Clark Atlanta University is one of nine HBCUs to partner with the United Negro College Fund and Deloitte Digital who will develop and pilot the new HBCUv program.
Students who are enrolled at one of the partner schools will be able to take credit-bearing courses at any of the participating schools starting in 2023.
Nathan Young, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Head of Strategy, Ethos at Deloitte Digital said the program can help HBCUs expand their reach. The nine partner schools are Benedict College, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Dillard University, Jarvis Christian College, Johnson C. Smith University, Lane College, Shaw University and Talladega College which have over combined 8,000 students.
“It’s important… that Black students have an online space built around their needs where they can show up and be their authentic selves. Just as HBCU campuses offer an important alternative to PWI campuses, as online education increases in adoption we need to be thinking about how we provide that alternative in an online environment,” said Young.
Out of 37 institutions that were invited, nine were selected for the planning phase and three (including CAU) will pilot the program according to Valora Richardson, Director, Digital Solutions and Innovations at UNCF.
“UNCF and Deloitte Digital are joined at the hip on this project,” added Young. He said the teams meet daily and are very intentional about including the 9 partner schools in their plans.
“HBCUv is intended to be a platform designed for HBCUs, by HBCUs” He said.
Young made it clear that they do not see this program as a solution for the problems schools are facing with the pandemic. Instead he described it as a reimagination of online education focused on the needs of Black students.
HBCUv will offer asynchronous and synchronous learning so students can tailor their schedule around their lifestyle.
“We need to solve for the real-life challenges of student engagement, program retention, degree attainment, and career advancement,” said Young.
UNCF defined one goal of the program as connecting Black talent, and ultimately becoming a platform that will be open to all HBCUs. HBCUv will make it possible for students at schools on opposite sides of the country to learn together and to learn from one another.