Day Five of the 2018 Y College Tour continued with visits to two more HBCUs while still in Louisiana—both in New Orleans, relatively small (i.e., under 10,000 students) and linked to religious institutions. First we toured Dillard University, a private, historically black liberal arts college founded in 1930 after incorporating earlier institutions that dated back to 1869 after the American Civil War. Second, we visited Xavier University established in 1925 when Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded the coeducational secondary school from which Xavier later evolved.
Dillard University is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church and Xavier University is a Catholic institution, however, neither of them have specific religion requirements and both accept students from all creeds and religions to their universities. Rather, they use their religious affiliations as a moral and value system to guide their academic and professional educational and personal goals and vision for their students. For these reasons, both served as wonderful reminders that for anything we do in the pursuit of our dream(s) we must always have purpose and faith in order to do the work we must do to accomplish them.
(Dillard Left // Xavier Right)
Dillard University is the oldest HBCU in Louisiana and its campus is a National Historical Site with buildings and landscapes dating back to the time before the merger of the institutions that are now DU. During the tour of the university our guides and admissions counselors paid special attention to making sure students understood key information about their institution. Two key elements that DU had to offer were: 1) The same cost for in-state and out-of-state tuition and 2) the fact that despite only having undergraduate programs, DU is a research based undergraduate institution that seeks to assist students in building their academic and professional resumes in order to help them get into the graduate school(s) of their choice. These aspects were very relevant to some of the students. For instance, Elianisha Lucce explained that the same tuition costs for in and out-of-state really made her think of this university a bit different and that she might even consider it.
Xavier University, like Dillard, offered great research and professional development opportunities for our teens in their pursuit of their career goals and dreams. For many of our students it seemed like Xavier really cared about their education, each of their professional goals, and the community as a whole. In fact, our admissions counselor and guide explained that XULA is dedicated to helping students build the necessary connections and strategies to meet their goals, whether it’d be further higher education, employment and internship opportunities, and more. But most important, he shared that Xavier really prides itself in staying active in the local communities and connected with them.
Throughout both tours, Y College Tour students made all the necessary questions for them to be prepared to apply and attend these universities. Still, some of them had more specific questions about how each of these institutions could help them build the right path towards their dream—whether it’d be academically, professionally, or beyond.
We arrived in Tallahassee later and went straight to bed so we could get ready for two more of the last three visits: Florida Mechanical and Agricultural University (FAMU) and Florida State University (FSU).