Clemson Hosts National Conference in Black Student Achievement
Creating a climate for diversity on college campuses will help attract, retain and graduate more Black students, officials gathered at a national conference of Black student achievement said this week.
Around 200 educators from around the country were at Clemson University for the Fourth National Conference on Best Practices in Black Student Achievement.
The annual forum, which ended, allows educators to share ideas that could boost minority enrollment.
Students from mostly Black communities who enroll in mostly White colleges and universities can find college especially challenging, said Frankie Felder, associate dean of Clemson’s graduate school.
“We are fighting an uphill battle,” he said.
Clifford Stanley, president of Scholarship America, said the creation and sustainability of diversity programs at institutions should be “about more than money.”
There is a relationship support required as well, Stanley said.
Clemson initiated its Emerging Scholars Partnership Program four years ago to encourage high school students in economically challenged counties to consider college. About 91 percent of the initial class applied for admission to two-year and four-year colleges and universities, according to Clemson’s Office of Access and Equity.
The program was successful because it focused on building relationships, said Byron Wiley, director of the school’s access and equity office.
“Many of the scholars initially felt a college education wouldn’t be possible for them and we found out that those students who didn’t enroll in college said it was a question of money,” Wiley said.
Currently, less than 7 percent of students at Clemson are Black.
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