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California Bill Would Recognize Colleges and Universities Enrolling Black Students

California Bill Would Recognize Colleges and Universities Enrolling Black Students

State Sen. Steven Bradford attends an event in Culver City, Calif., on November 7, 2019. (Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for MedMen)

Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte

5/30/2024

Updated: 6/3/2024

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A California bill would establish a category to recognize colleges and universities that serve and provide support for black and African American students.
State Senate Bill 1348, introduced by Sen. Steven Bradford, would create criteria for institutions to receive a “Black-Serving Institution” designation, including setting enrollment thresholds for such students, requiring African American studies programs and offering black student success programs and support services.
The bill passed the Senate Education and Appropriations committees and unanimously passed the Senate floor May 23. It is now being considered in the California State Assembly.
The designation would apply to both public and private colleges and universities in the state.
According to Mr. Bradford, the bill aims to recognize historical barriers and discrimination faced by black students in accessing higher education, as well as the vital role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in combating discrimination.
“[The bill] will focus attention on the disparities that exist for black students in higher education,” he said in an April statement. “By creating a seal of excellence that recognizes the colleges and universities in California that are doing the most to support black student success, we can recognize their important efforts and encourage others to take similar steps to improve overall outcomes.”
Dr. Thomas A. Parham, President of California State University, Dominguez Hills, supported the bill in the same statement, saying such a designation would reflect his university’s curricula, staff and student body.
“[The] designation as a Black-Serving Institution of Higher Education would ... help to advance critical support networks for black students highlighted by our African-centered curriculum, faculty composition in African American studies and other academic departments, campus services, and programs,” he said.
The bill also received support from the California Federation of Teachers, California State University, Office of the Chancellor California State University, Sacramento Campaign for College Opportunity and the University of California. There was no recorded opposition as of May 20, according to a Senate floor analysis.
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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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