Message from Brian K. Bridges
As we move fully into the summer months and the heat that comes with them, I've been reflecting on transitions. This has been a season of transitions for the country, UNCF and the Patterson Research Institute. The presidential election is in high gear and the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative recently awarded planning grants to 30 HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions. At FDPRI, we've spent the last several months orienting new staff, working on new research that is discussed in more detail below, and will say goodbye to Dr. Caroline Harper in July. I want to thank Caroline for her contributions over the past two years when she served with us as an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow. We have definitely been more productive as a result of her presence.
FDPRI is also transitioning to a higher level of research productivity over the next year. We have several publications on deck that examine HBCU student debt, federal financing at HBCUs and K-12 education reform. Two very recent publications--one a partnership with ACT--provides an update on African American students' college and career readiness and the other provides best practices for accreditation reaffirmation. I encourage you to peruse them and be on the lookout for upcoming Patterson products.
The Patterson evolution continues. Stay tuned for more research on the HBCU value proposition, HBCU policy and K-12 education reform for African Americans!
Brian K. Bridges, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Member Engagement
Over the past five years, the percentage of African American students meeting the s
cience readiness benchmark increased significantly, from 6 percent to 12 percent.
Fiscal and Strategic Technical Assistance Program: Institutional Lessons for Accreditatio
Accreditation is essential for the operational vitality and long-term stability of colleges and universities.This paper shares lessons and best practices from 25 institutions that participated in UNCF's Fiscal and Strategic Technical Assistance Program (FASTAP) and describes the value of external supports and resources in the reaffirmation process. Read more
The Condition of College & Career Readiness: African American Students
This report provides a national snapshot of academic performance among African American students in the 2015 high school graduating class who took the ACT® test and addresses questions of critical importance to our nation. Read more here.
Current Projects and Upcoming Publications
Be sure to periodically peruse our website for new publications including:
Fewer Resources, More Debt: Loan Debt Burdens Students at HBCUs.
Despite attending lower-cost institutions, bachelor's degree recipients at HBCUs borrow more and graduate with more loan debt than their non-HBCU peers.This brief examines borrowing and repayment rates of HBCU undergraduates in comparison to their peers at other 4-year public and private non-profit institutions.
Stony the Road We Trod: Public and Private Investments and Divestments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Despite the various contributions that HBCUs have made to the broader society, their economic sustainability remains questionable in an era of various public divestments in higher education. This issue brief highlights the funding profiles of public and private 4-year HBCUs and discusses the challenges these institutions encounter due to changes in federal and state support.
uilding Better Narratives in Black Education.
The public narrative surrounding the education of Black children has often concentrated on a discourse of under-achievement and failure, rather than excellence and equity. This report fundamentally changes the narrative and face of education reform to meaningfully include Black voices, leaders and initiatives that truly have equity and Black student success at the core.
Lifting Louder Voices: African American Leaders' Perceptions of Education Reform.
Building better futures for African American students is a community-wide effort, and UNCF is working to guide education reform work that embraces collaboration among grasstop leaders and grassroots in the community. This report sheds light on African American community leaders' perspectives toward education reform and how they work to develop community-centered strategies to address disparities in schools.
Over the past several months, Patterson staff
presented at various panels and forums across the country. These include:
Dr. Brian Bridges, Vice President for Research and Member Engagement
College Graduates and Employment - UNCF's Career Pathways Initiative
"Over the last 50 years, for the most part, the black unemployment rate has always exceed 10 percent. Which is the high point of the Great Recession, but that's the low point for African Americans.
" Dr. Brian Bridges discusses the new UNCF Career Pathways Initiative that seeks to help HBCU and predominately black institution graduates immediately transition into meaningful jobs in their chosen fields. The live interview can be accessed
Pictured above: Brian Bridges
American Educational Research Association:
Washington DC- April 2016.
Dr. Krystal L. Williams, Senior Research Associate
The role of psychosocial factors in promoting successful STEM outcomes: Noncognitive skills and implications for math remediation within community colleges.
Despite the demographic advantages that allow community colleges to address issues regarding expansion of the STEM pipeline-- particularly for traditionally underrepresented minorities and lower-income students-- one challenge that must be addressed is the fact that many students enter these institutions academically underprepared (i.e. academic strain), requiring additional academic supports (e.g. remedial education). Dr. Williams and colleagues explored how students' non-cognitive strengths may help to buffer their academic strains in STEM fields at 2-year institutions. Findings support the potential usage of strength-based STEM course placement decisions that emphasize both cognitive and non-cognitive skills.
Pictured above (left to right):
Phillip J. Bowman,
Thandi Sule, and
American Educational Research Association:
Washington DC- April 2016.
: DeShawn Preston, FDPRI Fellow
Factors that influence the enrollment of doctoral students of color.
Despite only making up 3% of institutions of higher education in the United States, HBCUs produce a large number of students who go on to enroll in doctoral programs, especially in the STEM fields. Preston's
study examined the impact HBCUs have on students pursuing a doctoral degree. Findings support the practice of mentorship within and outside of the institution, exposure to career opportunities, and being involved in community service, campus activities, internships, and research.
Pictured above (center): DeShawn Preston
National Partnership for Educational Access 8th Annual Conference.
Baltimore, MD- April 2016.
