Chalk Talk

White enrollment increases at Black Universities

WASHINGTON - Just after noon on the Howard University yard, members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity broke into an impromptu step show, bobbing and chanting as they stomped in unison.

Chad Bishop watched from a distance. In his three years on the campus, he has become fully immersed in college life: student body treasurer, sports announcer, newspaper board member, and resident adviser in a dorm.

But Mr. Bishop, one of the few white students at this historically black university, said he has never felt quite comfortable enough to join a fraternity.

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"You know, I started to pledge, but then I thought I shouldn't," Bishop said. "I wasn't sure how people would feel about it with the history and everything. I wasn't sure if people would understand why I wanted to do it."

Increasingly, white students are enrolling at the nation's 120 historically black colleges and universities, changing the landscape of institutions created when African-Americans were barred from attending most colleges.

In the past quarter-century, the number of white students at these campuses has risen 65 percent, from 21,000 to nearly 35,000 - an increase driven partly by court orders aimed at desegregation and partly by interest in programs these schools offer.

Some, such as West Virginia State University and Lincoln University of Missouri, are now majority-white. Others, struggling to meet court mandates for more white students, use scant scholarship money to lure students from as far away as Russia.

Many educators said the changing demographics will enrich the educational experience for all students at the once all-black colleges. "Boardrooms are not all black, and classrooms shouldn't be either," says Lee Young, admissions director at North Carolina A&T University, which actively recruits white students.

- The Washington Post

New college program addresses nurse shortage

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. - American International College is launching a new master's program aimed at helping solve the national nurse shortage by putting more healthcare administrators and teachers in the field.

"I'm delighted that our nursing division has been so responsive to the nursing situation that we face here in the region and across the country," says college president Harry Courniotes. Training people to teach nursing students is a critical component of boosting the numbers, Mr. Courniotes said. The nation is short 110,000 nurses. A need for more nurses and healthcare professionals is expected as baby boomers age. Anne Glanovsky, AIC's director of the division of nursing, said the program will offer courses in the afternoon and evening to accommodate students who work.

Students now studying for four-year degrees in the field said they expect to take advantage of the opportunity when ready to pursue higher degrees. "I'm definitely going to want my master's at some point, and this program sounds wonderful," says junior Sharon Goncalves of Springfield. Classes for the two-year program will begin in January for a two-year master of science program in either nursing education or administration.

- Associated Press

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