Education for a New Century: HBCUs Offer Wide Variety of Cutting-Edge Programs in Business, Technology, Sciences and Liberal Arts

Article excerpt

BLACK colleges and universities have always been on the cutting edge of American education.

Often forced to operate in hostile environments with limited resources, HBCUs have continued to provide an innovative and challenging academic experience for students, especially in science, technology and liberal arts.

One of the best-kept secrets in academia is the variety of special programs available at these institutions. From outer space to aquaculture and from Bible studies to biomedical research, students can pursue degrees in the most unusual areas.

On the following pages is a representative sample of some of the unique opportunities for study at historically Black colleges and universities.

Although they are still underfunded and underappreciated, they are moving on several fronts, according to our survey, to make technology an integral part of the traditional curriculum of service, struggle and excellence. Several colleges are wired from one end of the campus to the other, and several, including Johnson C. Smith University, provide each student with a laptop and and a sense of urgency about mastering the vocabulary of the new century.

Among the highlights of the new educational environment are the following:

* Xavier University is No. 1 nationally in placing Black students into medical school.

* Florida A&M is the No. 1 producer of Black teachers and is No. 1 in turning out Ph.D.s in pharmacy.

* Morehouse College is the top producer of African-American baccalaureates in mathematics and statistics. The college also offers dual-degree programs in engineering and architecture.

* The top six producers of Black students with baccalaureate degrees in the biological and biomedical sciences are all HBCUs--Hampton University, Howard University, Morgan State University, Jackson State University and Tennessee State University.

* Howard University has produced more African-Americans with advanced degrees than any other institution in the world.

* Spelman College and Bennett College produce more than half of the Black women who earn doctorates in all science fields. …