Chicago State University: Community Tells Higher Learning Commission What's On Their Mind

On Tuesday November 13, 2012, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)visited Chicago State University(CSU), 9501 S King Drive. The Commission purpose was  at the University as part of the accreditation process. The commission conducted a community forum  to solicit input from community leaders.

Well over 100 individuals representing Chicago Public Schools, Black Star Project, Kwame Nkrumah Academy, 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer, faith and community based organizations packed the room. The event was scheduled for 45 minutes but could have gone on for 3 hours as the community leaders wanted to let the HLC know about Chicago State University. The commission shut down the comments after an hour.

The community praised the University  for their openness since the University has come under the leadership of Wayne Watson, Ph. D. Philip Jackson, director of the Black Star Project praised the University for inviting young people from elementary schools to visit the university for a variety of events and their attention to diversity. Mr. Michael Lafargue, President of the West Chesterfield Community Association described CSU as "Timbuktu" as ancient Timbuktu was known as land of education scholarship. Others gave CSU high marks on the Aquaponics program. The program was  a major project pushed by former Alderman Fredrenna Lyle (6) in conjunction with CSU. Aquaponics/Hydroponics or Urban Farming has become very popular since the First lady, Michelle Obama endorsed the method.

The only criticisms were the Chicago State basketball program(men and women) could improve and Mrs. Iva E. Carruthers, Ph.D, a distinguished professor fron Northeastern Illinois University and President of the Board of Directors of Kwame Nkrumah Academy stated the CSU  story has not been told and the university needs to let more people know about what it is doing to educate Chicago's future leaders.

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