This Black History Month, City Colleges of Chicago faculty and staff are sharing their HBCU success stories and explaining how their time at an HBCU impacts their work today. 

Read more from Kisalan Glover, Director of Enrollment Management at Olive-Harvey College, below.

Basketball is what originally attracted me to Kentucky State University, but I didn’t just become a better basketball player there. More importantly, I became a better person.

I started college at a community college in Florida, but I didn’t take academics too seriously. I took being a student athlete and playing basketball seriously. I was taking classes like tennis and weightlifting. After visiting Kentucky State, I decided to transfer. I liked the size of the university, the energy, and the other students I met. Of course, the opportunity to play basketball right away was attractive, too. I also saw something that I’d never seen before. I saw Black men my own age focused on education. I saw professors who became Black male mentors to me.

Kisalan Glover plays basketball at Kentucky State University.

Finally, all aspects of my life were coming together. I was excelling in athletics and got to travel all over the country for basketball. I was excited about learning and the ability to engage with my professors like never before. The education I received at Kentucky State was tailored to me. I also pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. College life, fraternity life, and athletic life at Kentucky State built me into the man I am today.

My time at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) also shapes my work as the Dean of Enrollment Management at Olive-Harvey College. It makes me slow down, listen, and show empathy to others. I now have an opportunity to share resources and change the trajectory of students’ lives like my coaches, advisors, mentors, and peers at Kentucky State did for me.

Kisalan Glover during his college days at Kentucky State University.

I highly recommend an HBCU to any City Colleges student who is looking to transfer. Your time at City Colleges is valuable and prepares you to succeed at an HBCU. You’ll find the same support and family vibe at an HBCU that you have at City Colleges. I do recommend you visit an HBCU. Find one that speaks to you and has a major that matches with your career goals. Have a plan and a timeline to move through the college process, enjoy yourself, and set clear expectations for yourself.

So much Black excellence and so many prominent Black professionals come from HBCUs. They’re vital resources that are still important today. They’ve always been here and will only continue to grow.