Perhaps you’re searching for a college to attend for the next four years. Or maybe you’re curious about what California has to offer regarding HBCUs. Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll talk more about what exactly HBCUs are and elaborate on the only HBCU in California, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
With that being said, unfortunately, California only has one HBCU.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Charles R. Drew University is a private, four-year institution based in Los Angeles, California. Nonetheless, Charles R. Drew University is an excellent academic institution.
They offer smaller class sizes, meaning you’ll receive more one-on-one instructor attention. The school bases its curriculum on research, social justice, international exposure, experimental education, and health policy. Their goal is to provide solid preparation for students interested in the healthcare field and help students understand the true meaning of health.
Charles R. Drew University was named the second most diverse four-year private non-profit college in the nation. Additionally, you can expect great value out of your education in a Los Angeles location where you can explore big cities, entertainment, and cultural events.
Charles R. Drew doesn’t discriminate on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, marital status, religion, or disability.
Charles R. Drew University was named after Dr. Charles R. Drew, a pioneering African-American physician who battled racism in the mid-1900s. He did groundbreaking work on blood banking and plasma storage in addition to being a surgeon and sitting on the chair of surgery at Howard University.
Programs and Graduation
Charles R. Drew University has multiple programs for students looking to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree. To name a few:
- Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing
- Post-Master’s Certificate
- Graduate Medical Education
- Bachelor of Science
- Public Health and General Studies
Not only that, but their campus has plenty of research centers focusing on cancer, HIV and AIDS, cardiometabolic research, and more. This HBCU is community-founded and student-centered, with various professional leaders dedicated to delivering social justice and health equity education to disadvantaged populations.
Since 1966, CDU has had more than 600 physicians, 1,270 physician assistants, and 1,700 other health care professionals graduate.
Charles R. Drew University is a minority-serving school recognized by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Education, and the Historically Black Graduate Institution.
Over 80% of students and 70% of the faculty come from colored communities. CDU places the utmost importance on community, leadership, diversity, integrity, and compassion.
Paul Quinn and the Potential to Become an HBCU in California
Paul Quinn College is originally based in Dallas, but President Michael Sorrell announced that the university will launch a committee exploring the possibility of expanding more into the western part of the United States.
Even though the members have not been finalized yet, there’s a potential that they’ll meet this upcoming 2022 summer to begin the process of networking with more black historical colleges.
Similar to the background of Charles D. Drew University, African preachers founded Paul Quinn, aiming to educate freed African Americans in the late 1800s.
Despite Paul Quinn nearly closing over a decade ago, the campus leaders created partnerships to provide money to support them. Paul Quinn had low student graduation and designed programs to support first-time college-goers.
Paul Quinn is categorized as a work college, or one that allows students to gain experience in internships while they take classes. Since then, student debt has reduced, and graduation has improved. Paul Quinn offers admission and grants to eligible students and online classes.
This is good news since historically black colleges and universities in California are rare, and having more variety will garner future students towards job opportunities and future careers.
Best African-American and Black Studies Colleges in California
The number of HBCUs in California is staggeringly low compared to other states in the southern United States. Nonetheless, there are plenty of colleges in California that focus on African American studies.
University of California, Berkeley
This school offers three African-American studies programs. This large, public school was founded in 1868 and is located in a midsize city. They rank as the number one public university worldwide with over 350 major programs. 23% of their student population is first-generation college students.
University of Southern California
Secondly, USC is a private campus located in a large city and is one of the world’s leading private research universities. They offer a diverse curriculum that helps students excel in a constantly evolving world. The Wall Street Journal ranked USC 19th among other universities. Similar to the previous college, USC has 23% of first-generation students attending while 32% are of color.
University of California, Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara location has a lively environment that encourages connection, ambition, and creativity through diverse interactions. This campus is the leading research institution, and all faculty and staff strive to collaborate and meet the needs of a cultural society. Their commitment to diversity and providing opportunities for all students make this school a top pick to pursue a major or degree.
University of California, Davis
This college ranks the fourth best public university in America based on the cost. The University of California, Davis, ranks number one in the U.S. for diversity, inclusiveness, and internationalization. This top-tier school has countless programs that are the best in the country that will educate students on how to solve current and future problems in the modern world.
University of California, Los Angeles
The iconic UCLA has a unique campus with a diverse community. The staff works to provide an opportunity for the student regardless of their background. There are over 5,000 international students enrolled in their programs, with 31% being first-generation undergraduates.
