HBCU Alumnae Hesitant to Recommend Black Institutes to Children

BY: - 10 Dec '12 | On the Web

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Last week, the Huffington Post released an article about young, successful Historically Black College and University graduates to look out for in 2013. Despite theses successes, some HBCU alumnae are hesitant to encourage others to attend.

Dr. Jerainne Johnson-Heywood and Dr. Scherise Mitchell-Jordan both attended Morgan State University during the 90’s. Even after expressing gratitude for their college experiences, neither feels inclined to send their children to a predominately black college. A few of their reasons included the lack of freedoms that other schools enjoy such as visitation leniency and study abroad opportunities. They feel that the practices currently used are old and out of touch with today’s culture.

“It is a good environment where professors look like you and share your experience. They have advanced degrees, and you get to see that accomplished black people aren’t just athletes or celebrities. However, there is a stigma of HBCUs that seems to hold graduates back more than it seems to push them forward. It seems that employers, peers in the workplace look down upon you because of your background at an HBCU.”

Many schools have improved their career advisement and customer services over the years, however, alumni spending on HBCUs is below 10-percent with questions increasing about their financial futures. Both Johnson-Heywood and Mitchell Jordan agree that black schools have improved since they attended, but still have much to improve on in order to compete with other universities.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post.

BMWK–Do you agree with their opinions? What positive or negative traits stand out about the progress of HBCUs?

About the author

Stacie Bailey wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Stacie Bailey is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a master's degree in Interactive Communications. She has strong interests in youth, social media and an overall love for sharing knowledge and information.


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9 WordPress comments on “HBCU Alumnae Hesitant to Recommend Black Institutes to Children

  1. Niambi

    I have attended an HBCU and I find it highly offensive that they would say that our counterparts look down on us because we attended an HBCU. When recruiters are looking for the best and the brightest in the African American communities, they usually start at the HBCU’s first because they know the quality of education is up to part. I can speak from my own experience but in my HBCU they pushed us harder because they knew that once we got into the real world what we would be up against. So they didn’t accept any excuses from us. They always taught us how to be two steps ahead of the game because they knew what we would be facing out there. I am proud to have graduated from my HBCU and I would never regret the experience that I had while there.

  2. Kirstin (aka The Travelin Diva)

    I agree with Niambi 100%! Attending Howard University was the best experience for me. We were taught from day one the need to study hard, gain valuable work/life experiences while in school and to put the absolute best foot forward. We were also taught that we had to be 2 if not 3 steps ahead of students from ‘traditional’ schools. Black students at ‘traditional’ schools are not taught that. If my kid had a choice in what college they would attend, I would only put HBCU’s on the table… Any kid of mine is going to HU off the break…lol

    Yes, the administrative side needs work, but that is not enough of a reason for me not to recommend Howard and other HBCU’s. I am disappointed that the authors of that study/article would not recommend their alma mater to today’s black students. Very disappointed! I highly recommend Howard University!

    Kirstin N. Fuller – Bison til I die! Class of 92!

  3. Anthony

    If I had to do it all over again I’d seek out an HBCU. But looking back, I went to high school in the inner-city of Los Angeles, and their college selection didn’t stray too far from the locals. So I would recommend more reaching out, especially where a lot of black and under served students go to school. I ended up at CSU, Long Beach, and I love it. However, most of the time I’m thee only black student in my class and I’m shocked when I have a black professor. I also was looking to join a black fraternity, but there are none on our campus.

  4. Rob C

    Proudddd Lincoln University (1st HBCU) graduate here! My future hubby is, too…and we will definitely encourage our children to attend HBCUs. My siblings went to Howard, so it’s all in the fam. I don’t agree with the statement about there being less opportunities to study abroad, etc. at an HBCU, as I was afforded TREMENDOUS opportunities whilst at Lincoln to study abroad not once, but TWICE…for FREE! Now, I am on track to receive my doctorate next year. I guess to each it’s own…but hey that’s the joy in having kids–you get to rear them however YOU want to!

  5. Coco

    I’m a Tuskegee graduate , there were so many opportunities for us while I was there and those opportunities I heard have increased. I’m tired of hearing HBCU’s are sub-par, it’s insulting and untrue. I know plenty of people who wished they would have went to an HBCU , but decided to go another route. To each their own but my children will be applying HBCU’s when it’s time to apply to college.

  6. Tyler

    While I agree that an HBCU experience has the potential to be extremely beneficial, it isn’t for everyone. I attended a large research-focused public university but am from a predominantly African American community. While the growing pains were tough during my transition, I was adequately prepared for the demographics of the real world. I learned to communicate and develop relationships with people of all races from all over the world. When you’re forced outside of your comfort zone, it becomes almost second nature to find common ground outside of cultural elements with those around you. I agree, Fortune 500 companies look for top AA talent at HBCUs but overall they take more from larger, more well known Unis. It also forced me to stand out amongst a larger pool of candidates which was no easy feat but prepared me for the real world.

    My close friends and brother attended HBCUs and the common criticism that I have heard from them is that they coddled them when it wasn’t necessary. Larger universities inherently have more resources. However, it’s up to the student to find and utilize them effectively. HBCUs with their smaller faculty:student ratio make it easier for students to receive attention. Again, not representative of the real world. Some students need that level of attention to succeed but I wasn’t one of them. At the end of the day, I don’t think you should force or guide your child to attend a certain type of college/university. They’re educational background and learning style should dictate the type of school they should attend.

  7. Terry

    I have told my children that I will only help pay for their education if they attend a HBCU. I am trying to raise consciously aware sons and I feel that HBCUs are the ONLY schools that can educate my sons this way. I will not send my sons to schools that overall teach them to assimilate into a society that fears them, does not respect them, etc. I am looking at the bigger picture. They need an environment that will support them as young black men and can understand the issues facing my sons way better than any white college or university can. More importantly, I am talking about supporting institutions that at one point were the ONLY institutions to accept our children. We need to not just talk about supporting our own but doing just that and watch how these institutions will flourish when we invest our time and money.

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