Friday, October 29, 2010

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

The JBHE Bulletin is a great resource for information on higher education for Black parents. To subscribe to their weekly bulletin for updates, visit Here are a few old post relevant to parents and teachers:

Articles from the JBHE Bulletin February 4, 2010
New Study Identifies Factors Contributing to Black Male Success in College
Charlita Shelton, president of the University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has published research on a large group of African-American men who were college dropouts but went back to school to earn their degrees. She identified four factors that are important contributors to black male academic success:
• Self-determination and a strong sense of self-identity which give black men an internal motivation to succeed;
• Taking academic courses with a relevance to black men’s chosen career;
• A high level of family support and a sense of obligation to the family to succeed; and
• Financial support from government sources and academic counseling at institutions of higher education.
Dr. Shelton is a graduate of Western Michigan University. She holds a master’s degree from National University in San Diego, as well as a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in human development from Fielding Graduate University.
Bucknell Expands Its Participation in the Posse Foundation
Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, has become only the second educational institution in the country to commit to enroll a third group of low-income and minority students through the Posse Foundation. Bucknell now enrolls groups, or posses, of 10 students from public high schools in Boston, Washington, D.C., and now Los Angeles. Under the Posse Foundation program, universities agree to select at least 10 low-income students from the public school system of a particular city. The selected students receive full scholarships. They will become a “posse” and they will participate in pre-college training and meet regularly when they enroll at a particular university. The University of Wisconsin is the only other educational institution in the country that has enrolled three posses.
The Black Colleges With the Lowest Student Graduation Rates
At 25 historically black colleges and universities, two thirds or more of all entering black students do not go on to earn a diploma. The lowest graduation rate was at Texas Southern University, where only 12 percent of entering freshmen go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. At the University of the District of Columbia, Rust College, and Virginia Union University, the black graduation rate was 15 percent or lower.
Many of the private black colleges have puny endowments and therefore are not able to offer generous financial aid packages. And many of the students at these schools come from low-income families with few resources to pay for college.
December 10, 2009
Study Finds Harlem Children’s Zone Programs Eliminate Black-White Academic Achievement Gaps
The Harlem Children’s Zone is a community-based program seeking to provide education, social services, and healthcare to children and their families in a 97-block area of New York City. The program includes two charter schools that serve more than 1,200 students in grades K-12.
A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research co-authored by Roland G. Fryer Jr., a professor of economics at Harvard University, finds that the black-white academic achievement gap has been virtually eliminated by children participating in the Harlem Children’s Zone schools. The study was unable to conclude whether the charter schools were the principal reason for the success of the students or if the organization’s other social programs were major factors in the students’ achievement.
Study Finds Black Children Cope Better With Problems in Their Environment Than Their White Peers- Published: August 17, 2008 in Psychology & Sociology
Melvin Wilson, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, recently completed an eight-year study of white, black, and Hispanic children in three different regions of the country. His research, published in the journal Prevention Science, found that black children had the highest exposure to risk factors that lead to behavioral problems. These factors included high rates of mobility, low or fluctuating family income, substance abuse by parents, being raised in single-parent homes, and living in high-crime neighborhoods.
But despite the high exposure to these risk factors, black children showed no higher incidence of behavioral problems such as deviant behavior, violence, or being disruptive in school than white or Hispanic children. Professor Wilson believes that black children who are exposed to many risk factors develop a sort of immunity allowing them to better cope with the problems of life.
Professor Wilson’s study did show that many black children tended to “internalize” their problems associated with the various risk factors. While these black children were no more likely than their peers to develop behavioral disorders, the study states that the internalization of problems by black youth could lead to greater stress, anxiety, and depression.
November 5, 2009
High-Ranking Universities That Are Making Progress In Increasing Enrollments of Low-Income Students
Last week JBHE published its rankings of the nation’s leading universities in enrolling low-income students. UCLA and Berkeley led the group by a large margin.
But it is important, too, to note which high-ranking universities are making progress in increasing their percentage of low-income students. We are pleased to report that since 2006, 23 of the nation’s 30 highest-ranked universities have shown an increase in their percentages of low-income students. Two universities had the same percentage as was the case two years ago and only five showed a decline in the percentage of low-income students. The largest gains were at Harvard University, Emory University, MIT, and Stanford.
Washington University, Cornell University, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Carnegie Mellon University were the five high-ranking universities to show a decline in low-income students in the 2006 to 2008 period.
Over a longer, five-year period from the 2003-04 academic year to the 2008-09 academic year, only seven of the top 30 universities have shown an increase in low-income students. Harvard has shown the largest gain. In 2004, 9.4 percent of Harvard undergraduates were from low-income families. During the 2008-09 academic year, the figure had increased to 15 percent. Princeton, MIT, and Emory University also posted significant gains over the five-year period.

The University of Massachusetts Has an Innovative New Plan to Increase the Racial Diversity of Its Medical School
About 16 percent of the population of the state of Massachusetts is either black or Hispanic. Yet only 5 percent of the physicians in the state are black or Hispanic. In an effort to increase the number of minority doctors in the state, the University of Massachusetts Medical School is setting aside 12 places in each 125-member first-year class for students in a new program designed to increase racial diversity at the school. The new program will give high school seniors who are members of minority groups, or who are the first generation of their families to attend college, the opportunity to gain admission to college and medical school simultaneously. Students accepted into the program would study at one of the five undergraduate campuses of the University of Massachusetts. If they graduate and maintain a high academic standing, they would be guaranteed a spot at the medical school. Attractive financial aid packages will also be used to attract minority students to the program. Students applying for the program will sign a pledge to practice in Massachusetts after they complete medical school.

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