One of the best kept secrets in higher education has been our country’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). Consortium Program Associate Frank Kamara is an HBCU alum, and he is working to raise awareness of these institutions among students from the high schools participating in our EdLeaders Pittsburgh program.
Since April, we’ve been facilitating information sessions in Clairton City, McKeesport Area, Penn Hills, Steel Valley and Woodland Hills school districts for students to learn about HBCUs and their heritage. Khirsten Scott, PhD, who is on faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and writing a book about HBCUs, is presenting at the sessions.
“HBCUs are a good choice for a lot of students, but many students of color don’t know enough about them,” said Kamara. “That’s why we thought it was important to help build their visibility.”
There are more than 100 HBCUs in the U.S. All were founded before the 1964 Civil Rights Act, primarily to serve the African American community.
“Particularly for African American students who may be the first in their families to attend college, HBCUs can provide a welcoming environment and support,” Kamara added. “Costs of attending also tend to be more affordable than many other options.”