By: Olga Jimenez, Communications Associte, The Campaign for College Opportunity
This month we celebrated Black History Month; a month where as a nation we commemorate the history, struggles, accomplishments and contributions of African Americans. This time is especially important to California as it is home to the nation’s fifth largest Black population in the country.
Here at the Campaign, Black History Month is a time to reflect on how well our public colleges and universities are supporting Black students in reaching their college goals because we know that a college degree not only propels students’ lives, it greatly benefits our state.
Black students today are more likely to graduate from high school and college than they were a decade ago, but far too many still face barriers accessing college and far too few graduate with a college credential. Given the size and importance of the Black community in California, working to improve college going and success is vital. Fortunately, there are a number of campus programs in our public colleges and universities that are working to improve the experience and success of Black students and we are pleased to share three examples with you.
- The Computer Science Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills have faculty that are redesigning curriculum and creating learning communities that work to retain diverse students in STEM fields.
- The statewide Umoja Community, specifically designed to improve the retention and success rates of Black community college students, continues to grow and provides students with a sense of cultural pride and academic support.
- And finally, San Diego State University’s Minority Male Collaborative (M2C3), which works to collect research specifically on the needs of Black male students informs teaching strategies for faculty that increase the success of Black men.
The ability of California’s Black community to access college and graduate is vital to the state’s overall well-being. That’s why we are so proud to recognize the innovative work of CSU Dominguez Hills, the Umoja Community and the M2C3. Their leadership and commitment is to be commended.
Like anthropologist, Margaret Mead, famously stated: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Thank you CSU Dominguez Hills, Umoja and M2C3 for changing the world! You inspire us to continue working toward a future California where more people reach their dreams.
Happy Black History Month!