This paper reviews the status of historicallyblack colleges and universities (HBCUs) and assesses their mission in light of the changing nature of higher education and the new challenges that HBCUs and other higher education institutions must address. It is based on extensivediscussions with HBCU presidents and chancellors, campus visits, and reviews of documents and data.
HBCUs continue to play a critical role in "advancingm the race" and achieving President Obama's national goals for higher education and economic competitiveness, including a dramatic increase in college completion rates by 2020. To have the world's best-prepared workforce requires the United States to produce 10 million new college graduates and to make
sure every young person completes at least one year of postsecondary education.
Two generations ago, before desegregation, more than three-quarters of black college graduates attended HBCUs. Today, less than one-sixth of college-going black students attend these institutions, but this still representsa significant portion of a much bigger collegegoing population facing an increasingly large and complex array of educational opportunities.