DAYTONA TIMES STAFF
College Choice, a publication that helps students select the best educational choices based on their needs, desires and future plans, has named Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) as one of its top HBCUs (historically Black college and university.)
The university is ranked No. 3 on its list; the first time B-CU has placed in the top five.
“We are very proud of the progress we are making here at B-CU. Our student enrollment is at its highest and we plan to continue on this path of growth and student success,” Dr. Edison O. Jackson, president of the university, said in a statement.
According to College Choice, the 2015 Rankings of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are based on factors college freshmen said were most important to their college decision. The most recent nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA shows these factors include academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost, and success of graduates in the post-college job market.
Each of these factors were weighted equally in the ranking and data was derived from a variety of publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics s well as PayScale.com.
Tuskegee University in Alabama got the No. 1 slot while Hampton University in Virginia was second on the list.
‘Strenuous academic program’
The publication had this to say about B-CU:
“Just two miles away from relaxing beaches and sweeping views of the Atlantic, the university is located on an 82-acre campus consisting of more than 52 administrative and academic buildings, innovative technology centers and nine student residence halls.
“Guided by its core values to live out its deepest convictions and seek social justice, the university has cultivated faith, scholarship and service for more than 100 years. Undergraduate curriculum emphasizes learning opportunities that promote social responsibility and civic participation.
“The university offers a strenuous academic program enriched by incredible faculty, hands-on service activities and a plethora of extra-curricular opportunities. Popular majors include criminal justice, nursing, business administration, psychology, mass communication and biology.’’
Jackson: Enrollment up
In an April interview with the Florida Courier, the sister paper of the Daytona Times, Jackson said he sees B-CU as a great research university.
“I’ve coined the phrase, which is a vision statement, that we’re moving towards becoming a great small research university that happens to be an HBCU,” he remarked.
Jackson noted that the university’s enrollment continues to increase. In fall 2014, B-CU enrolled 4,045 students, an increase of 258 students over the previous year.
“While most institutions are losing enrollment, we’re growing and have grown for the past few years,” Jackson said. He also pointed out that the school has had a 6 percent to 7 percent increase in Black males three years in a row.
B-CU, founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, how has three campuses – in Daytona Beach, Deltona and Hastings.
Jackson also cited the following additions and accomplishments:
•Expanding the School of Business to the College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The expansion enables the university to offer more concentrated areas of study and encourage and foster business owners.
•Creating the College of Health Sciences, which will include a master’s degree in physical health, a doctorate in physical therapy in conjunction with Florida Hospital, and a master’s in nursing program.
•Partnering with Volusia County Schools, which includes a mentoring program for students at elementary schools located near the campus.
•Requiring all B-CU students to take a course in entrepreneurship prior to graduation. The idea is to introduce them to entrepreneurship whether they decide to start a business or not.
•Increasing foreign language requirements to help them be more competitive.
•Adding 15 new faculty members.
For more information on the HBCU, visitwww.cookman.edu.