Black Colleges' Survival Hinges On Unity, Collaboration, Panelists Say

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, November 28, 2011

If historically black colleges are going to survive, they're going to have to step up their collaboration, not only with schools and communities but also with one another, a panel of educators and policymakers said Friday in New Orleans. Three of the four speakers emphasized the importance of working with high schools and community colleges to prepare students academically and to ease the transition to four-year colleges and universities.

While Grambling State University President Frank Pogue didn't disagree, he said that, in a climate of dwindling public appropriations and skepticism about the continuing value of historically black institutions of higher learning, no school can afford to be alone.

"We have to come together," he said. "That is our responsibility to our students and to our future students -- to keep them engaged."

The discussion, led by CNN's Soledad O'Brien, was one of a daylong series of roundtable talks at the Hyatt Regency Hotel leading up to today's Bayou Classic pitting Southern University against Grambling in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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