HBCU graduate finds obstacles while applying to grad school

DALLAS – You can do everything right and still not be accepted into your dream school. Rejection can feel like a slap in the face. For some students looking to continue their education, a high-level GPA and a stellar resume won’t be enough.

What you need to know

  • Paul Quinn graduate Alina Connie has ambitions to become an English professor and is applying for graduate school
  • Despite Connie’s excellent academic standing and recommendations, Texas Women’s University (TWU) immediately rejected her application
  • The TWU claimed the rejection was due to Paul Quinn’s “quality of education”
  • Unfortunately, such events often happen with HBCU students even though the universities have the appropriate accreditation

Alina Connie finds strength behind her brushes.

“That keeps me creative. That keeps me innovative, ”says Connie.

When she’s finished with a piece, there is always a meaningful and progressive message behind the work of art.

“I’d say I have an obvious issue that is body positivity, women empowerment, and definitely the upliftment of black women,” affirmed Connie.

Connie believes that everyone must have the space and the ability to express themselves thoroughly. That’s why her dream is to become an English professor. In their view, social media has conditioned people to reduce conversations and thoughts to 250 characters or less.

“I think that trains people to shrink themselves and shrink their ideas into small segments. Even in the classroom with a lot of my fellow students, they don’t like writing essays, ”she explained.

On paper, Connie is getting closer to a career as an educator. She just completed her bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Paul Quinn, a historically black college in Dallas. It’s a school she supposedly chose for the cultural support that was financially better for her wallet. It takes most people four years to get a bachelor’s degree, but Connie did it in three years. Regardless, she’s not sure what steps to take next to make her dream come true, even with a super solid 3.9 GPA that she’s proud of.

Three minutes after Connie sent her application to Texas Woman’s University with her grade point average, résumé, and writing samples, she was rejected. She says she learned that TWU admissions officers are questioning the quality of training at Paul Quinn.

“They never read my personal statement, they never read my letters of recommendation,” she said.

Connie needs answers after her quick high school rejection, saying she reached out to her alma mater to get college accreditation.

“Paul Quinn was just as surprised as I was,” she added.

Michael Sorrell is the president of Paul Quinn. He says while the college has national accreditation and a track record of sending students to the Ivy League and other elite schools, Connie isn’t the first student to come from an HBCU to grapple with it.

“We sent students to Pepperdine. We sent students to Penn. We sent people to George Washington and the University of Chicago, ”said President Sorrell.

Sorrell said other colleges and universities are stamped for accreditation by regional as well as national organizations. Paul Quinn only does the national.

The US Department of Education looks at national and regional accreditation alike. It is a conversation he willingly has with TWU officials after learning of Connie’s situation.

“Whenever we become aware of the situation, we fix it,” said Sorrell, referring to the immediate denial.

In a statement by Holly Hansen-Thomas, Vice Province and Dean of the Graduate School, it says: “Texas Woman’s admissions policy allows the university the flexibility to evaluate applicants holistically, so that this benefits the TWU and with our commitment to diversity and equity in Is consistent. ” In general, if an aspiring PhD student has a bachelor’s degree from a non-regionally accredited institution, Texas Woman’s must determine whether the institution offers an equivalent degree to a regionally accredited institution. ”

After Sorrell spoke to TWU officials, Connie received an email saying they would look into her application. While it looks like she has a bright future ahead of her, other people in similar situations may still feel in the dark if they don’t speak up.