How to Breakdown Educational Stonewalls – Nu Leadership Series

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Non-traditional universities are leveraging diversity as a competitive advantage. The changing demographics in America are reshaping our lives. You can see it even in traditional educational programs.

For example, Regent University has 70 Blacks (22%) in its doctoral program; this contradicts the 3.1 percent national average. In a typical doctoral program, you would see fewer minorities. Some may wonder why this is the case. Clearly, Tsui and Gutek, demographic gurus, explain that some organizations are typically demographically homogeneous. Individuals with doctoral degrees are a homogeneous collection.

With this clarification, let’s analyze this erudite phenomenon. Non-traditional institutions (HBCUs, online colleges, etc.) provide an access to the doctoral pathway for Black professionals. Nova Southeastern and Howard University combine for 7.6 percent of all doctorate awarded to Blacks from 1993-1998.

Many academic traditionalists argue that these institutions accept inferior candidates that traditional schools would turn down. They spurn the notion part-time doctoral student. Therefore, the academic party line believes those nontraditional universities are academically inferior.

Why are these nontraditional institutions growing so fast then? These institutions reach an unmet need in the marketplace. The average American can’t afford to give up their jobs in pursuit of a doctoral degree.

These nontraditional institutions provide educational access, schedule flexibility, reasonable financial accommodations, academic acceptance, and course offerings tailed to their personal needs. Unfortunately, these non-traditional graduates must produce extraordinary results in the marketplace to destroy these academic myths.

References:

NSF.gov (1998). Doctorate Recipients from the United States Universities: Summary Report 1998. Received on July 17, 2006, from www.nsf.gov/statistics/srs00410/secta.htm

Tsui, A. & Gutek, B. (1999). Demographic Differences in Organizations. New York: Lexington Books.

Winston, B. (July 16, 2006). Response to Forum A: A Call to Extraordinary

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green