HBCUs. Blessing! Or a Curse?

As we may know, there are a lot of black scholars who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) throughout the U.S. Though it is good that some people of the race decide to continue their education after secondary school, a significant question still remains: Is it a blessing or a curse to be a graduate from an HBCU?

Attending an African American institution founded with the purpose of educating African Americans, expresses the continuation of social progress for black people and the importance of education. Choosing to continue their education, students demonstrate that knowledge is power and education is the key to success.

After interviewing several distinguished and concerned scholars, all with collegiate level teaching experience, they expressed their views and opinions about the education that HBCUs have to offer. Individuals should consider several factors when deciding whether or not to attend an accredited HBCU. Although HBCUs teach higher learning, controversy still remains when some individuals argue that HBCUs, do not offer the same level of learning, teaching and opportunity to succeed in life as other non-HBCU accredited institutions. While scholars offer their opinions, they use the provided data to support their thoughts.

Some argued that accredited HBCUs do not offer the same level of education as other non-HBCU accredited institutions. To support their arguments they referred to https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/ data of graduation rates, tuition rates and average starting salary of graduates in the same geographic  proximity as non-HBCU accredited schools. Furthering the support of their arguments, they include that non-HBCU institutions tend to have tougher admission requirements. The distinguished scholars ask the question,  “Why do you think most professors at HBCU’s did not earn their degrees from an HBCU?”    After posing these questions, I conducted an informal survey of 6 faculty members at an HBCU and found that only 1 out of 6 earned a degree from an accredited HBCU.

Other individuals argued that HBCUs are just as good as any other academic institution and, the standards of the school  depends on its students. Each scholar stated that education is available for all students through various resources such as books, professors and research databases. However, it depends mainly on the students to use and apply what the school has to offer for any of its resources to be useful. Most people who participated in the survey believed that HBCUs are just as good a value as any other school, and success after graduation depends totally on the student, and has little to do with the school: opinions can be referenced through  HBCU Survey. Some felt as though HBCU graduates tend to be the underdogs of college graduates and being so, they recommended that HBCU students should enhance their work ethic during their academic pursuit, as it would convey excellence in professional settings.

Though it is not proven, a lot of the interviewees stated that employers may have an academic bias. They stated that some employers may assume that an individual who graduated from an  Predominantly White Institution (PWI), received  a better education than those who attended an HBCU. Due to the assumption, employers may view non-HBCU graduates better fit for a job or position.

Interviewees stated to keep in mind that college is a huge investment and to always weigh out your options before attending any school. Though the graduates had different preferences from one another, each stated that the continuation of education is what matters the most. Keep in mind that one should only attend an institution if it offers the skills and training needed to be successful in the work field of ones choice.


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