It’s Time for Online Degree Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Barry Lenson

It’s Time for Online Degree Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)When Dr. John Wilson delivered the keynote address at the 2011 United States Distance Learning Association Public Policy Forum on October 6, 2011 his message was clear. Wilson, who is executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), stated strongly that it is time for HBCUs ramp up their distance learning offerings and offer online degree programs.

You can read about Wilson’s speech in a recent article on the DiverseEducation.com website. Here are some highlights. . .

  • Only 20 of America’s 105 HBUCs have implemented online degree programs, even though about half of the institutions already offer some online courses.
  •  HBCUs have not widely offered online degree programs because until now, most students have lived on campus. But that could change.

But perhaps this quote from Wilson sums up the situation best, and gives a glimpse of some of the changes that could happen soon at these historical institutions . . .

“We still have industrial-era campuses, curriculums and pedagogies to prepare students for a digital economy, and that does not fit.”

Couldn’t the same statement be made about nearly all of America’s colleges and universities?

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