HBCU's vital in educating African Americans, students and admini - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

HBCU's vital in educating African Americans, students and administrators say

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Administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities say these institutions are vital now as they were decades ago.  Dr. George T. French, President of Miles College, explains the impact HBCU's have on the nation's African American students. 

"...HBCU's only account for 4 percent of all higher education institutions, yet we graduate 25 percent of all bachelors, 40 percent of all masters, and 50 percent of all doctorates that are earned and awarded in this nation," he said. 

Colleges and universities are putting a greater emphasis on preparing students to work in a global workforce with people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Although largely African American, HBCU's say they are able to meet the demand. 

"While the student population may not be very diverse, the instructors, the faculty, the staff members with which they engage are very diverse," said French.  

Students at Talladega College, another historically black school, find their experience to be both nuturing and rewarding. 

"You have people that look like you who have done what you want to do and they serve in the capacity of teaching you and guiding you. I believe the teachers here don't just serve a role of just teaching. They are counselors, aunts, and uncles," said Derek Brumfield, a student at Talladega College. 

"The faculty and staff know their role. Their role is to give us the proper information and our role is to be receptive and use it," said Clinton McCoy. 

Joshua Ware is a junior at Talladega College.  He went from a majority white high school to an HBCU and found the transition to be rewarding. 

"My previous school...didn't care about me much. Some people were still racist. They didn't care about me," said Ware. Then I come to this environment and I have all of this unconditional love." 

President of Talladega College, Dr. Billy Hawkins, explains its the family atmosphere that HBCU's provide that benefits its students.  He says now and for years to come, such schools are and will be necessary in funneling educated African Americans into the workforce. 

"Its because of that belief that we instill in these students. You are special.  You can succeed academically and when you leave here you can do anything that you choose to do," said Hawkins. 
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