The White House Recognizes HBCU Leaders Who Are Champions of Change for Advancing College Completion Among African American Students
This Black History Month, the White House will recognize faculty and staff members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that drive the college completion agenda. These leaders work with students, families, higher education leaders, and policymakers to build paths to graduation.
To reach President Obama’s goal of helping our nation lead the world in college completion by 2020, we must ensure that more African American students graduate from college. Currently, the college graduation rate for African American students is 34.3 percent, compared to 47.1 percent for Asian students, 46.2 percent for white students, and 41.05 percent for Hispanic students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015).
HBCUs meet the challenge. Innovative strategies and visionary leadership can advance college completion among African American students. For more than a century, HBCUs have been exemplars in producing African American college graduates who lead their fields. A recent report from the National Science Foundation revealed that 21 of the top 50 institutions for producing African American graduates who go on to receive their doctorates in Science and Engineering (S&E) are HBCUs. In total, between 2002 and 2011 among the top 50 institutions, HBCUs collectively produced 1,819 African American graduates who earned a doctorate in S&E, predominately white institutions produced 1,600, and foreign institutions produced 798.