Stanford encourages learning, discovery, innovation, and expression. The campus opened in 1891 and is located within the Muwekma Ohlone tribe territory, meaning both its faculty and staff have a large community of Native Americans. With a rich history, they hope to influence the future strongly.
University of California, Riverside
The University of California, Riverside, is a member of the University Innovation Alliance, meaning they are committed to helping low-income, first-generation, and colored students succeed. Hispanic, Asian, White, and Black students mingle together on campus to build an innovative environment.
California State University, Long Beach
This college aims to enrich students’ lives through informed educational experiences with excellent teaching, research, creativity, and action. Since 1949, the Long Beach location has aimed to continue the tradition while embracing new ones with students on a diverse, nondiscriminating campus.
University of California, Irvine
Next up we have the University of California, Irvine, was founded in 1965 with a mission to enhance lives through education, research, and public service. The school ranks highly in the top ten public universities, offering almost 90 bachelor’s degree programs, and promoting inclusion for all races and sexes.
If you’re set on attending an HBCU specifically in California, then your options are limited since it’s not a state renowned for plenty of historically black colleges and universities. That said, California offers various other colleges to choose from but ultimately it’s up to your preferences and what you’re looking to obtain with your college experience.
The Importance of HBCUs
Inarguably, every college in the United States has a history that differentiates it from the others. History matters when it comes to choosing a school, especially if you want to honor the legacy that’s significant to African Americans. Many states have HBCs, but California doesn’t have many.
With that in mind, HBCUs symbolize how African Americans had to fight for the ability to learn and have the same opportunities as white people. Many black Americans still fight today.
The formation of HBCUs is iconic and historical. For countless years, white and black people were not allowed to attend the same universities. Even before that, African Americans weren’t allowed to get an education at all.
HBCUs provide a safe place to educate African Americans and help them succeed. Not only are HBCUs meant for black people, but many are members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, diversifying and educating students of different nationalities.
In other words, HBCUs are more diverse than before the 1960s. You might choose to attend an HBCU because of the strong lineage you have with the African American community.
The University of Southern California, as well as the University of California in Berkeley, were rated highly in the top 50 colleges for black students.
The California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement to Historically Black Colleges and Universities
HBCUs were allowed to join The California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement. This was was approved in 2015.
What does this mean? That’s a good question. Students are now encouraged to apply to many different HBCUs, as well as California state schools, so they can compare which offers or scholarships are best for them. You shouldn’t settle on one or the other until you have a good idea of what each offers for your individual needs.
Counselors can help students with trickier financial aid and applications to make sure they get the best offer. Regardless, you’re guaranteed admission. Even if you attend college out-of-state, there will be plenty of African-American students waiting for you.
A lot of African Americans in the 1930s and 1940s who went to school in one of the southern states moved north or west afterward to find jobs. Since California has only one HBCU, you’d have to consider out-of-state costs and the prospect of moving across the country. Many students fear feeling unsupported, but the above form hopes to change that.
HBCU, What Is It?
Before going deep into the main section of the article, it’s important to establish what HBCU stands for. Historically black colleges and universities form the acronym HBCU.
These schools were founded on the belief that every student deserves access to college and higher education. Historically black colleges date back to the early 1800s. Over one hundred public and private universities have earned the HBCU title from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 states that for a college to qualify as an HBCU, it needs to be established before 1964. Its principal mission is to educate black Americans. Additionally, a nationally recognized agency determined by the Secretary of Education needs to credit the school as such.
Brief History of HBCUs
HBCUs play an important role, more than just being a historically black college. Did you know that 25% of African American graduates with STEM degrees come from HBCUs? The history of African Americans and higher education is long, dating back before the Civil War.
The oldest HBCU is Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, founded in 1837. As of 2015, St. Philip’s College was the largest HBCU. Alabama clocks in with the highest number of HBCU institutions in the state.
That said, HBCUs remain relatively small compared to other universities. Their student body increases and decreases frequently. However, HBCUs generate about 134,000 jobs nationwide, effectively diversifying occupations in both professional and educational areas.
They have an impressive success rate when it comes to retaining and graduating first-generation African Americans, helping low-income students succeed and obtain a degree. HBCUs cost significantly less than other universities.
Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities in California, Final Thoughts
In the end, the top HBCU in California is Charles R. Drew University since it’s the only one. However, there are other schools for upcoming students to consider if they want to remain in-state, alongside the potential for more HBCU expansion.
Depending on your goals, such as your degree, your budget, and your lifestyle, consider looking more into the colleges mentioned in this article before you settle on the best HBCU for you.