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The Best of Our Knowledge # 909


At a time when more college students than ever before are members
of minority groups, higher percentages of them are enrolling at minority-
serving institutions. That's the finding of a report from the U.S. Education Department. The remarkable statistics leading to that conclusion include:
the number of two and four-year colleges whose undergraduate enrollment
is at least 25% minority, jumped from 414 in 1984 to 1,254 in 2004; In
1984, minority-serving colleges enrolled 38% of all minority undergraduates.
By 2004, they enrolled a healthy majority, 58%; Overall, minority-serving
colleges accounted for 32% of all colleges in 2004. Up from just 14% 20
years earlier; That increase mirrored the dynamic growth in minority undergraduate enrollment which climbed an impressive 146% to 4.7 million.
The largest numerical growth was in the category of black-serving colleges.
They numbered 200 in 1984 and now two decades later have grown to 622.
Helping those statistics advance, is what's known as The Posse Foundation. Since its inception in 1989, The Posse Foundation has sent well over 2,000 students from urban high schools to elite colleges and universities. The
Posse program has been a huge success...with Posse students graduating
at a rate well above the national average. How have they managed such success? To find out, TBOOK spoke with the Foundation's President and Founder, Dr. Deborah Bial. Dr. Bial received a B.A. from Brandeis University
and followed that with an M.A. and then a Doctorate from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. Her achievements were recognized last Fall
when she was awarded a MacArthur Genius Fellowship from the
Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation.
Glenn Busby reports. (13:34)

**(Program Directors and Listeners please note. If you would like to
find out more about The Posse Foundation, just visit their website at:

Our guest commentator during this Black History Month, takes us from
the assassinations of the sixties...through the civil rights era...to what
she now describes as the perpetuation of racially segregated schools.
Since the 1970's, Barbara Smith has been an active critic, teacher,
author, independent scholar, and publisher of black feminist thought.
She's also taught at a number of colleges and universities over the
past 25-years. Barb Smith was a guest on TBOOK many, many years
ago. And now she makes a return appearance with her commentary.
Barbara Smith comments. (4:20)