Walmart Foundation Grants $500,000 to UNCF to Strengthen Historically Black Colleges, Universities
Funds will provide technical assistance to assist with institutional accreditation efforts
Ashlei N. Stevens
(WASHINGTON, DC) — UNCF announced today a $500,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, which will provide mini grants and technical assistance to selected UNCF-member institutions to assist with accreditation efforts and also support a summer professional development conference geared toward enrollment management.
Over the last nine years, the Walmart Foundation has granted more than $3.2 million to UNCF. This announcement is an additional $500,000 to support UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building (ICB), a network-wide initiative that helps strengthen member colleges and universities. Through the Walmart Foundation's support of ICB, funds and technical assistance can help institutions in areas such as accreditation reaffirmation, enrollment management, fundraising or any area where unforeseen technical assistance may be needed.
For 2016, six UNCF-member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were selected to participate: Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC; Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, TX; Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC; Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, NC; Spelman College in Atlanta; and Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. In addition to these six HBCUs, Walmart Foundation's grant provides support for two more institutions as they prepare for their reaffirmation reviews with their accrediting bodies: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or the Higher Learning Commission.
"Once again, the Walmart Foundation has provided significant investments in UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building, which in turn, supports our member institutions, ensuring they're properly equipped to function and best serve students," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. "While HBCUs make up only three percent of the nation's colleges and universities, these historic institutions graduate nearly 20 percent of African Americans who earn bachelor's degrees. By investing in their continuous improvement, the Walmart Foundation is helping to ensure that HBCUs are able to invest in better futures for the students who attend these valuable institutions."
The six selected institutions are preparing for upcoming reviews from SACSCOC, their regional accrediting body. Each will receive a $15,000 mini grant, in addition to technical assistance from content-area experts. The funds and technical assistance will better prepare the institutions to receive full accreditation upon completion of their review. For HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, programs that provide assistance and support during the reaffirmation of accreditation process are instrumental.
As a result of targeted implementation activities, anticipated outcomes include improved fiscal operations and processes, improved staff competencies and capacities, updated policies and procedures manuals, timely report submission and full compliance with the accrediting body. Since the beginning of the Walmart Foundation's support of ICB, almost the entire network of UNCF's 37 member HBCUs have received grants to assist in various areas of the accreditation process.
In addition, the grant will support the 2016 UNCF ICB Enrollment Management Institute, to be held July 21-22 in Atlanta. All of UNCF's member institutions will be invited to the institute, which is geared toward staff who work in enrollment management, including those in the admissions and registrar offices. The institute includes a panel featuring selected presidents from UNCF-member institutions, sessions hosted by industry leaders and a networking reception. The goal of this two-day institute is to equip attendees with the necessary tools to help them achieve their short- and long-term enrollment and retention goals.
"The Walmart Foundation has supported the work of UNCF over the last few years by investing in the institutional capacity of HBCUs. We are proud to support the efforts of UNCF to help the institutions remain viable and competitive college options for students to achieve outcomes that will move them to and through graduation," stated Carol May, Program Officer of the Walmart Foundation.
The Walmart Foundation's renewed commitment builds upon Walmart's 2007 grant of $700,000 to UNCF, which served as the catalyst for bringing the Fiscal and Strategic Technical Assistance Program (FASTAP) into the organization's Institute for Capacity Building to provide more targeted programming geared to the specific needs of UNCF-member institutions. In 2010 and from 2012 through 2015, the Walmart Foundation presented additional grants of $500,000 annually to UNCF to help FASTAP develop new and enhanced interventions.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women's Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF.