The Best for Black Students: historically black colleges and universities vs. predominantly white institutions
- State the topic title for the position: Black students acquire greater learning opportunities at historically black colleges and universities and are more successful.
Source #1 – Chiles, N. (2017). HBCUs Graduate More Poor Black Students Than White Colleges. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/03/01/517770255/hbcus-graduate-more-poor-black-students-than-white-colleges
Source #2 – Darrick Hamilton, et al. (2015). Why Black Colleges and Universities Still Matter. Retrieved from https://prospect.org/article/why-black-colleges-and-universities-still-matter
Source #3 – New, J. (2015). Positive News for HBCUs. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/10/28/survey-finds-big-differences-between-black-hbcu-graduates-those-who-attended-other
Source #4- Toldson, I. (2018). Why Historically Black Colleges and Universities are Successful with Graduating Black Baccalaureate Students Who Subsequently Earn Doctorates in STEM (Editor’s Commentary). The Journal Of Negro Education, 87(2), 95-98.
- Statement the problem:
The historically black colleges and universities versus predominantly white institutions discourse has gone on for a long time. Black students who attend HBCUs feel that fellow black students who attend PWIs are missing out on the true black experience and do not appreciate black culture. On the other hand, black students who attend PWIs feel that the quality of education at historically black colleges and universities is low and is not a match to the superior education they attain from predominantly white institutions due to the high level or rigor and increased workload. The comparison goes on to include completion rates, assimilation, as well as, the number of successful and socially influential black people emanating from either historically black colleges and universities or predominantly white institutions. Nonetheless, the provision of vast learning opportunities of learning, supportive faculty and stereotype-safe learning environment by HBCUs renders them more ideal for black students compared to predominantly white institutions.The Best for Black Students
- Methodology: (guiding theory- related to your topic)
- Constructivism theory. Constructivism theory refers to the concept that individuals are responsible for formulating their own understanding of the world and utilizing their knowledge based on previous experiences in the process of linking novel information to these experiences.
- Source of the theory: https://www.educationdegree.com/articles/educational-learning-theories/
- Since people utilize their experiences and new information to construct their own meaning of things, constructivism is applicable in the historically black colleges and universities versus predominantly white institutions debate in that it contemplates the opinions, experiences and outcomes of black students and graduates to determine which institution is ideal for providing education to black students and helping them succeed in future careers and lives.
- Quantitative or Qualitative Research:
- Point 1 – Historically black colleges and universities remain at the forefront of providing learning opportunities to black students that were previously unavailable.
- According the research entitled “A Look at Black Student Success,” there is a significant gap between the graduation rates of white students and black students. It has been difficult for individuals from low-income families to acquire college degrees, with the federal statistics evincing that people from households whose income falls in the top quartile of Americans are eight times more likely to acquire college degrees than individual from households whose income falls in the lowest quartile (Chiles, 2015). While many predominantly white institutions of learning may brag about the high graduation rates, household income plays a significant role in fostering this trend. Most of these PWIs enroll students from high-income households. This means that they possess the requisite financial backing to facilitate their enrollment and graduation from the predominantly white institutions. While a considerable portion of black students can afford to attend these PWIs on their high and middle household incomes together with the backing of student loans and scholarships, the majority of students from the black community do not have sufficient funds to ensure their smooth learning and graduation from PWIs. Fortunately, historically black colleges and universities continue to foster the attainment of degrees by black students through the provision of affordable and suitable education.The Best for Black Students
- A common criticism of historically black colleges and universities is their lack of diverse academic environment in terms of having students from other races. As such, black students graduating from these institutions of higher learning find it difficult to assimilate in a predominantly white working environment. Chiles (2015) disputes this assertion in his report by stating that currently, most historically black colleges and universities can boast of a more diverse student body. This is because over the last decade, HBCUs have improved their enrollment of white and Hispanic students significantly. The report by Gasman in 2011 revealed that white students made up thirteen percent of the national enrollment in historically black colleges and universities while Hispanics totaled three percent. Thus, black students in HBCUs also benefit from a diverse student body.
- Point 2 – HBCUs offer black students a family-like and empowering learning experience that is characteristic of a stereotype safe environment.
- Historically black colleges and universities are contemplated as safe learning environments for black students where they can receive education devoid of racial tensions. Moreover, these institutions of higher learning foster close student-faculty relationships for black students that they may find difficult achieving in predominantly white institutions. Such attributes explain why institutions considered to be under-resourced such as Xavier University in New Orleans continue to produce black doctors. Such an achievement at Xavier University is facilitated by the institution’s commitment to enhancing expectations of success among its students and faculty and countering social stigma. The outcome of these efforts is a formidable curriculum that fosters cooperative student environments devoid of racial hostility and entails fervent peer study groups and hands-on instruction.
- Skeptics of historically black colleges and universities claim that the leaning in predominantly white institutions makes it easier for black students to assimilate in a predominantly white academic and working environment. However, this is not true for most black students who have experienced and continue to experience difficulties adjusting to such predominantly white institutions. This is because they are incessantly confronted with racial tension and feel secluded among their peers. Also, they lack the close student-faculty relationship that black students enjoy in historically black colleges and universities. Thus, while some black students may benefit from predominantly white institutions by learning how to fit in well in white settings, a significant portion of black students in PWIs find it difficult to assimilate into the system.
- Point 3 – Black students gain a more meaningful experience at historically black colleges and universities compared to black graduates from other institutions of higher learning.
- Based on the survey conducted by Gallup-Purdue University, there are still visible challenges surrounding loan default rates and completion rates, but the data brings to light a whole novel dimension to the conversation regarding the value of HBCUs (New, 2015). More than half of the black correspondents stated that they not only thrived in the purpose well-being at HBCUs but also obtained sufficient preparation for life outside of college from these institutions of higher learning. This shows that even though historically black colleges and universities are struggling in certain areas, they achieve immense success in providing better college experiences for black students than they would get in predominantly white institutions.The Best for Black Students
- An essential takeaway point from this research is that immense focus has been placed on the shortcomings and struggles of HBCUs by many studies and the media. Nonetheless, this cannot overshadow the profoundly discordant experience that black students obtain from historically black colleges and universities. There is a genuine care for the needs of black students at these institutions of higher learning and the faculty is more committed to helping the students succeed in life. Thus, albeit the completion or graduation rate of black students is brought to question often, these scathing reports cannot take away from the students the meaningful experience they get in HBCUs that they are incapable of achieving in predominantly white institutions of learning.
- Point 4 – Historically black colleges and universities produce socially influential graduates and are successful in producing graduates who proceed to earn Doctorates in STEM.
- Proponents of predominantly white institutions state that black students achieve more success by learning in these institutions instead of historically black colleges and universities. Their main point of reference is normally the presence of highly successful black executives and social influential black people who graduate from PWIs. A good example is former United States president Barack Obama who studied at a predominantly white institution. Nonetheless, this argument or point of view omits the presence of numerous highly successful and socially influential black individuals who graduated from historically black colleges and universities. For instance, Thurgood Marshall, former U.S. Supreme Court judge attended black schools but ended up shaping the social and political scope of the country significantly through landmark cases. Thus, instead of focusing only on successful and socially influential black graduates from predominantly white institutions, broader research would reveal a highly significant number of black graduates from HBCUs. Toldson (2018) reiterates this point by stating that HBCUs share a common mission of providing and improving educational opportunities for undeserved communities. Moreover, they are uniquely positioned to increase the number of black students who proceed to pursue degrees and careers in STEM.