Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Aiming High

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Aiming High

Article excerpt

"Providing Students the Tools to Excel" is the title of one of our feature stories, but it could be the title of both features, which detail programs that are preparing African American students for college. The Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) prepares students to take on math, science and engineering in hopes that the early exposure will encourage them to tackle these subjects on the college level, and subsequently, pursue careers in the sciences. The second article documents Lane Community College's Rites of Passage program, which aims to better connect the students with their heritage, communities and to college.

The DAPCEP students for the most part live in the Detroit metropolitan area where the Black population is approximately 40 percent. By contrast, the Rites of Passage students live in and around Eugene, Ore., where the Black population is less than 2 percent. Yet all of the students benefit from the different types of exposure.

And although the DAPCEP students are likely to see people who look like them everyday on the streets of Detroit, many don't know a Black physician or Black engineer personally to emulate or to use as a role model. The Oregon students do not have the benefit of coming in contact with many people who look like them, much less any Black professionals, which is why Greg Evans founded the program six years ago. One of the program's counselors said that some of the Black students are afraid of other Blacks because of the images promoted by the media and their White peers. These students are suffering from underexposure, not only to college and career options but to Black culture. …

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