UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative to Prepare Students for 21st Century Career Paths, Promote Employability and Improve Quality of Life
After a six-month planning phase, Morgan State University announces the award of a five-year, $2-million grant from UNCF (United Negro College Fund) for the implementation of the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), a transformative effort to design and implement programs to improve employment outcomes for graduates. Morgan is one of 24 colleges and universities awarded grants totaling $35.3 million, and the university will work collaboratively as a cluster with Norfolk State University and Tennessee State University to improve graduates’ career outcomes.
“We are very pleased to have Morgan included as one of the select universities to participate in the implementation of the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative, further expanding our value proposition as an institution dedicated not only to graduating our students with a high-quality education but also assisting their transition into sustainable careers afterwards,” said Morgan President David Wilson. “The resources made available as a result of this grant will provide much-needed support in our ongoing efforts to prepare students to meet the growing needs of employers, particularly in high-demand career areas, while increasing their likelihood of future success beyond degree attainment.”
Made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative is a unique pilot program for select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) that is helping them enhance career readiness for their 54,000 enrolled students. Many of these students will be the first in their families to earn college degrees. The majority of students are from low-to-moderate–income families and must receive federal financial aid to pursue their undergraduate studies.
Morgan submitted a proposal that reflects a commitment to strengthening career advising and mentoring, enhancing curricula and supporting integrated co-curricular engagement. As part of CPI, the selected institutions will develop a range of academic programs, student internships, industry partnerships, specialty certifications and faculty development as they forge a new model for career readiness.
“These colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African-American college students and graduates,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “We heartily congratulate Morgan and the 23 other institutions chosen to lead this important work.”
Morgan’s vision for the initiative is for students to attain academic success, complete degrees on time and be prepared to meet the needs of highly sought-after career opportunities, earning salaries commensurate with their knowledge, skills and abilities. Morgan aspires to enhance student success outcomes while expanding students’ access to quality career guidance, connecting growing numbers of students to experiential/career opportunities, managing the University’s workforce/community relationships, tracking its students involved in experiential learning, measuring career-related learning outcomes in enhanced curriculum and being informed by data on student outcomes.
The University will work in partnership with Norfolk State University and Tennessee State University on certain components of the grant program, which will focus on a joint-project-based learning activity for students, a faculty learning community activity, internship exchanges among the institutions and linking of students in a system of four employer clusters, among other possibilities.
UNCF launched CPI in December 2015 through a rigorous and competitive multi-phased grant process that targeted 87 eligible public and private HBCUs and PBIs. In the first phase, UNCF made planning grants to 30 institutions. In the final phase, UNCF has chosen 24 colleges and universities for implementation grants. Of those schools, 15 institutions will receive individual awards ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. Nine of the institutions have been selected for three cluster grants, in which each cluster of three institutions will collaborate intentionally to achieve their shared outcomes. Each cluster will receive up to $6 million.
A complete list of colleges and universities receiving the grants can be viewed here.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. Although it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana, it does support efforts of national significance, particularly in the field of religion and, on an invitational basis, disaster relief and recovery efforts and programs that enhance higher education opportunities for African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans across the country. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African-American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark: A mind is a terrible thing to waste®. Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF and #UNCFCPI.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified Doctoral Research Institution offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s premier public urban research university, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. More information about the university is available at www.morgan.edu.
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Clinton R. Coleman or Larry Jones