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New HBCU Consortium to Focus on Innovative Teaching

Norfolk State University is joining forces with two other historically black colleges and universities to create new and innovative teaching practices that ensure that students graduate with the degrees and skills employers value. Using a $1.2 million grant from UNCF, Norfolk State, along with Morgan State and Tennessee State Universities, is forming the HBCU Consortium on Transformative Teaching Practices for 21st Century Career Pathways.

The three universities recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create this groundbreaking consortium, which will primarily focus on faculty development to include incorporating more active learning strategies, forming inter-institutional faculty learning communities and learning more about digital technologies for 21st century skill building. Known as the C3 Cluster, the collaboration is expected to involve 1,000 faculty members among the three campuses, which serve approximately 20,000 students.
“For more than 80 years, Norfolk State University has served as a pathway to prosperity and upward mobility for thousands of graduates," said Dr. Melvin T. Stith Sr., interim president of Norfolk State University. "We are also excited to join our cluster partners in forming the HBCU Consortium on Transformative Teaching Practices for 21st Century Career Pathways because we firmly believe that best teaching practices should be standard teaching practices.”

The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. through a $50 million grant, will enable selected HBCUs and predominately black institutions to address social and economic issues of minority graduation, unemployment and underemployment. Over the next four years, the consortium will engage in structured activities that foster community, identify and validate new innovations, amplify and scale best practices, and disseminate learnings. The C3 Cluster will extend its collaborative efforts to include additional members of their university communities. Key to this work will be creating opportunities for alumni and employer partners to provide valuable input on preparing undergraduate students for post-graduate success.