Black Colleges Look To Increase Online Ed Presence
Staff Writer, The Associated Press, November 14, 2010

When Michael Hill needed a doctoral program with the flexibility to let him continue working full-time as a Lincoln University administrator, he chose an online degree from another institution.

With such firsthand experience, Hill is now trying to start an online program at Lincoln. It’s one of many historically black colleges and universities that has yet to enter a booming cybereducation market that could be particularly lucrative for black colleges.

Blacks comprised about 12 percent of total enrollment in higher education in 2007 but were 21 percent of students at for-profit institutions — many of which are online, according to an American Council on Education report released this year.

Tom Joyner, a syndicated radio host with a largely black audience, also sees the market’s potential. The longtime historical black college and unversity booster and philanthropist has invested about $7 million to start HBCUsOnline.com, an educational services venture run by his son.

“My father noticed very early on that a lot of the students doing the online education boom were members of his listening audience,” said Tom Joyner Jr. “Those listeners could be better served by HBCUs.”

While black colleges only enroll about 11 percent of all black students, their traditions and legacies still resonate in the African-American community. It makes sense that those schools would want to recapture students from for-profits like the University of Phoenix, said Richard Garrett, managing director of the consulting firm Eduventures.  (Read more)

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