*The “2nd Annual African American College Planning Conference” aims to arm students and their parents with much needed information on how to best prepare for getting into the college of their choice. And with representatives from local and national; private and public colleges in attendance, students will also learn more about historically black colleges and universities.

In part 1 of the EURweb interview with Delta Sigma Theta sorority sister, Kimberly J. Cooper, she revealed some of the reasons why a conference such as this is imperative for a minority student stating, because they wouldn’t normally get  information about historically black colleges, and may not be exposed to information on things like how to write the ultra-important “personal statement.”

Kimberly Cooper

Kimberly J Cooper

Now as we continue (in part 2) to elaborate on what attendees can expect at the conference, which will take place on Saturday, October 25, Cooper also shares why getting through the college admissions process has presented unique challenges for many African American students.

“We’re starting to shorten the divide between African American students going to college, but it’s definitely not close to what we see with non-minority students,” says Cooper, in response to Lee Bailey‘s question about the obstacles many African American students face in trying to go to college.

howard_university_athletics_logo965x965“And I think what we’re finding is in some schools the college counselors are really helpful and in other areas the counselors are not really advising students to go to four-year-colleges; they’re recommending that they start out at a junior college.” Cooper adds, “And there’s nothing wrong with that, but some of these students really could do well in a four year college, they just don’t have the resources to go about it.”

In other words, a student doesn’t necessary have to attend a junior college first; many of them can successfully transfer to a four-year-college straight out of high school.

Cooper implies that the process tends to discourage some students and paves the way for a thinking process that gives way to doubt – and manifests in their thinking maybe they can’t afford it or maybe they aren’t going to get in anyway, so why bother. “So it prevents them from actually trying. They end up…under-placed.

Spelman logoFor those students who attend junior college and are more focused and determined to stay on track and do continue on to a four-year college – that’s great; but many of these students end up spending a couple of years in junior college before dropping out all together or never transferring to a four-year college at all. And that’s not good.

“Our goal is to get as many students as we can to go to four year colleges. Those that want to go and have the grades and things to go, and at least give them the same opportunity to have the same information that other students might get,” says Cooper, an executive at Nestle USA in Santa Monica, about what they hope to accomplish at the conference.

The “Mini College Fair” taking place at the conference will embolden students and their parents with insightful tips on how to find, apply and pay for college. They will also be able to network with peers and meet school representatives from schools all across the country including HBCUs like Spelman, Howard University, and Morehouse College. Reps from USC, UCI and UCLA will be there as well.

MorehouseAnd as for being able to afford college? Parents especially will appreciate this news.

“There’s so many scholarships out there…Not only are there scholarships available at certain foundations, there are also scholarships available at certain schools,” Cooper states.

The 2nd Annual African American College Planning Conference takes place on Saturday, October 25 at Golden Valley High School, 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway, Santa Clarita, California 91321.

REGISTRATION is from 8:00a.m. to 8:30 a.m. WORKSHOPS are from 8:30a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and the COLLEGE FAIR will begin at 12:30p.m. and go until 1:30p.m.

There will also be food and raffle prizes!


Call 661-312-2497 or email your RSVP by October 20 to: [email protected]



This article was written by DeBorah B. Pryor, editor at EURThisNthat. Contact her directly at [email protected]