The path to success often begins with a college degree — but the time it takes to earn that degree and the skills a student leaves college with can be as important as the diploma itself. That’s why the Strike in Four program at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) — a historically Black college and university in Tallahassee, Florida that’s world-renowned for its marching band — is designed to help students earn all their college credits within four years and graduate with skills that will set them up for high-paying, in-demand careers.
As FAMU students who enroll in the Strike in Four program complete their classwork, they also build toward a career, moving a step closer during each of their four years. Freshmen explore industries and roles aligned with their interests and skills; sophomores engage in at least three resume-building options through internships or jobs during school breaks. Juniors re-evaluate their academic plans to align with a specific career, and seniors put their job-search skills to work by attending job fairs, sending out resumes and lining up interviews. There’s professional coaching along the way, and FAMU partners with major employers in the area to build out their curriculum and ensure the employability of students.
The goal is to set students on the path to financial independence: Undergrads who earn bachelor’s degrees in four years take out fewer student loans than students who take five or six years to graduate.1 And getting a well-paying job right out of the gate helps grads pay off that debt faster. Bank of America supports the Strike in Four program by funding academic advising and coaching, career exploration and financial education, as part of its $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.