Dr. Caroline Harper, Policy Analyst/Mellon ACLS Public Fellow
: Broadening Scholarship Opportunities for Underrepresented Students
In recognition of this year's theme,
Connecting the Dots: Engaging Communities to Support Educational Access and Success
, Dr. Harper served on a panel entitled, "Broadening Scholarship Opportunities for Underrepresented Students." Along with representatives from The College Board, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the panelists highlighted the importance of using data and building national partnerships to increase college access among underserved populations.
YEP (Young Education Professionals) DC Policy to Practice Conference:
Washington, DC- March 2016.
Our city as a learning lab for urban education reform
Dr. Meredith Anderson, Senior Research Associate
Dr. Anderson conducted a workshop with Shree Chauhan focused on community centered reform. In an era of "data-driven decision making," it is imperative that reforms are substantiated by the lived experiences of the community. Specifically, understanding the African American voice is important, as they are often the focus of educational interventions and reforms given their performance in comparison to other groups, yet, their voice remains largely absent from major reform efforts. This session explored
the voices of the African American community and offered tangible solutions to engage and collect information from communities and students for future educational endeavors.
Pictured above (left to right): Shree Chauhan and Meredith Anderson
HBCU Symposium: Promoting and Preserving Our Roots.
Florida Memorial University, February 2016.
Panelist: Dr. Meredith Anderson, Senior Research Associate
They can't be what they can't see.
This panel focused on the importance of having African-Americans, particularly, HBCU graduates, in our ever-evolving primary and secondary school classrooms.
Pictured above (left to right): DeAnthony Friday, Meredith Anderson, Dwanita L. Fields, Marquise McGriff, and Lorenzo Johnson
Dr. Brian Bridges
has been selected as an Arthur Vining Davis Fellow for the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival. Fellows are selected from a field of national nominees who are emerging leaders with diverse backgrounds and experiences. I
n partnership with the Aspen Institute, the Festival creates a stimulating and invigorating convocation that links some of today's foremost thinkers with civic-minded leaders who will share ideas, raise challenging questions, and inspire thought to action. This year's speakers include Tom Friedman and DeRay McKesson, among many others. The Aspen Ideas Festival will be held June 23-July 2, 2016, in Aspen, Colorado.
Dr. Krystal L. Williams
has recently been invited to serve on the Journal of Negro Education (JNE) Editorial Board as a Section Editor for Book Reviews. JNE is a scholarly refereed journal that was founded at Howard University in 1932. It is one of the oldest continuously published periodicals by and about Black people and related education issues along the K-20 spectrum.
The FDPRI would like formally congratulate Dr. BreAnna Davis, a participant in the UNCF FDPRI Dissertation Support Group, for successfully defending her dissertation. Dr. Davis' recently earned her doctorate in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her study examined the role of various cultural resources in helping to mitigate the effects of risk factors such as discrimination on the development of youth of color.
FAREWELL DR. HARPER!
Next month will conclude Dr. Harper's post-doctoral fellowship as a Policy Analyst with the Patterson Research Institute through the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program. During her two years at UNCF, Caroline has conducted research and applied her experience in higher education to enhance UNCF capabilities across departments. Research projects include the importance of HBCU Teacher Preparation Programs, Grasstops community leaders as advocates for education reform, the impact of federal college rating systems on HBCUs, HBCU graduates and labor force outcomes, and implications of federal overtime pay regulations on HBCUs. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Harper has also evaluated programs including the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program and the Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Program.
Beyond conducting research Caroline has managed UNCF's relationship with The College Board and developed an outreach management system as part of the new partnership. Throughout her two years, she has served as a panelist at national conferences including the National Partnership for Education Access, National Scholarship Providers Association, Advanced Placement Annual Conference, Dreams Deferred/
Conference, and the HBCU Story Symposium.
Meet the FDPRI Graduate Research Fellows
The Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute would like to congratulate its inaugural cohort of the
UNCF FDPRI Graduate Research Fellowship Program
. This interdisciplinary fellowship is designed for graduate students who are interested in African American education and related public policy issues. The program offers hands-on experience designing, conducting and disseminating applied research to help improve educational opportunities and outcomes along the K-16 pipeline. Research fellows also participate in the
UNCF FDPRI Dissertation Support Group
which is designed to advance students' individual research agendas. For additional information regarding the UNCF FDPRI Research Fellowship Program and the application process, please contact
Dr. Krystal L. Williams at
The following descriptions provide information about each fellow and their respective projects:
DeShawn Preston is a third year doctoral student in Higher Education Leadership at Clemson University, and his FDPRI research project examines HBCU contributions to the STEM profession for African American students at the graduate and undergraduate level. His broader research agenda focuses on African American students in graduate and professional programs and his dissertation topic examines the influence of HBCUs on African American enrollment into doctoral programs. DeShawn is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education and a Doctoral Intern at the Southern Education Foundation. He holds an M.A. in American History from Howard University and a B.A. in History from Oakwood University.
BreAnna Davis, a native of Charlotte North Carolina, received her doctorate in Family Science in 2016 from the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied racial and gendered socialization of children and its impact on identity. BreAnna's research project with FDPRI explores the various revenue streams that support HBCUs and compares the funding profiles of these institutions to those of peer institutions. Before completing her doctorate, BreAnna graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and earned her M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. In 2014, she was selected as an Emerging Scholar by the Urban Institute's Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofits.
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