Claflin University Receives $100,000 from UNCF’s Career Pathways Initiative Planning Grant

Apr 26, 2016
Headshot of Claflin University President Henry N. TisdaleClaflin University has been awarded a $100,000 planning grant from UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund) Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

The planning grant enables Claflin to submit a proposal for a much larger award.

A winning proposal would have far-reaching implications for the University. It would build upon the University’s history of offering strong academic programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and non-STEM disciplines, ongoing initiatives targeting credentials, and strategic partnerships with industries that secure high-paying jobs for graduates.

“We are extremely pleased that Claflin is among the institutions selected for the CPI planning grant,” said Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale.  “These resources will greatly assist the University with developing and sustaining career-focused academic degree and certificate programs that will enhance how we prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation.”

“Our selection is also consistent with Claflin’s mission of producing visionary leaders and creating an environment that inspires purposeful and meaningful transformation.”

The initial proposal process was highly competitive and the CPI panel of experts identified a number of significant opportunities within Claflin University’s proposal. As a recipient of these funds, Claflin will join 29 other institutions eager to explore how institutions can intentionally develop career pathways to improve employment outcomes in the 21st century.

“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 the 30 institutions that were selected for planning grants.”

Lilly Endowment committed $50 million last October to launch the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, to improve the job placement outcomes of graduates from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominately black institutions (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 operations. 

The collective planning grant distribution is $2.55 million, which has the potential to impact more than 66,000 students across the 30 selected colleges and universities.

Founded in 1869, Claflin University is recognized as a top-ranked liberal arts college by Washington Monthly. In its 2015 “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” edition, Claflin is the number one-ranked liberal arts college in South Carolina and the top HBCU in the nation.  Claflin was named the 2015 AARP/HBCU Digest HBCU of the Year.  The HBCU Digest also named the Claflin International Alumni Association the Alumni Association of the Year.

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Claflin as one of “America’s Best Colleges” for the past 17 years. In the 2015 edition, Claflin was again ranked a top tier national liberal arts college.  U.S. News and World Report ranked Claflin No. 1 in alumni giving among historically black colleges and universities.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Karl Wright said: “The benefits of this grant extend far beyond the walls of our campus. It will enable us to produce highly-skilled graduates capable of meeting specific workforce needs nationally and globally through classroom and experiential education opportunities.  In addition, we will increase the number of strategic partnerships with industries that offer high-paying jobs.

“These initiatives will make Claflin even more attractive for prospective students. Graduates will complete a curriculum that emphasizes job readiness and prepares them for further study and leadership positions in a global and diverse marketplace.”
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