My Quest To Teach

June 12, 2015

Still a Need for HBCU’s in the 21st Century

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 3:22 am

Still a Need for HBCU’s in the 21st Century Part 1 & 2
by William Jackson, Instructor at Edward Waters College
Educational Technology

“If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand
that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong
enough to get out of the ghetto.” Carter G. Woodson

As the summer progresses and HBCU students that are not
attending summer programs relax and recharge for another
academic year, fall semester will start in a couple of months.
HBCU students still should be mindful to enhance skills that
will increase their Marketability for their future careers and
build their Brands.
There is a growing attack against HBCU’s so they must be
prepared to continue to academically prepare students to
make sure they are capable, credible, and certified to compete
in careers that are diverse and on international levels.

The continued need for Historically Black Colleges and
Universities can be heard in media circles like the Tom Joyner
Morning Show,,, and
that promotes the benefits and societal contributions of
HBCU students.
The charge for HBCU’s is to take students that other
institutions will not invest in and nurture them to move past
the challenges that keep them from growing and advancing.

When transitioning from high school to higher education HBCU’s
serve a purpose in providing a needed traditional approach to
providing educational services that many students still need
either in counseling, tutoring and remedial services. Students
are more than just test scores, they are more than just data entered
into spreadsheets. They deserve a chance to change, they
deserve a chance to rise to levels thought unobtainable.

There will always be critics of HBCU’s, claiming HBCU’s have
“no legitimate purpose” ( 2011), the truth is seen in students
that are involved in careers integrating STEAM/STEM and technology.
The graduation ceremonies in diverse disciplines that touch the world
and influence lifestyles.

Black students accepted into PWI’s and rejecting them, turning to
HBCU’s as their institutions of choice. HBCU’s may have lower
entrance standards this can be justified because young adults are
given opportunities to earn their degrees and provided support in a
nurturing, culturally and ethnically familiar environment. My experience
as an instructor at Edward Waters College, an HBCU in Jacksonville,
Florida; students are unique because of their age and maturity. Some
already have families, jobs and other responsibilities; yes there are the
“traditional” freshmen, first generation students, challenged students,
those looking for a “second chance” in society. HBCU’s provide many
services that are not academic, they are influential to a student’s success.

A quote that has Islamic origins, “Whoever will not endure the
affliction of being taught, will stay forever in the debasement of

Need for HBCU’s in the 21st Century Part 2

“Philosophers have long conceded, however, that every man has
two educators: ‘that which is given to him, and the other that which
he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more
desirable. Indeed all that is most worthy in man he must work out
and conquer for himself. It is that which constitutes our real and
best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the
mind like that which we teach ourselves.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-education of the Negro

HBCU’s provide a chance to improve and look past mistakes of their
students, what sometimes society tries to throw away and claim they
are unsalvageable, an opportunity to grow and change for the better.
Stated by Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., “People often think of HBCU’s
as places that find services for needy students. This is just
one argument made to justify HBCU’s existence. HBCU’s do things
that majority of college don’t do, that they are more sensitive to
certain things.”

HBCU’s recognize; students are allowed to enroll to get their lives back
on track. Unique to HBCU’s instructors have real world experience in the
areas they teach, they have a unique perspective that allow teaching to be
focused; their desire to see students succeed is strong because there is a
vision and mission to the rewards of education are apparent.

The quotes of the past are still a reflection of the present and the
future, “If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry
about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do
not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man
feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior
status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly
an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without
being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro

HBCU’s graduate 40 percent of African Americans who obtain degrees in
the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields,
50 percent of those who go on to become professors and 60 percent of those
who major in engineering. HBCU’s take a risk on students, giving them a
chance when non Black institutions (PWI’s) may not consider the potential
within Black, Hispanic, Latino, Mexican, Haitian and South American students.
The President of Spelman Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. comments on the benefits
of HBCU’s and the help they provide students, “what I don’t like is the continued
question of why HBCU’s are still needed.” “Just from the examples stated they
are needed now and in the future.”

As an educator over 25 years I’ve learned that education does not always open
doors, change minds and the perceptions of Blacks, but it empowers their spirit
and the mind to press on to overcome challenges that society has; Maya Angelo
wrote in “Still I Rise” holds true, not to let the challenges of life and the low
expectations of people even family members stop you from growing into a better

Many HBCU teachers, teach from the heart and their experiences not from the
microchip or from GOOGLE. HBCU’s are important because they recognize the
human element of learning and the growth and potential of their students, teaching
“common sense” is important. Malcolm X’s statement about education can still
can be applied even in the 21st century.
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who
prepare for it today.” HBCU’s prepare future scholars that will influence the world
in many career fields. This nation and the world benefits from HBCU students.

Blogs from students attending Educational Technology EDU TECH 250

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