More Latino students are enrolling in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like never before. According to recent studies, the enrollment of Latino students in HBCUs increased by 90% from 2000-2010 and has continued to rise steadily ever since, culminating in the Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina becoming the first HBCU to admit a Latino fraternity in 2014. Likewise, St. Philip’s College, a two-year HBCU, currently has a majority enrollment from Latino and Latina students and is federally recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution. Schools like Prairie View A&M University and TSU have also seen a great rise in Latino enrollment.
While HBCUs were established before 1964 to cater primarily for the education needs of black Americans who had been blocked from access to other forms of higher education, majority of the schools have had to make the necessary changes to thrive in a rapidly changing environment. For instance, with more black students enrolling in predominantly white schools, like the Ivy League colleges and state flagship universities, some HBCUs have been compelled to maintain or improve their enrollment by marketing themselves to Latino students and students from all ethnic and racial backgrounds. In order to stay a step ahead of low enrollment rates, HBCUs market to students from diverse backgrounds not just African Americans.
But why is the number of Latino students rising quickly in HBCUs? In these schools, Latino students enjoy a deep sense of inclusion that enables them to excel in their studies. The schools have professors and tutors who are trained and experienced in handling students from diverse backgrounds, allowing Latino students to enjoy learning in a friendly environment. Equally, they meet and learn together with students with similar backgrounds and find it easier to progress in their studies. HBCUs are presenting the amazing opportunities their schools can proved for all students which is increasing the diversity on their campuses.
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