Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



School of Education


Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to investigate the growth patterns of predominantly Black four-year higher education institutions during the period 1966-1976, with projections about their future. The variables selected to measure growth patterns in this study were: enrollment trends; changes in the faculties and facilities (especially libraries); resources and funding and institutional accreditation status. The descriptive-historical method was used to accomplish the investigation. The Population and Sample The population of this study consisted of seventy-eight (78) four-year predominantly Black institutions of higher learning in the United States and its territories that were predominantly Black higher education institutions in 1966 and remained as such through 1976. The sample selected for this study is the entire population — a census. The sample consisted of forty-six (46) predominantly Black four-year private higher education institutions and thirty-two (32) predominantly Black four-year public higher education institutions. Findings This study gave rise to the following findings: 1. The total enrollment showed a continuous yearly increase for the first five years and a yearly decrease for the next four years, with a dramatic increase during the last year, and a net gain in enrollment over the ten-year period of this study. 2. A very dramatic change in the faculties of Black institutions over the ten-year period of this study was shown by the increase in the percentages of faculty holding the doctorate from eighteen percent average in 1966-1967 to an average of forty percent by 1975-1976. 3. Even though there were distinct increases in the number of volumes and the annual expenditure for libraries for all the institutions over this ten-year period, only the public institutions exhibited these increases by several hundred percent. 4. In spite of the financial problems and other difficulties and the prediction of doom prior to and at the beginning of this period with regard to these institutions, not a single one of them had to close its doors during the period of this study. 5. Over the entire ten-year period of this study, all public institutions (except one, for a period of two years) had institutional accreditation granted by their regional accrediting agency and only five private institutions were without institutional accreditation status, over the entire ten years. 6. The majority of these institutions will be hard-pressed to modify their mission, purpose and curricula, if they are to survive in the future. Conclusions Based on the findings of this study, derived from data analysis of information collected on questionnaires as well as the interviews, the author has drawn the conclusions listed below: 1. Higher education seems to be following the trend of public education in the sense that in spite of significant efforts to achieve a unitary system in which institutions are not distinguishable by a majority race, there are and appear will be for years to come predominantly Black schools. 2. These institutions have been able to be competitive in attracting credentially qualified persons in both the Black and white community to serve on its faculty. 3. The administrators of these institutions had come to realize that serving a unique segment of a pluralistic society could no longer be used as an excuse for asking students and faculties to accept inadequate facilities. In fact, it appears as though the administrators feel that the facilities (especially libraries) need to be above the required standards of accreditation if these institutions are to continue to serve a valuable purpose in society. 4. These institutions, especially the private ones, will obtain no serious relief in the near future in the "management of shortages" (except via aid from the Federal Government, in some instances) and the vitality of their future is seriously related to the economic problems of society and the management ability of the administrators of these institutions. 5. These institutions did not wish for their unique roles and their financial dilemma to be used as an excuse for their not providing quality programs, facilities and activities for their students to be favorably competitive once they graduate. 6. The future of most of these institutions, just as their pasts have been, will have a strong advantage with regard to survival in that these institutions see survival as a real probability and a real issue that has to be given certain priority attention. Implications The study gave rise to the following implications: 1. The enrollment in these institutions will increase at a modest rate for private institutions and at a substantially higher rate for public institutions. 2. The faculty of these institutions had much better paper credentials in the last year of this study than the faculty at the beginning of this study; and these institutions have been able and will continue to be able to compete and obtain qualified persons in the Black and white community. 3. Libraries and other inadequate facilities must be substantially improved if the predominantly Black four-year higher education institutions are to maintain and improve growth. 4. Many of the institutions, especially private ones, must institute more sophisticated and efficient management systems that can produce volumes of data annually, if they are to obtain needed funds from philanthropic foundations and the Federal Government in the future. 5. Many of these institutions will have to redefine their missions, curricula, purposes and increase their vitality in the Black community, if they are to continue to survive as viable units. Recommendations Having completed this study, the author makes the following recommendations: 1. A study be conducted that investigates the prevailing conditions of institutions not included in this study: those which were predominantly Black in terms of enrollment in 1966, but their enrollment composition changed to predominantly White before 1976, and also those institutions that were predominantly white in 1966 and became predominantly Black before 1976. 2. The predominantly Black higher education institutions (especially the private ones), more vigorously investigate sources for funding their library collections, in order to give stronger support to their academic programs. 3. The predominantly Black institutions that do not currently have effective and efficient management systems, which clearly provide adequate data and unambiguous accountability of resources on a periodic basis, make it a priority to establish such at the earliest feasible time. 4. A detailed study be conducted to measure the amount of support that the alumni of these institutions provide for their alma mater and to measure the current esteem of these institutions in the Black communities in general.