to the HBCUGEA
click here...
News from the HBCUGEA - Summer 2012

Senior Education Department Officials to Deliver Remarks at Second Annual Conference of the HBCU General Education Alliance
May 25, 2012

Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

Event Date: May 29, 2012 01:00 pm - 02:00 pm

U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and Director of the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) John Wilson deliver keynote remarks at the opening session of the Second Annual HBCU General Education Alliance Conference on Tuesday, May 29 at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. Kanter and Wilson will highlight recent efforts by the Department to keep college affordable for millions of students, including those attending minority serving institutions, while boosting program quality and completion to help ensure Americans remain competitive in the 21st century global economy. They will participate in a Q&A session following their remarks.
The theme of the conference, which runs from May 29 to 31, is "Blueprints for Educating the African American Student.”



Raleigh, North Carolina’s The News and Observer Announces HBCU-General Education Alliance Conference
Conference tackles grad rates at HBCUs

Early support can help students stay on track

By Jane Stancill

RALEIGH.  Educators from historically black colleges and universities across the country will gather at Shaw University this week to consider ways to boost college graduation rates for minority students.
   The conference, “Blueprints for Educating the African-American Student,” runs from Tuesday through Thursday at Shaw University. The event is the first major conference of a group known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities-General Education Alliance.
   The group aims to bring together research-based data to enhance the academic success of students of color, said its president, Hazel Arnett Ervin.
    “We don’t want to say we’ve been talking for a long time, but we have,” Ervin said. “We need some strategies that work.”
    Achievement gaps that emerge in elementary school persist to high school and beyond.  The average graduation rate for black students at U.S. four-year colleges and universities is about 20 percentage points below that of their white peers, according to a 2010 report from the Education Trust, an organization that promotes closing the achievement gap.
    Some colleges do a better job than others, as highlighted by data on the Education Trust’s interactive website, Six-year graduation rates at North Carolina’s historically black colleges range from 23 percent at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh to nearly 47 percent at Bennett College in Greensboro.
    There are some proven ways to improve performance. One, Ervin said, is to concentrate on students’ general education courses and basic skills in their first few semesters in college.
    “Our position is if you help students to secure those skills, help them to become very confident, critical thinkers and problem solvers, that you are laying a pretty good groundwork for them to get through those next four years as they move into their majors,” she said. “There’s such a large number of African-American and disadvantaged, low-income students of color who are not getting past those first two years in college.”

For more information, visit






Highlights of Comments by NAEP’s Susan Cooper Loomis to Historically Black Colleges and Universities:  General Education Alliance
Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina
May 29, 2012

Achievement Gaps:  Performance, Course Taking, and Preparedness

Susan LoomisThe presentation by Susan Cooper Loomis focused on three types of data:  student performance on NAEP, course taking in high school, and preparedness of 12th grade students for college-level course work.

Overall, black students have a lower average mathematics score on NAEP than students in other racial/ethnic groups.  The gap between the average NAEP score for black and white students is statistically large (nearly 1 standard deviation) for students in public schools nationwide and in each of the four major geographic regions of the nation.  For 12th graders in the NAEP public school sample, the average score for black students is below the NAEP Basic level and the average score for white students is below the NAEP Proficient level.

Course Taking
Over the past two decades, the pattern of course taking has revealed a positive shift.  First, a significant increase in only four years from 2005 to 2009 in the percentage of high school graduates having taken algebra I before high school was observed for the nation as a whole and for black, white and Hispanic students.  And, a positive shift toward more advanced mathematics courses taken in high school by students in all racial/ethnic groups was observed.  In 1990 Algebra 1 or below was the highest mathematics course taken by nearly 40% of black and Hispanic high school graduates, and by 2009 the percentage of black and Hispanic high school graduates that had taken advanced mathematics or calculus in high school roughly matched that number.

Taking more rigorous courses in high school is a positive trend that is consistently associated with higher performance on the mathematics NAEP, but the gap in performance for black and white students taking the same level of mathematics is disturbing. Comparisons of student performance on the 12th grade mathematics NAEP show a score gap between performance of black and white students having taken the same level of mathematics in high school, and the score gap widens as the rigor of the coursework increases.  In 2009, the average grade 12 mathematics NAEP score of white students who had taken Algebra I or below as the highest mathematics course was 118, compared to 105 for black students; and the average score was 194 for white students who had taken calculus, compared to 170 for black students who had taken calculus.  This is a large score difference for students having taken the same level of mathematics. Such differences cause one to question the quality and actual rigor of instruction offered to black students, particularly in these more advanced courses.

When high school course work was examined according to the overall rigor of the curriculum, the percentage of black students taking a rigorous curriculum increased during the first decade (1990-2000) and then flattened (2000-2009). The trend for other racial/ethnic groups continued to increase from 1990 to 2009.

Preparedness for College-Level Coursework
Research by the National Assessment Governing Board shows that performance around the grade 12 NAEP Proficient level is related to the performance on the SAT the College Board has found to be associated with freshman year college success (a .67 probability of earning a freshman year grade point average of B- or higher).  Other indicators of college preparedness indicate that performance below the grade 12 Basic level would likely require remedial course work in college. The average grade 12 NAEP performance reported earlier was below the Proficient level for the nation as a whole and for white students in all regions; the average grade 12 NAEP score for black students was near the Basic level. Of course the average score includes many higher scoring students, but the average score data represent a cause for concern.






Article Quick Links

Senior Education Department Officials to Deliver Remarks at Second Annual Conference of the HBCU General Education Alliance

Raleigh, North Carolina’s The News and Observer Announces HBCU-General Education Alliance Conference

ABC News Affiliate Covers Annual HBCU-General Education Alliance Conference

Highlights of Comments by NAEP’s Susan Cooper Loomis to Historically Black Colleges and Universities: General Education Alliance


Archived News
Fall 2015
Winter 2013
Summer 2012


Letters from the President

2011- 2017 General Education Alliance    404.272.4571     FAX 404.243.9226    P.O. Box 115037, Atlanta, Georgia, 30310
site designed by Brenash-Derian