Earlier this year, the Education Design Lab announced a three-year engagement with UNCF’s Career Pathways Initiative (CPI).

In partnership with Norfolk State University, the Lab will assist faculty in understanding the skills and competencies needed in the workforce.

Education Design Lab is also working with Tennessee State University and other historically black colleges and universities to strengthen the connection between college majors and careers.

UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) supports 60,000 students at historically black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions across the country.

“Education Design Lab’s engagement with 14 of our 24 CPI institutions follows our 2018 theme of Purposeful Disruption, working with our institutions to employ purposeful, innovative approaches to disrupt higher education systems as we know it,” said Edward Smith-Lewis, director of the Career Pathways Initiative at UNCF. “The Lab and technical assistance provided will help the selected colleges accelerate their ongoing efforts to achieve stated goals.

In July, the Career Pathways Initiative partnered with UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building’s Data Institute in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

According to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, HBCU presidents from 37 of the UNCF member schools gathered for the 3rd annual UNCF Career Pathways Initiative Convening & Data Institute.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Purposeful Disruption” and included sessions on how institutions are integrating strategies to improve student success and career outcomes.

Smith-Lewis said that the work of the initiative is “crucial to low-income and first-generation college students. UNCF officials combined the Careers Pathways Initiative with the Data Institute for the first time in 2018.

The Eli Lilly Endowment-funded UNCF to create a Career Pathways Initiative to fund efforts at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) that support the understanding of employer needs and how they relate to the future of postsecondary education.

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