Get on the Plane exposes students to black culture

By De'Jon Sylvain, Advocate Staff

A week-long trip to the southern United States will offer Contra Costa College transfer students a firsthand look at what Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) have to offer.
Transfer Counselor Coordinator Andrea Phillips is set to continue her Get on the Plane HBCU Tour for the spring 2020 semester.

“It’s an opportunity for students to explore historically black colleges,” Phillips said. “One is able to experience student life and academic like-minded students.”

A historically black college is a college or university that was originally founded as a supportive setting to educate students of African American descent.

HBCUs serve those of different racial and cultural backgrounds.

The week-long trip starting March 29, 2020, and ending April 3, invites students from a “wide range of cultural, socio-economic backgrounds and majors” to receive a firsthand view of student life on an HBCU campus and information regarding university expectations.

“Students are given the opportunity to experience life and to see what their options are,” Phillips said.

The academic sessions and campus tours are organized as research tools that provide a firsthand view of the student experience.

“Students will gain awareness of their options,” Phillips said. “They will be able to witness something outside a 25-mile radius.”

Phillips said that for many students, the trip allows them to gain a sense of self.

“The experience develops the whole person and the character of one,” Phillips said.

The application process requires an official application, a letter of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, a personal essay and an individual interview with the selection committee.

According to Phillips, a committee of faculty members and administrators sit with each applicant before sending out acceptance messages.

Approximately 12 students will be able to attend the trip.

Minimum eligibility requirements state that students must complete at least 12 transferable units.

Students must also attain a 2.5 cumulative transferable grade point average (GPA) or higher at the time of application and maintain this GPA throughout the fall semester grading period.

Students can also attend a fall 2019 Get on the Bus Bay Area Campus Tour and receive an HBCU application orientation.

Students who do not meet these expectations will not be able to participate in the program.

Those in attendance will visit the following HBCU campuses: Morehouse College, Spelman College, Fort Valley State University, Florida A&M University, Southern University, Dillard University and Xavier University of NOLA.

The tour will include a round-trip flight from Oakland to Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta and lodging, meals and ground transportation.

The application deadline is Nov. 26.

For information regarding the campus tour, students can contact Phillips at [email protected] or visit her in the Career/Transfer Center in SA-227.