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Instilling the skills that build careers

How Delaware State University delivers a career-focused curriculum to help Black and Hispanic-Latino students find better jobs

Education is one of the most powerful tools available to address economic and social inequality. College graduates have access to a greater range of jobs, enjoy longer and more satisfying careers, and earn more on average than those without college degrees. Additionally, education has been linked to greater levels of civic engagement, tolerance and empathy.footnote1 Despite these individual and social benefits, for many Black and Latino-Hispanic individuals, higher education opportunities remain stubbornly out of reach.

In the above video, Dr. Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University (DSU), talks about the challenges Black communities face in accessing higher education, and the role Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) play in helping students thrive in school—as well as in the job market after graduating. “A college education is fundamentally important for the long-term prospects of any American, but particularly for those from underserved communities,” Allen says.

HBCUs like Delaware State have traditionally had an outsized role in the Black community. While HBCUs make up just 3% of the country’s colleges and universities, they produce nearly 25% of all Black graduates.

Many DSU students are from economically disadvantaged communities, where their talents are often overlooked or underserved by the public education system. And many are first-generation college students. “What we offer our students is an opportunity to change not just their career trajectory,” Allen says, “but the ability to help their families and communities as well.”

According to Allen, these efforts are already bearing fruit. Compared to four years ago, more DSU students are graduating, and 86% of graduates either enroll in graduate school or are employed within six months of completing DSU’s curriculum.

Bank of America has committed $25 million to help Black and Hispanic/Latino individuals acquire and improve job skills—part of a $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. This jobs-focused initiative includes partnerships with six HBCUs, four public Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and 11 community colleges that serve predominantly Black and Hispanic/Latino students.

For a full picture of the bank’s support of Black and Hispanic/Latino communities across the United States, read more about the $1.25 billion, five-year commitment, which includes support of heath care, jobs training, small business, affordable housing and more.

Originally published 11/24/2020

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