Denmark Tech Joins First-of-its-Kind National Network of Historically Black and Predominantly Black Community Colleges
Denmark Technical College announced that it has been selected by national nonprofit Complete College America to join a first-of-its-kind national network of 22 Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCCs) and Predominantly Black Community Colleges (PBCCs) across eight states. As a member of the PBCC-HBCC Network, Denmark Technical College will work with leaders from predominantly Black community colleges across the country to share research and best practices to strengthen the career and economic outcomes of community college students of color.
“As a nation we have reached a crisis point in falling college graduation rates. As a small, rural, two-year HBCU, the challenges our adult students face are amplified in their pursuit of a higher education. We’re excited to be one of the twenty-two predominantly Black community colleges chosen by Complete College America for this innovative program. We look forward to partnering as we work to improve career outcomes for our adult learners,” said Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr., Denmark Technical College President.
Nationally, there are 12 historically Black community colleges and 49 predominantly Black community colleges. Under the definition created by the federal government in 2008, PBCCs enroll at least 40% of African American students and at least 50% of students from under-resourced households or first-generation students, and cost less for full-time undergraduate students than similar institutions. HBCCs are defined as institutions with a historical mission of serving Black students that predates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Over two years, Denmark Tech will work with a team of experts from Complete College America and other members of the PBCC-HBCC Network to identify and respond to the needs of adult learners of color. Initially launched in August 2021, the project focuses on the connection between educational experiences and career outcomes of Black students.
As a member of the network, Denmark Tech will assess current degree programs to identify courses and competencies that lead to credentials of value and are aligned with the needs of employers. Experts will also work to identify best practices around career and academic advising and wraparound supports to help meet students’ basic needs—such as access to nutrition, housing, and affordable transportation.
Research, evaluation, and the identification of best practices will be at the core of the PBCC-HBCC Network’s efforts. After the project, Denmark Tech will share baseline data on their progress toward eliminating differences in educational outcomes by race and age at their respective institutions. CCA and members of the Network will use the research and insights uncovered through the project to inform state and federal policy recommendations to better support students attending PBCCs and HBCCs.
The members of the PBCC-HBCC Network include:
- Alabama: Bishop State Community College, Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Gadsden State Community College, H. Councill Trenholm State Community College, J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, Lawson State Community College, Shelton State Community College, Wallace Community College Selma
- Arkansas: Arkansas State University Mid-South, Southeast Arkansas College, University of Arkansas- Pulaski Technical College
- Georgia: Atlanta Metropolitan State College
- Illinois: Olive-Harvey College (City Colleges of Chicago)
- Louisiana: Baton Rouge Community College, Delgado Community College, Southern University at Shreveport
- Massachusetts: Roxbury Community College
- Michigan: Wayne County Community College District
- South Carolina: Central Carolina Technical College, Denmark Technical College Northeastern Technical College, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
“For the first time ever, we are bringing together this critical–and overlooked—set of institutions to not only enhance their impact and effectiveness but also expand the national evidence base on supporting community college students of color,” said Dr. Nia Haydel, vice president of alliance engagement and institutional transformation at CCA. “The creation of this network will elevate the powerful contributions that HBCCs and PBCCs make in supporting social and economic mobility for Black Americans, particularly those in underserved communities.”