GSE Faculty Research

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Journal Article

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The nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are diverse. Although we discuss them as a category based on their historical racial makeup, these institutions are in fact quite different from one another. According to the government’s definition, black colleges are bound together by the fact that they were established prior to 1964 (the year of the Civil Rights Act) with the express purpose of educating African Americans. These institutions, of which there are 103, are public, private, large, small, religious, nonsectarian, selective, and open-enrolling. They educate 300,000 students and employ over 14,000 faculty members.1 Some black colleges are thriving, others are barely making ends meet, and many fall in between. Regardless, most of them are providing a much needed education to African American students (and many others).


Postprint version. Published in Academe, Volume 93, Issue 1, February 2007, pages 69-78.
This article is reprinted with permission from the January/February 2007 issue of Academe, the bimonthly magazine of the American Association of University Professors.

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Date Posted: 16 February 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.