Columbia university partners with HBCUs for masters program
It’s an unfortunate reality to accept that in 2017 corporations still question the prevalent strides of black excellence. When Jason Wingard, Professor and Dean of Columbia University‘s School of Professional Studies began to spearhead this HBCU-Columbia University partnering vision, it was under the bewildering impression that qualified African-American candidates are apparently “hard to find” for recruiters.
“As an African-American myself, it’s disheartening to hear corporations say we can’t find qualified African-Americans to work at our companies,” Professor Wingard expressed. “And I would say, well, there are plenty of African- Americans who are going to college, who are doing well in their studies, who are ripe candidates for what you’re looking for. The problem becomes either those companies don’t know where to look, or when they do know where to look, they’re not able to articulate why they are interested in this particular population and how they are adjusting their cultures to be responsive to the employee’s needs.”
According to the website, the fellowship “aims to be a bridge for talented graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Fortune 500 companies looking to employ them.” Starting this upcoming summer, Columbia University will open their resources to two high-performing HBCU students of each top-tier HBCU school and grant them the opportunity to earn a master’s degree from Columbia’s 40 program selection across 14 areas of disciplines. What’s even better? The HBCU grads will gain access to CU’s expansive alumni network, a paid summer internship, industry mentorship and even a career coach for the love.
The dean recognizes that the ratio of students to schools is a rather limited amount, but he encourages us to consider this as a trial run as it is the first year of the program’s establishment.
Partnering HBCUs include Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Hampton University, Florida A&M University, Delaware State University, Tuskegee University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Winston-Salem State University, University of the District of Columbia.
We already acknowledge that HBCUs are incredible and unique resourceful institutions for college students, but it’s eminent for this professor and dean to recognize the involuntary shortcomings of the black professional experience and find a possible solution to combat that misinformed perception of us.