enrollment in response to the discrimination.

According to the survey’s researchers, less than 25 percent of college and university professors thought race relations on campuses other than their own were good or excellent during the 2015-16 school year. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed believed race relations on their own campuses were just fine. [mc4wp_form id=”6042″][/three_fifth_last]

[two_fifth padding=”0 25px 0 10px”]Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING, U.S.[/two_fifth][three_fifth_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”]Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African American community. They have always allowed admission to students of all races.

There are 107 HBCUs in the United States, including public and private institutions, community and four-year institutions, medical and law schools. Most were created in the aftermath of the American Civil War and are in the former slave states, although a few notable exceptions exist.

Most HBCUs were established after the American Civil War, often with the assistance of northern religious missionary organizations. However, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1837) and Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) (1854) , were established for blacks before the American Civil War. In 1856 the AME Church of Ohio collaborated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, a predominantly white denomination, in sponsoring the third college Wilberforce University in Ohio. Established in 1865, Shaw University was the first HBCU in the South to be established after the American Civil War.

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines a “part B institution” as: “…any historically black college or university that was established before 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” Part B of the 1965 Act provides for direct federal aid to Part B institutions.

Of the 107 HBCU institutions in the United States today, 27 offer doctoral programs and 52 provide graduate degree programs at the Master’s level. At the undergraduate level, 83 of the HBCUs offer a bachelor’s degree program and 38 of these schools offer associate degrees. HBCUs are distinctive institutions in that they make up only 3% of the nation’s institutions of higher learning.

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