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Uptick In Girls and Black Kids Studying Computer Science in High School

It has been true for years that certain demographics, including women have long been underrepresented in STEM fields. This is true specifically in the Computer Science field. A new study is suggesting a change could be coming  because of a boost in the number of girls and black kids studying computer science in the AP Computer Science Principles class in high school.

The study, conducted by the College Board, reports a 121 percent increase in the number of black students taking the class since it was first introduced in 2016. The number of females entering the course has shot up by 136 percent.potus-cs

Moreover, the number of black students who passed the AP exam with a 3 or higher has jumped 118 percent. For Latinos that figure sits at 116 percent.  AP exams are scored from one to five, with one being the worst and five the best. Scoring a three of higher means the student can now bypass remedial courses in the subject once they’re college bound.

That’s significant l because it could mean a larger diverse pool of college bound students who are academically prepared for and have an interest in Computer Science programs.

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Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City and Philadelphia. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email at Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Choosing a Career, Diversity Recruiting, Employment Trends, STEM Careers, Teens at Work | Comments Off on Uptick In Girls and Black Kids Studying Computer Science in High School

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Bill to Cancel Student Debt

Student debt is one of the massive issues being discussed among Democratic candidates in the 2020 election.  This is of particular interest to students of HBCUs since 86.8% of black students borrow federal student loans to attend 4-year public colleges, as opposed to 59.9% of white students.  (Source – National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

While each candidate hopes to lighten the college debt load for the next generation of educated Americans, none of them seem to have a plan that’s both as detailed or ambitious as Elizabeth Warren’s plan to cancel student debt up to $640 billion.

“[Student loan] debt not only affects the people who try to carry it it affects our entire economy,” Warren said. “Finding a way to cancel a big chunk of that student loan debt means freeing up young people to do more.”

Dealing a blow to student loan debt  is hardly a campaign ploy for Warren.  Rather, the Student Loan Debt Relief Act is currently part of Warren fulfilling her Senatorial duties. As both a candidate and a member of Congress, Warren has noted that a big driver behind her effort to lower the effects of student debt is the fact that most of the US debt is taken on by low and middle income students — a major target demographic for the senator.  

Beyond the demographic aspects regarding who accrues debt and who doesn’t, post secondary education has tripled in price, and as Warren’s competitor Andrew Yang  normally says, it hasn’t tripled in quality.

While it will be an uphill battle for the bill to get through the Republican dominated Senate, its presence says a lot about what’s important to the Democrats this election cycle. Currently, both Sanders and Warren (the two candidates furthest to the left) are taking up two of the top five spots. Their success with ideas like free college or cancelling student debt just don’t seem as extreme as they were four years ago.

If the bill somehow passed it wouldn’t be the US government sitting down and cancelling all the debt right out of the gate. The bill more generally aims to make it easier for people who have built up student loan debt to actually cancel that debt. Despite the bill not being a catch all for the nearly 44.7 million Americans owing upwards of $1.5 trillion, it would cancel a max of $50,000 for all Americans making less than $100,000 a year. Warren  plans to fund the bill will her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” a plan that would collect two cents on the dollar from every person with a fortune over $50 million.

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Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City and Philadelphia. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email at Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Posted in Employment Trends, HBCU Career Programs, Life After College, New Grad, ReSkill America | Comments Off on Elizabeth Warren Proposes Bill to Cancel Student Debt

Texas Southern University Will Host Third Democratic Debate

The candidates vying for the Democratic nod in 2020 each know that issues regarding race and diversity will be 2020 talking points. In keeping with the emphasis on diversity, Texas Southern University, an HBCU located in Houston, will be hosting the third Democratic debate on September 12th .

Texas Southern now joins Howard University as the only other HBCU to host a presidential debate.  TSU

Miami: which has a 70 percent Hispanic population, and Detroit: the city with the second largest African American population, have both served as host cities during this debate cycle.  While they are both diverse cities, they’re also housed deeply inside of highly contested battle ground states. Texas Southern University in Houston is no different as Texas is now a Super Tuesday state. This means that the Texas primary will be decided on the same day as several other big delegate states like California and Massachusetts.

Interestingly, each city to host a Democratic debate this year also seems to represent issues virtually embedded into the 2020 election. In Miami, the debate about immigration and the need for sensible border policy raged on. In Detroit, residents are still coming back from the 2008 housing crisis, battling a horrible public education system, and the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the Motor City. Being that this is the first of the primary debates to be hosted on a university campus in this cycle, TSU will likely to represent the growing concern over rampant student debt. As a HBCU hosting a primary debate, the questions of criminal justice reform, the proliferation of white supremacy on the internet, as well as reparations for slavery could be a front and center issues.

The TSU debate is just the third of 22 scheduled meetings between the candidates, which may still have to be split into two separate nights in order to ensure that every candidate gets a fair shake. Better get used to it though. The DNC has essentially eliminated the ability of superdelegates to decide primary elections. That means that less recognizable candidates can duke it out for far longer than they ever have in the past. 

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**Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City and Philadelphia. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email at Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Posted in College Life, Diversity Recruiting, HBCU Career Programs, ReSkill America | Comments Off on Texas Southern University Will Host Third Democratic Debate
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