Honoring Dr. Kings Legacy with Education | Arts & Culture

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Honoring Dr. Kings Legacy with Education

College Fair in Jacksonville, Florida
14 January 2012
Hyatt Regency Riverfront
9am to 1pm
Bring high school transcripts, financial records
(W2’s), birth certificates, and application fees
which range from $30 to $80.00 Adult and
Senior learners interested in college entrance
should apply also.

Honoring Dr. Kings Legacy with Education
Higher Education is for Adults and Seniors



“The function of education is to teach one to
think intensively and to think critically...
Intelligence plus character - that is the goal
of true education.”

Dr. King HBCU’s valued education and helping adults
grow in their contribution to the betterment of
communities and economic development for the cities
they are in.

Another semester has started for students engaged in
new learning, exploration, and research projects that
will prepare them for careers in Business, Education,
Finance, Criminal Justice and STEM
Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics
More adult learners and seniors start the processes of
selecting a College or University to attend. The change
in technology and world markets has made higher
education necessary. It is important
for adult learners to choose a higher educational institution
that fits their educational needs. I’m a graduate of an HBCU
(South Carolina State University), I encourage adult and
senior students of all diverse backgrounds to consider
attending an College or University.  I’m an instructor
at Edward Waters College the oldest HBCU in Florida,
I have adult learners in my classes.

They are very serious and dedicated learners because
they understand the sacrifice and benefits of a higher education.
The contributions that adults and seniors have made in the
development and contributed maturity of this county can been
seen during graduation ceremonies.

Many adult and senior learners could not continue nor complete
their education because of family responsibilities, health related
issues, employment, military service and other life challenges.
Adult and senior learners are hesitant to apply to many schools
because they are fearful of being judged by their skin color, their
zip codes, demographics, age and family backgrounds. The content
of their character and their willingness to work hard and earn a
degree should be the deciding areas factors.

Dr. King has stated the importance of a person’s “character” not their
color in his speeches.
Many colleges understand the hesitation and try to encourage adult
and senior learners to apply. This can especially be found at HBCU’s
or Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The importance of self determination to be successful is important
in higher education.  Stated by Charlita Shelton, Ph.D, “ The self
determination factor was the No. 1 key point for success for learners
at many colleges even HBCU’s.” Another important factor is,
“upward career mobility and family support  drive (adult and
senior learners) to completing their degree.”

Aspiring adult and senior students do have a desire to make
important contributions to society that ultimately will affect
communities, but adults/seniors need a chance, an opportunity
and support. The reality is that adults and seniors need higher
education, it is not an option, it is a need. Minorities, seniors
mature adults understand that manual labor jobs are rapidly
decreasing and technology skills are needed even before a person
can apply for an entry or basic position.

The educational opportunities that colleges provide allow
mature and seasoned minds to blossom and create personal
self discoveries that continue to contribute to make this
country a leader in many fields. Dr. King understood the potential
of a college education, being a college graduate himself he
encouraged minorities and women to gain their degrees.

Women, Their Independence and Stability
Women have learned that in order to compete in business and
make an economic impact they need higher education. Higher
education is the key that opens doors to women that have
aspirations in fields where they will be competing against men,
and in collaboration with men. Raising a family as a single
parent even for men requires having the finances to provide for
oneself and children, educational obtainment makes for a better
quality of life and being a role model for children.

There are more women raising a family on their own either by
choice or circumstances (even men are single parents). Adult
learners that are single are not looking for a mate, but seeking
economic independence and stability that higher education
can provide. Education provides empowerment and self
determination, education allows for emotional well being,
mental security and mental stability.

Women/men that are educated are happier, self confident and
life longer lives.  Listed in several online news articles it is
stated that,” Education is now also being correlated with lower
blood pressure (BP), decrease in alcohol consumption, smoking
and weight gain, according to latest research”
(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ 2011). The Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, a respected research group has found
from data collected that, “College graduates can expect to live
at least five years longer than individuals who have not
finished high school”
(http://www.commissiononhealth.org/PDF/ed_lifexp.pdf)
and are more financially stable in their senior years of life.

Diversification
Studies by the National Urban League have shown,
“the profile of today’s college student needs to be
updated.” The United States is diversifying in many
areas. Higher Education has to keep up with this change in
the diversification of its students and the support of adult
and senior learners. Diversification even in age and experience
allows for embracing ideologies in cognitive
thought for adults. Colleges and Universities should
encourage and support in preparing mature minds
to be leaders and take leadership roles worldwide.

Spiritual Influences and Support
The strong spiritual influences that started HBCU’s appeal
to mature learners. Many schools were founded under
religious guidelines, educational leaders (religious leaders)
understood that the first educational tools were the Bible and
reading/interpretation of scriptures. This idea is a strong
ideology of spiritual connection shared by many religious
faiths. Traditionally education has great value and the
obtainment of knowledge and understanding is respected;
this is a historical in religious doctrine of many religions.

The idea being that an educated person has a strong spiritual
foundation to support success in a sometimes critical and
non spiritual world. In the book the Mis Education of the
Negro (Carter G. Woodson) it is outlined how spiritually
played a key role in the education of Black slaves, poor
whites, adults and the elderly. Increased senior and adult
learners are taking advantage of learning opportunities to
attend a higher educational institutions.

HBCU’s and other colleges and universities need to continue
to support seniors and adult learners that are still important
because of their wisdom and life experiences.

William Jackson, M.Ed.
South Carolina State University ’85
Professor Edward Waters College
jacksonw@duvalschools.org

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