Celebrating Black History Month: How Technology Can Help Uplift Minorities in Higher Education

Bowling Green, KY. (January 4, 2019) – There’s no denying that technology has changed the way we live. One area it has changed tremendously is higher education. Tech programs, services, and high-speed internet have helped different groups, including minority students, grow and develop a better sense of community and education.

As a college student myself, I wanted to learn how this growth in technology has affected students and changed the way we learn. To do so, I interviewed Howard E. Bailey, former dean of students at Western Kentucky University.

Bailey came to WKU in 1966 as a student. He started working for the university in 1968 as a resident assistant and then hall director. After Bailey graduated, he continued to work at WKU as a programmer, assistant to the dean, and finally his last and longest position as dean of students. In 2015, he retired after 45 years as a Hilltopper.

When Bailey first started working at WKU, technology was almost non-existent.

“The most technological thing that existed at the time was the electric typewriter.” said Bailey. “When I started working as a professional, that was probably the first item of technology, and then came the Xerox machine. Now, there are so many new programs, it is almost hard to keep up.”

Bailey has seen technology improve dramatically and become more and more a part of the classroom.

Since technology has become so important within schools, it’s crucial to make sure all students have access. But minorities and students of color sometimes lack the same resources other students enjoy.

“Minority students may be coming from areas where there is not access to high-speed internet,” said Bailey. “Some African American students from low-income families might not have the access to new technology at home, which would put them behind from the start.”

Technology is used in colleges and universities in many ways: to do online homework, schedule classes, pay tuition, do research, contact professors, and more. Without it, students would not be able to keep up in their classes.

As we mark Black History Month, Bailey said bringing awareness to this issue is important to him because all students deserve access, no matter what race or social class. As the former dean of students, providing guidance and caring for the students were his top priorities.

“Minority students are exposed to technology at school, but some might not have printers, internet, and things of that nature at the home, causing a big problem,” said Bailey. “Moving forward, I want all students to be able to communicate correctly and stay connected.”

We invite you to join us in our fight to provide innovative solutions to expand access, adoption, and use of broadband to everyone. Help out by joining the fight here.

Related Links
African American History Makers in Technology

 

About the author: Lily provides support to the Communications Department through social media outreach and writing. She also adds a source of creativity to the team with a background in personal relations and marketing. Lily is pursuing a bachelors in corporate and organizational communications from Western Kentucky University.

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