FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Donna L. Brock
ATLANTA (April 27, 2016)--Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) President Ronald A. Johnson today announced the receipt of a $150,000 planning grant as one of only 30 institutions nationwide selected to participate in the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), a $2.55 million effort that stands to impact more than 66,000 students, including the nearly 4,000 students at CAU.
The UNCF CPI is designed to improve matriculation to graduate and professional school and job placement, and elevate career success among graduates of HBCUs and PBIs, by aligning curriculum and instructional strategies to anticipate and better address shifting local and national workforce trends. The initiative aims to develop competitive career options throughout the course of students’ matriculation while simultaneously strengthening the faculty, administrative and operational functions that support their academic and professional pursuits.
“We are excited to be part of this transformative opportunity,” Johnson says. “It aligns perfectly with Clark Atlanta University’s current efforts to ‘Mobilize For the Future’ by rethinking obsolete, generic paradigms in higher education in favor of reinvigorated college experiences that better prepare students to be competitive decision makers, innovators and entrepreneurs in the 21st century global economy. The strategic underpinnings of this program are crucial to sustaining America’s economic success,” Johnson added, “because they target a broader range of opportunities while simultaneously heightening students’ preparedness to more fully exploit them.”
Lilly Endowment Inc. committed $50 million last October to launch the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, which begins with this initial planning phase, to improve job placement outcomes of graduates of HBCUs and PBIs. Institutions will employ various strategies to achieve this goal, including aligning curricula with local and national workforce needs, developing intentional career pathway options for students across their collegiate experience and strengthening their career service options.
At Clark Atlanta, the UNCF CPI—which will be called the CAU Panther Pathways Initiative--will be built upon five integrated building blocks: 1) articulating career planning and professional development information to students throughout their matriculation; 2) continued, focused changes in academic policies and curriculum reforms to improve teaching and learning outcomes; 3) systemic faculty-mentored undergraduate research across disciplines; 4) faculty training to heighten and optimize support of student’s career and professional development; and 5) improvements to career planning, placement and academic support functions and delivery of services.
“While we value the importance of a high-quality liberal arts education, which emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving and effective written and oral communication skills,” Johnson noted, “this initiative will allow us to employ discipline-specific and project-based learning strategies that address economic, social and technological challenges inherent in the new innovation economy. This grant absolutely will propel and advance our present efforts to become a global forum for ideas that matter.”
“UNCF is elated to invest in better futures for tens of thousands of students at these selected institutions; students who will become the nation’s future engineers, educators and entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “This was an incredibly rigorous and competitive process. We applaud all the institutions who put their best foot forward in the interest of their students’ future careers, and we commend Clark Atlanta University as one of the 30 institutions selected to receive a planning grant.”Category: Administration, Staff, Students, Advancement, Alumni, Faculty