By JoAnn Fields
San Diego, CA: The 3rd Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Expo took place on Saturday, February 4, 2017, 10am-3pm at San Diego City College, Curran Plaza, 1313 Park Blvd. in downtown. 20 HBCUs were represented including the U.S. Army, Cal-Soap, San Diego City, Cuamayca and Southwestern College Colleges.
Thanks to an agreement signed March 17, 2015 between the California Community Colleges and several HBCUs, California community college students who complete certain academic requirements are guaranteed transfer to a participating HBCU. To date, there are 21 HBCUs who are in agreement to grant a guaranteed transfer.
HBCUs were established primarily to serve the higher education needs of the African-American community, however they are open to students of all ethnicities. There are more than 100 HBCUs in the country, with most located in the South and on the East Coast. Most award bachelor’s degrees in many fields. Some also award master’s and doctorate degrees.
Many historically black colleges and universities were founded after the Civil War, in response to legislation (the Morrell Act) signed by President Lincoln creating land grant colleges in the states. However, seventeen states, mostly in the South, would not grant money to black colleges. As a result, further legislation was adopted in the 1890s requiring the states to establish a second land grant act that would provide funding for black colleges.
The goal of the California Community Colleges HBCU Transfer Guarantee Program is to educate students about additional transfer opportunities at these institutions and develop pathways that will ultimately contribute to an increase in baccalaureate degree attainment.
“Seeing all of the support of the 3rd Annual HBCU Expo San Diego was awesome! I was in awe of all the younger children that came out. Prior to the expo there were 60 K-8th grade students registered. I believe this is so important because the advocacy needs to start in the exploration years. I learned of HBCUs at the age of 12, so seeing others that age and younger was monumental.
Having the City of Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez address, interact and even dancing with the students was an honor. They needed to see that such a remarkable black woman that is now a product of San Diego County history, was personable, approachable and give them something to strive and model themselves after.
The support of the HBCU Alumni of San Diego, and members of the Cali HBCU Alliance in Los Angeles was a blessing. To add, Dominique Garcia of Norfolk State University came to San Diego from Virginia and accepted two seniors at Lincoln High School on the spot. Additionally, Kiara Sloan and N’Dia Monroe were offered scholarships with their admittance. An HBCU Expo would not be complete without the wonderful organizations that represent the Divine 9 (the first Greek letter organizations for African-Americans) as most were founded at the Mecca, Howard University. To top off an HBCU experience you have to have a drumline and the Thunder Squad Drumline never ceases to amaze me, under the leadership of Grambling State Alumna, Tyra Hawthorne,” states Chaunteal Webb-Candler, Chairperson HBCU Alumni and Expo.
“This year’s HBCU Expo was a HUGE success with over 250 students registered and many who showed up the day of the event. The workshops were informative and 21 HBCUs were represented. I am also excited to share that Kiara Sloan and N’Dia Monroe were offered 2 full ride scholarships with their admittance on the spot. The Expo aims to cut down the high school dropout rate and increase graduation and college enrollment rate among underserved and underrepresented youth in San Diego. This year’s partnership with City Collage also expanded the reach to help transfer students reach their goals of attending a 4 year college or university. I look forward to the HBCU Expo continuing to grow and reach more of our community’s young people. The HBCU Expo is one example of how we can work collectively to make a positive impact. The HBCU Alumni Association, Greeks, Ground-UP Youth Foundation, San Diego City College and countless volunteers we appreciate you!,” states Rickena Mills, Volunteer Coordinator, HBCU Expo and Lincoln University Alumn.
For more information regarding the HBCU Expo email firstname.lastname@example.org or the San Diego HBCU Alumni Association contact Chaunteal Webb-Candler via phone at (619) 227-7890or via email at email@example.com.