Summer Program for Black Students at Predominantly White Hilbert College Seeks to Increase Racial Diversity on Campus

Hilbert College is a 1,100-student educational institution in Hamburg, New York, which was founded by a Franciscan nun. The latest data shows that blacks make up 4 percent of the student body.

The college is seeking to increase the racial diversity of its campus by holding a summer institute for black students. Thirteen black students attended the three-week program this summer. The high school students, who were recruited from local black churches, live on campus and take mathematics and English classes each day to prepare them to take the SAT college admission test. They also receive instruction in study skills and career planning. The students also participate in athletic, cultural, and social events. Each student receives a stipend to offset the loss of earnings from summer employment for their three-week college stay.

The summer program, called From High School to Hilbert College, is funded by a $450,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation.