Historically black colleges face challenges and opportunities

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reflects on the opportunities and challenges facing historically black colleges and universities:

Once a beacon of hope for thousands of Black students denied access to higher education by predominantly White institutions, historically Black colleges and universities have educated generations of Black scientists, doctors, lawyers, educators and social activists. But today, these institutions face serious challenges. Questions of relevance have reached a fever pitch as today’s Black colleges work to address declining enrollment, low graduation rates and financial instability. Despite the challenges, however, HBCUs for many Black students – and others – remain the last best hope of succeeding in the higher education arena. As the age-old debate for and against Black colleges rages on, Diverse has identified five threats facing HBCUs and five opportunities that could define their futures.


Prolonged Recession, Funding and Development Issues

Getting Students and Keeping Them

New Competition

Conservative Ethos/Constricting Campus Culture

Fear of Impending Closure


Safe Place

Decoders of Disparities

Specialty Programs


Global Influence

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Episcopal Colleges are St. Paul’s, Virginia, Voorhees, South Carolina, St. Augustine’s, North Carolina, and Cuttington, Liberia.

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