Elevating HBCU excellence in advising during National Caribbean American Month

Published: June 29, 2023

National Caribbean American month has been celebrated every June since 2006 to spread awareness about the rich culture and heritage of Caribbean Americans and their contributions to United States history, according to the National Archives News

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established in the early 19th century in the United States to provide educational opportunities to people of African descent without the interference of racial discrimination.

In addition to the African American demographic attending and contributing to HBCUs and its history, Caribbean, Caribbean Americans, Africans, and anyone of African descent or a product of the African diaspora have made wonderful contributions to not only HBCU history but to history in the United States.

Gathering Thought Partners

The Advising Success Network (ASN) selected more than 20 higher education institutions to participate in the HBCU 2020-2021 Professional Learning Community (PLC) and 2021 Symposium, these institutions were given the space for idea sharing, model development, and leadership opportunities in order to create better tools for equity and student success, especially for the populations of particular interest to the ASN (e.g., Black, Latinx/a/o, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, and poverty-affected students).

For the 2020-2021 Professional Learning Community (PLC), HBCUs such as Grambling State University, Tuskegee University, Clark Atlanta University and many more have helped the ASN and our partners at the National Resource Center gather information to create a newsletter that includes a summary of HBCU engagement, a video library, and a resource collection, featuring empirical-based information and research studies focused on advising, student success, retention, and equity issues in the HBCU context.

The virtual one-day Symposium (held on October 2, 2021) served as one of the many PLC engagements for HBCU participants to encourage discussions on topics, trends, issues, and impact on student development.

Virtual Learning and Engagement

Invited speakers & addressed topics (video links go to the Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition YouTube channel):

Continuing the Work

The National Resource Center recognized that HBCUs tend to be excluded within the larger dialogue about advising redesign and student success; HBCUs were seen as critical partners in the ASNs activities and several dedicated channels for their involvement were created. The ASN also looks forward to continuing partnerships and creating more relationships with HBCUs in the near future in order to improve student success outcomes and advance equity for underrepresented identities.

Tell us about what you’re doing at your institutions by engaging with us through our social media accounts such as LinkedIn (Advising Success Network (ASN)) and Twitter (@Advising360).

Sydnee Singletary (she/her/hers) authored this blog during her spring 2023 internship with the Advising Success Network. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Multiplatform Journalism with a concentration in African American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.