ERIC Number: ED207409
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
The Predominantly Black College: An Exploration of Its Role and Function.
Smith, Calvert H.
The role of predominantly black colleges and reasons that they are needed by their constituencies are considered. It is suggested that one of the primary reasons historically black colleges have experienced enrollment and program growth is the perception of the black community about the significance of these institutions. It is claimed that the majority of black students attending predominantly white colleges are leaving before they graduate because their needs are not met by these institutions. Traditionally, predominantly black institutions have educated the spectrum of talented and untalented and have developed a capacity to provide a broad range of academic experiences to challenge each category of student, to facilitate their growth and to satisfy their educational needs. These institutions have not considered aptitude test scores as the critical variables for success in college. It is suggested that historically black colleges have the unique ability to reach the unreachable, teach the unteachable, and embrace both the rejected and the valedictorians with equal concern. It is proposed that these schools have a role to play in the education of people in society and that this role must be preserved at all costs. It is maintained that until integration and equal opportunity become realities, there is a need to strive for a culturally pluralistic society. There must be institutions available that respond to different and sometimes incompatible values and programs that are responsive to the needs of anyone who chooses to attend the institution. It is suggested that at the same time the unique mission of the black university in promoting the growth and development for black young people must be preserved. (SW)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Black Colleges, Black Students, College Desegregation, College Role, College Students, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Opportunities, Educationally Disadvantaged, High Risk Students, Higher Education, Leadership, School Holding Power, Student College Relationship, Student Needs, Whites
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the Council on Black American Affairs (April 2-5, 1981).