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National HBCU Week Conference: A New Paradigm for Educating the 21st Century Student

During this year’s National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week Conference, which began on September 27th, 2013, students and school officials discussed programs and ideas that would help shape the 21st century student.

There’s a presumption that policy makers and influencers have left HBCUs out of important conversations, which inevitably hinders them from financial progress and crucial access.  During the conference, that attitude was shattered as senior administrators, sponsors, student financial aid executives, higher education advocates, and government officials joined to discuss issues HBCUs face.

Organizers of the conference crafted panels, workshops and luncheons to make sure the following tasks were met: strengthening the capacity of HBCUs to participate in federal programs; fostering enduring private – sector initiatives and public – private partnerships while promoting specific areas and centers of academic research and programmatic excellence throughout all HBCUs; improving the availability, dissemination, and quality of information concerning HBCUs to inform public policy and practice; sharing administrative and programmatic practices within the HBCU community for the benefit of all; and exploring new ways of improving the relationship between the Federal Government and HBCUs.

One takeaway from the conference: “Do the work. Build the network.” HBCU advocates must push past the barriers of the society and mold a powerful network of leaders at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Written by Yusef Hood

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