State community colleges sign transfer deal with 9 historically black colleges

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California community colleges have signed an agreement with nine historically black colleges and universities that would guarantee enrollment for students wishing to transfer.

California community colleges have signed a major agreement with historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) that could change the enrollment numbers of African American students at 4-year schools. These nine colleges will guarantee admission to those students who wish to transfer.

The nine historically black colleges and universities have promised to admit any student who has completed an Associate Degree in California and who is designated for transfer. A student's grade point average must be at least a 2.5.

Getting into a pubic four-year college in the state has become increasingly hard. On the other hand, these HBCUs that were once the only higher ed option for many African American students are facing declining enrollment. They need students and this is a great way to keep them operating.

Laiyah Dunn Salahaddin teaches African American studies at City College of San Francisco.

"Going outward and having a clear pathway is definitely going to increase success among them if they have a goal," Dunn Salahaddin said.

The following is a list of the colleges that reached a deal with the California Community College system: Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., Fisk University in Nashville, Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Talladega College in Talladega, Ala., and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

All are private four-year colleges, except for Lincoln which is public and will offer in-state tuition and fees for California Community College students.

Five hundred students from the 112 two-year colleges in California will be ready to transfer to one of these nine institutions.

Olevasami Brown used to think attending an HBCU was out of his reach until Tuesday.

"I felt like the gap between achieving and transferring was a little too wide for me, but with this announcement today I feel that dream is so much closer," Brown said.

African American students represent 7 percent of the 2.3 million students in the state's community colleges.

"It's a very small population, so going on to a university like that with minds who are beautiful and very smart, everyone around you looks like you, it's a real positive thing," said student Austin Jones.

Noticeably absent from the list are Spelman College, Howard University and Morehouse College, but these and other HBCUs are expected to eventually join them.
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