The Chronicle of Higher Education
Friday, March 16, 2001
2-Year and Black Colleges Agree to Join in Helping Students on the Path to Graduation
By JAMILAH EVELYN
Washington-Leaders of community colleges and historically black colleges announced a plan Thursday to help students at the former transfer to finish bachelor's degrees at the latter.
Philip R. Day, chancellor of the San Francisco Community College District, spearheaded the proposal, which was developed out of his attempts to secure articulation agreements for black and Hispanic students at his institution.
"This is about access," Mr. Day said. "This is about mobility. This is about students moving through the system and being successful on the back end."
The plan proposes establishing a national consortium of urban community colleges and black colleges that would develop a template of general courses so that community-college students would know what they needed to study to prepare for a four-year degree at a black college. The new group also plans to solicit support from foundations and the federal government to cover student scholarships and organizational costs. In addition, the group plans to track transfer rates on a national basis.
Henry Ponder, president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, said he would encourage his members to participate, noting that community-college transfers are a good way to bolster junior- and senior-class enrollments at black colleges.
"Every head [we] count from the community-colleges should have dollar signs on it," he said.
Nationally, community colleges enroll 46 percent of black undergraduates.
Officials said they would announce a similar agreement next month among colleges with large Hispanic enrollments.