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Florida HBCU Leaders Agree to Discuss ways to Advance Minority Student Retention Together

MIAMI GARDENS – Florida’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are ready to start the year. Collectively providing the holistic educational needs of approximately 16,000 students, these institutions serve as beacons of access. Though miles separate these universities across the state of Florida, key administrative personnel will share a platform this November to have a critical discussion about accountability.

Traditionally, the month of November is most closely associated with the Florida Blue Florida Classic, an event that bolsters the largest rivalry between fans of FAMU and Bethune Cookman. But on November 23, 2014, the spotlight will be shared as a vital conversation is had amongst the institutional leaders of all Florida HBCUs, including Florida Memorial in South Florida and EWC in Jacksonville. This discussion will specifically focus on retention and graduation and will be accompanied by a special twist. Given this anticipation, it is imperative that key players in the HBCU realm are present and accounted for.

“State of the Florida HBCU: Pathway to Preeminence to Retention and Graduation allows colleges and community partners to unite in order to discuss ways to advance minority student success together,” says Amanda Wilkerson, a doctoral student and HBCU alumnus who is one of the three organizers of the event.

The State of the Florida HBCU is an inaugural event. Given this, the Florida HBCU higher education leaders have been mobilized to talk about the promise of accountability with partners in the community. Using this momentum to catapult the already bustling conversation about accountability in the realm of HBCUs, November’s event will take this conversation to the next level. It is important to understand that this promising dialogue between leaders such as Dr. Elmira Mangum (FAMU), Dr. Edison Jackson (Bethune Cookman), Dr. Roslyn Artis (Florida Memorial), and President Nat Glover (Edward Waters College) and the community will aid in establishing how all parties can move together to support advancing efforts for minority student retention.

Sharing her testament of the critical nature of this event, Wilkerson states “In a real way I am also an example of the spirit of this conversation because had it not been for the FAMU faculty, my family and my church who were all my anchor and who balanced me, my collegiate experience could have turned out to be quite different.” This personal account demonstrates the essential nature of this event.

Alumni and supporters of Bethune Cookman, Edward Waters, FAMU, and Florida Memorial have an invaluable opportunity to hear from key administrators. This bold conversation is aimed to illuminate all those who do the heavy lifting of mentoring minority college students so that they can find value in supporting these institutions’ continuing excellence in both access and now accountability.

“The State of the Florida HBCU: Pathway to Preeminence to Retention and Graduation” is free to the public and will take place on November 23rd at 10:30 a.m. in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Centre. The urgency of this topic is ever present, so let us come forth as a community and support a discussion that needs to happen. For more information about this event, please contact Ms. Alexia Robinson.



South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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