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College Courses Offered Exclusively to African Americans?

College Courses Offered Exclusively to African Americans?
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Only African American students will be allowed to enroll in certain sections of a mandatory introductory course at Moraine Valley Community College. The segregated course - similar to ones that are only open to veterans, special needs, and older students - is intended to help students feel more "comfortable." While registering, some parents found this exclusionary act alarming.

For years, Moraine Valley has offered College 101 "exclusively to groups such as athletes and those with special needs." Courses such as these are effective for low-income, first-generation and similar students, where they can build network systems with people of similar backgrounds. The other restricted course available only to African American students is titled "College: Changes, Challenges, Choice."

The data-driven decision is nothing new for the college, according to the college's Vice President for Institutional Development. She states that "this is not something new for us. We've done [courses for] veterans, we've done women, we have done Hispanics...we find that these particular courses with these particular groups with our mentoring and peer support help them to be more successful than they would be if they did not have this particular experience."

One parent wrote to the Chicago Tribune's opinion page that their Moraine Valley son wanted to know "why there are not two sections limited to Asian-American students? How about Native American students?" Some administrators argue that "limiting course sections to a particular racial or ethnic group could diminish the image of those classes, whereas experiencing other viewpoints and backgrounds improves tolerance among all groups."

Sectioned courses focus on the specific issues encountered by various groups. For example, veterans face a specific set of challenges that may not be experienced by non-veterans. Moraine Valley's Assistant Director of Communications claims that "students feel comfortable [in these settings] and are more likely to open up because they're with other students who are like them."

In your opinion, should these courses exist? Why or why not? Share with us your thoughtful opinions, and don't forget to check out scholarships by type.

Comments (7)
Bridget c. 8/14/2016
What happened to integration? This racial division of the student body is putting off actual racial equality in the United States.
SB 8/12/2016
I am not saying we all have the same backgrounds and experiences, but long as we tell people they need to be treated separately, they will continue to feel different. I see no need to divide courses along racial lines. Color is not the only thing that makes an individual who they are. Will the next step be to separate the African American veterans from the rest of the veterans, and racially divide the special needs students as well? If you are going to offer a course like College 101, every section should be open to everyone who would like to enroll.
Zcasavant 8/11/2016
They need to start offering courses to young male students, who are becoming the minority in college campuses. Somehow, though, I bet this will not actually happen. There's a huge separation between what students want and are driven about, and the connection to resources available to make those voices heard. Also, I feel offering classes to people of different races/ethnicities is dangerous. What if I wish to take these course with an African American, to help make changes and improve their struggles? What if I am mixed ancestry - who is going to verify/prove my race? Why do we continue racist and sexist practices such as these in this country? Anyone who wants to make positive change should be allowed to be included, despite their genitalia or color of their skin. The women's colleges are starting to figure this out, as they begin to allow men into their schools (should have happened 20 years ago, but that's the sludge). Why have other schools not evolved yet??
Kirill Neko 8/9/2016
So...... Segregation by race..... 40 freaking years after MLK - thanks, progressives.... Cal as it it - Racism.
blair m 8/9/2016
Sooo segregation is now cool? That's sad.
Chad E 8/8/2016
This is absolutely disgusting and racist. It is pathetic that people think they can justify such blatant racism in this country.
Dbarry 8/8/2016
NO... That's sad. Our country has become so divided... Segregation is not only reverse discrimination but degrading to the beneficiary. I have a dream that one day an individual will be judged on the content of their character (& scholarship) rather than the color of their skin (black, white, yellow, brown or red.)
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