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1st in black degrees.

The unparalleled performance of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in educating the growing African-American student population is highlighted in the May 7, 1992 edition of Black Issues In Higher Education. A special report titled "Top 100 Degree Producers," reveals that HBCUs confer a disproportionate share of bachelor degrees on black students.

Colleges were ranked by the number of postsecondary degrees awarded to minorities in 1988-89. The nation's top five schools that award bachelor degrees to African-Americans are all HBCUs: Howard University, Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College, Hampton University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Jackson State University (see table).
The nation's leaders in conferring degrees upon
African-American graduates, 1989-89.
 Males Females Total
1. Howard University 269 475 744
 Washington, D.C.
2. Southern University A&M College 247 328 575
 Baton Rouge, La.
3. Hampton University 178 361 539
 Hampton, Va.
4. North Carolina A&T State University 260 249 509
 Greensboro, N.C.
5. Jackson State University 190 273 463
 Jackson, Miss.

Only three predominately white schools placed among the top 20. The University of Maryland-College Park, which ranked 12th, was first among predominately white schools in graduating African-Americans. Maryland granted 286 bachelor degrees to black students for the 1988-89 school year. By contrast, Howard University, which ranked first overall, granted 744 bachelor degrees to black students.

"The report shows that white colleges are not doing nearly what they should in terms of graduating African-Americans," says Frank L. Matthews, publisher of Black Issues In Higher Education. Matthews says that is particularly disturbing because black student SAT scores are up.

Marie Smith Davidson, Ph.D., executive assistant to the president of the University of Maryland-College Park, agrees, noting that, "The study disproves the theory that there are not enough qualified black students. If other institutions worked as hard as we do, they'd find them."

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) reports that although HBCUs make up only 3% of all U.S. colleges, they graduate one-third of all blacks with bachelor degrees and 43% of all blacks who earn Ph.D.s. UNCF President William H. Gray III, says this is primarily because, "The benefits that HBCUs offer black students are myriad: low cost, small student/faculty ratios, nurturing environments, and - most importantly - positive role models."

But despite the effectiveness of HBCUs, Reginald Wilson, Ph.D., senior scholar at the American Council on Education, says that more than 80% of all African-American students attend predominately white schools. "HBCUs will probably never have the majority of blacks," says Wilson. But they will continue to graduate blacks in large numbers.
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Title Annotation:historically black colleges and universities
Author:Janice, Elizabeth
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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