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WCASD Students Attend Historically Black Colleges & Universities Workshop

Students attend a workshop at Henderson High School to learn about Historically Black Colleges & Universities Attendees of the 2019 HBCU workshop held at Henderson High School

College preparedness was the focus of a Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) workshop held at Henderson High School on October 18, 2019.

Sixty-two students from East, Henderson, and Rustin High Schools participated in the workshop. The Black Student Unions (BSU) from each school and the Iota Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. sponsored the event.

Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities only educated white students. HBCU were established to provide post-secondary education to the African-American community.

The workshop began with a panel discussion led by Lincoln University professor Kim Dotson-Brown and current Lincoln University students. Sheila Sawyer, a retired West Chester Area School District teacher, and Lincoln University graduate, also addressed the group. The panel emphasized the importance of not backing down from academic challenges and involvement in school activities.

Students spent the day engaged in different activities, which included a virtual Black History scavenger hunt.  They used their phones to scan QR codes, which helped them answer questions during their quest.  Students also learned about HBCU, the SAT and ACT exams, studying abroad, college financial aid, and the college application process. 

Feedback from students about the workshop was overwhelmingly positive.

“One thing I learned from today about HBCU was that Lincoln University was the first HBCU that gave out degrees. We were provided with a lot of information about HBCU that I did not know about,” said Jamal Tucker, a senior at East High School.

“I learned that HBCU can make a positive impact on your life,” added Patrice Kallie, a freshman at East High School.

The HBCU workshop comes ahead of a trip planned for November 8, where approximately 100 BSU students will tour Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, and Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

The primary purpose of BSUs in the WCASD is to build the self-esteem of African American students by encouraging pride in their rich heritage and participation in challenging learning experiences. The organization also helps students develop leadership skills, and education and vocational career goals, while providing a clear understanding of African American heritage to educators and the student body at large. BSU advisors are Velma Rose-Hill and Jasmine Worrell (East,) Dr. Koreem Bell and Shirley Wilson (Henderson,) and Paul Chambers and Marya Graham and (Rustin.)

Students learn more about the financial aid process.  Students learn more about the college application process.  Students wait for the panel discussion.