INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Pike High School says it’s leading the way in student enrollment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Pike’s Pre Collegiate Initiative, around since 2006, has helped high school graduates go to college.
Although ethnicity alone isn’t enough today to bar a student from college, advocates said, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, also called HBCUs, still play an important role in providing a sense of belonging.
As conversations about diversity and inclusion grow stronger, more students and student-athletes are opting to take their talents to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, advocates added.
Lincoln University graduate Jordan Perry said, “It was really because they gave me an opportunity. A lot of colleges didn’t really give me an opportunity, but they did.”
Malcolm Wiseman, a Prairie View A&M graduate, liked the smaller class sizes and nurturing environments at HBCUs. He said, “When I was applying to schools I only apply to HBCUs.”
Prarie View A&M graduate Kennedy Steele said, “I’ve always wanted to go to an HBCU. I’ve always seen it on TV, in the band and stuff, and I know just from talking to people, my family, just their experience and just a place where they care about you.”
Perry, Wiseman and Steele are some of Pike’s Pre Collegiate Initiative success stories. Perry got degrees in computer science from Lincoln University, and Wiseman and Steele received degrees in biology and chemistry from Prairie View A&M.
Of more than 100 HBCUs around the country, Pike officials said, their high school graduates have gone to more than half of them. Ruth Woods, an HBCU graduate, has helped many of them to university studies.
“My top goal is to let most students understand that they can be anything that they truly … if they put their heart to it, they can make it,” Woods said.
The quality of education received at HBCUs’ are often topics of debate. Woods said that quality of education stacks up right next to other schools. With HBCU preparing dozens to head into a variety of workforces.
“I do believe HBCUs are a hidden gem and people often look over them,” Steele said.