Southwestern College prides itself on being the top producer of Associate’s degrees for minorities. Unfortunately, African-American students population are severely underrepresented in graduation and transfers rates.
Knowledge is power, but African-Americans are not getting the education they need to empower future generations and boost transfer rates. It is a vicious cycle.
Rates have fluctuated in the past few years, but the numbers remain extremely low for black students.
There are currently a little more than 1,000 African-American students at Southwestern College. California Community College’s Chancellor studies show that only 14 African-American students transferred from SWC to a CSU last year. A more surprising number is 70, which is the total number of African-American students who have transferred in the last four years.
Black females are more likely to complete college than men. Only 68 percent of black males who start college graduate within six years.
Colleges and African-American students need to accept joint reasonability and work together to improve the situation and succeed. It takes effort from the student. There are many scholarships for assisting African-American students that are not taken advantage of. There are plenty of opportunities to attend events and be a part of clubs for extra support. With 70 clubs on the SWC campus, there is something for everyone to choose from. Building a support network within the school increases success.
African-American participation on campus is almost as low as the transfer and graduation rates. When the opportunities present themselves, no body chooses to attend.
There are solid support foundations on campus and a group of faculty that has invested interest in African-American students.
Professor Stanley James and Dr. Rachel N. Hastings have developed a new initiative called The C.A.A.L.I. (Communication Arts and African American Leadership Institute) Project. Former director of Student Development Aaron Stark also put a lot of effort into helping organize events for African-American students. He was one of the panel members this year at the 5th Annual HUBU (Hermanos Unidos Brothers United) conference. HUBU is specifically designed to help and encourage African-American and Hispanic male students to succeed in their academic lives, as well as their personal lives.
Donna Arnold, dean of School of Arts and Communication, works hard throughout the year to host special ceremonies and events for African-American students. She also puts together a ceremony at then end of the year for African-American students who are transferring.
Students of color were not always allowed to attend college. People fought hard for the right. Instead of taking opportunities for granted, take advantage of them.