UNCF to Provide HBCU Faculty with Free Training in Effective Online Teaching and Course Design

Up to 1,500 faculty members at HBCUs and PBIs eligible to receive professional development for online learning

UNCF has announced they will provide online learning professional development training for up to 1,500 faculty members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). The training is available through a partnership with recognized online learning provider Strategic Education, Inc., whose institutions have a long history of providing high-quality, accessible education for working adults.

Last year, UNCF and Strategic Education quickly joined forces to help HBCUs stem the disruption in education delivery caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering support for faculty that had to rapidly transition to online instruction. The organizations’ 2020 pilot program provided training to 400 HBCU faculty members at 14 institutions, with impressive results. Participant survey data indicates that faculty confidence to design learning activities to facilitate learner engagement grew from 50% to 95% and their confidence to guide and maintain discussions online grew from 48% to 89%.

Building upon the success of the pilot program and recent efforts, UNCF is now providing a full scholarship for all eligible HBCU and PBI faculty to participate in a four-week professional development workshop on building and delivering online learning. The effort is designed for faculty as they navigate new territory in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty will also receive a $200 stipend upon completion of the program.

“The sudden shift to remote learning last year left traditional HBCU and other PBI faculty members – a majority of whom transitioned to online learning for the first time – overwhelmed but resolute,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “Now more than ever it is critical to support these faculty members with relevant, professional development training that will equip them with the skills to deliver a successful online learning experience for their students. We are excited to build upon our partnership with Strategic Education, a leader in virtual learning, to support HBCU faculty in engaging their students online.”

“For more than a century, HBCUs and other PBIs have been instrumental in addressing gaps in higher education and granting minority students a pathway to economic mobility,” said Crystal Moore, vice president of Higher Education Partnerships at Strategic Education. “As higher education moves further into a digital landscape, Strategic Education is honored to build upon its legacy of educating working adults and to help UNCF to provide best-in-class online teaching professional development to the dedicated, talented faculty at these institutions across the nation.”

“Our transition to online learning was accelerated due to COVID-19 and our faculty needed effective, timely training to continue to serve current and incoming students in this new normal,” said Dr. Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Jarvis Christian College. The college was one of the participants in the 2020 pilot program. “The partnership between UNCF and Strategic Education provided our faculty with an opportunity for free professional development workshops to sharpen their skills and be better prepared. The mix of hands-on course building and facilitation allowed our faculty to immediately put their training into practice and better engage with students in a new virtual space.”

Among the criteria for qualifying faculty are stipulations that they are employed at a federally recognized HBCU or PBI and fairly new to delivering online instruction. The program, available on a first-come, first-serve basis, is expected to continue through December 31, 2021.


About UNCF
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, supports and 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% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF 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 over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


About Strategic Education, Inc.
Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA) (www.strategiceducation.com) is dedicated to helping advance economic mobility through higher education. We serve working adult students all over the globe through our core focus areas: 1) U.S. Higher Education, through Strayer University and Capella University, each institutionally accredited, and collectively offer flexible and affordable associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs including the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University; 2) Alternative Learning, encompassing Sophia Learning, self-paced general education courses that are ACE-recommended for college credit; Workforce Edge, a full service, online employee education management portal; Digital Enablement Partnerships, helping advance capabilities in course development, online delivery and student support; and non-degree web and mobile application development courses through Hackbright Academy and Strayer University’s DevMountain; and 3) Australia/New Zealand, comprised of Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School operations in Australia and New Zealand. This portfolio of high quality, innovative, relevant, and affordable programs and institutions helps our students prepare for success in today’s workforce and find a path to bettering their lives.