Through a partnership with the National Forum and Jackson State University, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) implemented a leadership development project designed to enhance the skills and abilities of current and future administrators of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI’s). This project addresses the unique needs of HBCU and PBI communities targeting three pressing issues within these communities: increasing African American male student achievement and retention, guiding future policy making and practice in emergency preparedness planning and crisis communication; and ensuring that these institutions successfully achieve and maintain standards for accreditation.
Founded on the vision and leadership of past college presidents, committed faculty and administrators, trustees, students and alumni of HBCU’s and PBI’s, this project is intended to build on the strengths if these institutions as well as assess critical needs. Continued improvements and enhancing current strengths are modeled after best practices among HBCU’s and PBI’s and across higher education institutions.
As higher education institutions enter into a new era, leaders must be well versed on the current issues and potential impacts and they must be able to determine innovative and successful strategies. The initial stages of this project included case studies of fictitious institutions to set the context for addressing various social, economic and political issues. In following stages, fellows were presented with various problem sets as a means of providing NAFEO fellows with potential and real issues facing HBCU’s and PBI’s. Considering factors such as, organizational design, funding, internal and external resources, for example, NAFEO fellows used unique learning rubrics as a way to organize information and develop effective strategies for addressing particular problems. Fellows assessed the case studies over the course of six months in 2005 and 2006.
The National Forum played a key role in developing the case studies and problem sets, as well as creating Pillars of Our Success: Preparing New Leaders for Historically and Predominately Black Colleges and Universities, a guide sharing learning rubrics as models of best practices implemented among various HBCU’s and higher education institutions.
Theme in Action & Research: Diversity