“During the time I have worked for HBCUs, I have noticed something very special. These folks genuinely care.”- Eddie Francis
Yes. The above words ring true. They ring true because I am an instructor at an HBCU, who also happens to be an alumna of an HBCU, and I live these words as I go to work on daily basis. Many people seem to think that the role of an instructor at a Historically Black College and/or University is one limited to being a recipient of a monthly paycheck for providing nothing to their students but frustration and lengthy assignments. This, however, is not the case. The experience with my professors helped to mold me into the professor that I am with my students; A professor who provides not only a “book” education, but also a “life” education. The purpose of the professor is to make sure that a student not only receives their assigned curriculum, but to also make sure that they strive to be the best that they can be in life.
The purpose of attending college is to further your high school education to successfully compete for employment in your chosen field, and in some cases, that education goes beyond the prescribed course outline. Many of the students who attend HBCUs are low income and/or first generation to attend college. Some come from high schools, both public and private, that did not adequately prepare them for life after they have left their secondary education. They come to college thirsty to learn more. This thirst is quenched in the academic classroom by a group of individuals who have chosen to be in a position to help progress the students who attend their institutions. Professors provide their student with the skills and mindset to go out into the business world to succeed. Along with teaching them the required course matter, some instructors also include assignments that may seem like something minor, but if the student completed the assignment, they will have learned a valuable lesson about life. Take time to introduce the student to things that they will need to know beyond the classroom. Provide them with the most useful advice to also balance their personal and professional lives.
The relationship between an instructor and a student is one that is built upon a certain level of trust. The students trust the instructors to give them an education, both “book” and “life.” The instructors trust that the students will take the knowledge and wisdom that they have imparted to them and continue to become successful people in the community.
Photo credit: Voorhees College, Facebook