MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.--A Black Learning Resource Center at the University of Minnesota is helping some Black students--and some disadvantaged white students--adjust to a white university culture.
Vera Rorie, new director of the center, said tutoring and counseling services help to bridge the gap between many Black students who have attended inferior high schools and the rest of the student body. The center also helps students find internships and work-study jobs and offers career counseling.
Rorie said the use in colleges of standard English confounds some Black students who are used to slang but must write termpapers and read books in a different vocabulary.
"If they work hard on a paper, they can't understand why they're not rewarded for it," Rorie said. "I tell them, 'You have to learn the white man's language, but he doesn't have to learn yours.'"
The center was founded in 1978 to reverse a high drop-out rate among Black students. Now there are separate centers for Black, Asian, Chicano-Latino and American Indian students.