Arthur has a Ph.D. and is a substitute teacher in Virginia Public Schools. He is also a Technology Leader and an Educational Consultant.
Low-Income Communities Benefit From Historical Black and Minority Colleges
According to Gasman & Conrad, "Minority-serving institutions (MSIs) educate 20% of the nation's college students, including large percentages of first-generation students and students from low-income families and students of color. The number of minority students attending minority colleges is because they are looking for a factual return on investments.
The socioeconomic factors that led to the creation of minority colleges were to provide a way for minorities to add their contributions to the economy by becoming working members of society.
There were several reasons for creating black colleges (HBCUs) because most minorities were trying to go to college and were denied enrollment by colleges and universities. The Hispanic college's HSIs were not created to serve their ethnic populations like HBCUs but evolved in the 1970s because of their geographic proximity to the Hispanic population and demographical communities.
Examining the low enrollment rate of minority colleges is mainly because minority students want to go to familiar colleges and attend colleges near their communities. Another factor is that statistically, most of these colleges focus on low-income families, and most school dropouts are from low-income communities. This dropout rate is because minority high school graduates do not understand the value of obtaining a college education. Teachers that teach in low-income areas can assist a college enrollment change by explaining how education can assist students in rising out of poverty so they can give back to their community.
The U.S. Department of Education states, "Students who do not attend college or drop out quickly are predominantly persons from low-income families, living in underdeveloped areas. Major cities or sparsely populated rural areas have attended ineffective elementary and secondary schools."
Initially, in creating these educational facilities focusing on minorities was to assist them in becoming members of the working class to provide for their families and help boost the economy. Low-income families, unfortunately, have become a financial burden on the economy because they need public assistance to live. If low-income minority families could learn to support themselves, the government could eliminate welfare aid, freeing up financial resources that could boost the economy.
One of today's biggest challenges is that many people talk badly about how they have a degree and still cannot get a decent-paying job. It has much to do with looking at the short-term gain of an educational degree's return on investment. I also believe a significant challenge is a technology making education through iTunes university and online university resources, causing people to misinterpret the difference between knowledge and the benefit of traditional education. Most employers only specifically choose resumes where applicants meet their minimum educational requirement.
In the past several decades, the accelerated cost of education has caused many people to use online training videos to gain knowledge in specific areas. The federal government placed many regulations on your ability to qualify for financial aid loans. Unfortunately, students are only allowed to have a percentage of their higher education degree financed by financial aid in some instances.
Some vocational institutions have implanted certificate programs and partnered with corporations to use their service rather than college reimbursement programs. These programs are more beneficial to some because they do not have to make a two to four-year commitment, and the cost for certifications is substantially lower than attending college.
According to Forbes, "the value of a college degree as a device to signal knowledge, intelligence, discipline, ambition, and integrity is fraying, jeopardizing the economic advantages of university education. The earnings advantage of college graduates relative to high school diploma holders is not rising as previously, as employers find that too many college graduates lack the distinctive positive qualities they want in new employees."
Colleges nowadays are convenient because of their online education programs. It's an excellent option because many college students need to work a full-time job. It's also cost-effective because it saves on books. After all, most books are available as eBooks are cheaper than textbooks. Cost affects everyone, and if the government were to allow better tax breaks for students in school, this might persuade many to finish their education without worrying about the re-payment of school loans. Free education may not be possible at this time, but discounted rates for low-income families would be an excellent solution to the economic problems.
Some major attraction of attending minority schools (HBCUs) is that their costs are substantially cheaper than regular colleges. The problem is that there are not many minority colleges left because many, like Saint Paul's College in Virginia, have closed. St. Paul's was a prominent HBCU founded in 1888, but after years of financial hardships and college administration failing to meet accreditation standards, the university was forced to close.
The decline in enrollment and the lack of funds create yet another problem for HBCUs to stay current with the requirements for accreditation set forth by the education department.
Due to enrollment, Wilberforce University and South Carolina State University were millions of dollars in debt. Wilberforce University still 2021 erased 9.8 million dollars in debt due to students not being able to return to school because of COVID 19-related financial issues. It undoubtedly will hurt this university because of the lack of student enrollment. If the government placed more funding in these institutions to market their schools for five years and focus on low-cost admission, it would increase their enrollment rate.
MSIs could help to change policy by taking a legal approach to assisting those who cannot afford college because of their current financial status if it would allow them free tuition. MSIs can ask policymakers to view their institutions as a culture for special case assistance.
Poor people in low-income areas live with violence, academic failure with low-paying jobs, and many are recipients of public welfare. These institutions should demonstrate the value of a degree versus a certificate because a degree will open more doors for better employment.
The economy suffers when universities are closed because more people are living in financial hardship and will remain underprivileged. Many people in low-income areas live on public assistance, in homeless shelters, and without employment, cannot help the economy and only become a burden. This burden creates yet another strain on the federal government and using money to bail out closing universities because, in the long run, more people educated and employed will help to boost the suffering economy.
© 2022 Dr Arthur Burton