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UNCF Career Pathways Initiative

The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), funded by Lilly Endowment, is a $50 million investment over a seven-year period, that helps four-year HBCUs and PBIs strengthen institutional career placement outcomes with the goal of increasing the number of graduates who immediately transition to meaningful jobs in their chosen fields.

Through this initiative, UNCF manages a competitive grant-making process to award planning and implementation grants to institutions to help students achieve a greater return on their investment in the form of meaningful employment immediately after graduation.

“A Conversation on Culturally Relevant Practice”

To support the release of UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) new report—”Culturally Relevant Practice: Implementation among Historically Black Colleges & Universities”— CPI hosted a Fireside Chat: “A Conversation on Culturally Relevant Practice,” featuring Dr. Lori Patton Davis, Dr. Venus Evans-Winters, Dr. Nadrea Njoku and Dr. LaToya Owens via Zoom. The panel discussed the importance of equity-focused research and program design, specifically in work with HBCUs and Black students.

Culturally Relevant Practice report coverCulturally Relevant Practice: Implementation among Historically Black Colleges & Universities (2021)


Culturally Relevant Practice: Reading List


The CPI is designed to strengthen career placement outcomes by encouraging participating institutions to enhance what their students gain from the liberal arts—critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective oral and written communication skills, diverse and global perspectives, among other things—with specific preparation, training and experiences they need to be employable and successful early in their chosen careers.

CPI in the News

CPI Fact Sheet

UNCF to Award $1.2 Million to Four HBCUs

UNCF announces the awarding of Liberal Arts Innovation Grants to four institutions participating in the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). The initial investment from UNCF provides up to $300,000 to each institution to create a campus-based or virtual liberal arts innovation center that focuses on merging the technical discipline of STEM, healthcare, education, and finance into the liberal arts. The development of these Liberal Arts Innovation Centers (LAIC) will enable the institution to expand the research, provide training and development opportunities to faculty and staff and to incubate and test approaches to implementing embedding technical disciplines into the liberal arts.

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2018-2019 CPI Faculty Research Grant Recipients

The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) is excited to announce the winners of the 2018-2019 Faculty Research Grant program.

Meet the Recipients