June 14, 2024

HBCUs see increases in admission applications, with exciting future ahead – News 3 WTKR Norfolk

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – In recognition of Black History Month, News 3 is examining the present and future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
The majority of HBCUs were founded after the Civil War to provide education for African Americans.
Today, with 101 HBCUs across the country, they serve as learning environments for thousands of students.

Several HBCUs are seeing increases in admission applications. Admissions directors said HBCUs are responsible for the highest number of Black professionals across the nation, and they say the trends are going up.
At the heart of HBCUs is a sense of belonging for many students.
“Hampton stood out to me because of their journalism program and wanting to be around people that looked like me,” Kennedi Scales, a sophomore at Hampton University, said.
Scales said it all comes down to the professional growth opportunities provided at Hampton.
“This summer I’m fortunate to have a new internship opportunity with Bank of America. I’ll be a summer analyst,” Scales said.
Hampton’s Admission Director Angela Boyd said there has been a 24 percent increase in students applying to Hampton in the last 5 years.
“If you go back to the Black Lives Matter campaign, students want to feel like they’re in a safe environment where they are valued,” Boyd said.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Dr. Karrie Dixon said the school has seen a 20 percent increase in admissions applications.
“We are the only university in North Carolina that offers a four-year degree in aviation science. We are producing pilots, both private and commercial,” Dixon said.
It comes as several airlines are facing pilot shortages. Dixon said Elizabeth City State’s aviation is the school’s signature program.
“The partnerships that have come, United Airlines has come to campus and been very impressed. Other airlines are coming to campus, JetBlue was here,” Dixon said.
Dixon said HBCUs provide an intimate learning environment.
“I’ve had people tell me ‘how do you know your student’s first name? I’ve seen you walk on campus and greet them.’ That’s because that’s what kind of environment we’re building here,” Dixon said. “We want our students to feel valued.”
Elizabeth City State University sophomore Kristen Bannerman is on a full scholarship and says representation matters.
“I’ve been afforded the opportunities to speak at national conferences,” Bannerman said.
HBCUs produce 80 percent of the nation’s Black judges and 50 percent of its Black doctors, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
“HBCUs still graduate the majority of Black scientists,” Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, an endowed professor at Norfolk state said. “HBCUs don’t apologize for being Black. They celebrate the culture and history of African Americans.”
Students say you can’t put a price tag on HBCUs
“It makes me feel welcomed, loved, and understood. We’re able to relate to each other,” Logan Alexandra Russell, a Hampton University sophomore said.

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