New Partnership Aims to Improve Employment Outcomes for HBCU Grads

More than 20 historically Black community colleges will receive funding from the Lumina Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to improve students' economic outcomes.

Published March 28, 2022

Edited by Alex Pasquariello
New Partnership Aims to Improve Employment Outcomes for HBCU Grads
Future of Work HBCUs
Photo by Camille Tokerud / Stone / Getty Images

  • Complete College America created a network of community HBCUs to study job placement.
  • The two-year, $1.5 million project will be used to create policy recommendations.
  • The network also aims to address students' basic needs like housing.

Black students have faced lower career and economic outcomes than their peers for decades, but a new initiative by Complete College America (CCA) is hoping to change that.

The nonprofit organization has selected 22 historically Black community colleges (HBCCs) and predominantly Black community colleges (PBCCs) in eight states to form a national network dedicated to addressing the workforce needs of Black students.

Together, these institutions will compile research and best practices, as well as assess their own offerings and programs to ensure that students graduate with the credentials employers seek.

The PBCC-HBCC Network will additionally work to address the basic needs of its students including access to nutrition, housing, and affordable transportation.

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been notoriously underfunded in comparison to other institutions throughout the years. But HBCCs in particular have often been excluded from large funding initiatives and left with little resources to advance their student populations.

"For the first time ever, we are bringing together this critical — and overlooked — set of institutions to not only enhance their impact and effectiveness but also expand the national evidence base on supporting community college students of color," said Dr. Nia Haydel, vice president of alliance engagement and institutional transformation at CCA, in a press release.

"The creation of this network will elevate the powerful contributions that HBCCs and PBCCs make in supporting social and economic mobility for Black Americans, particularly those in underserved communities."

The network was initially launched in August 2021 as a two-year, $1.5 million project funded by Lumina Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. After two years, the research and insights developed by the group will be used to provide state and federal policy recommendations to better support HBCC and PBCC students in the future.

The project will be overseen by an advisory council of national experts who guide and assist participating schools in their research.

Here is the full list of schools, by state, that make up the PBCC-HBCC Network:

  • Alabama: Bishop State Community College, Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Gadsden State Community College, H. Councill Trenholm State Community College, J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, Lawson State Community College, Shelton State Community College, and Wallace Community College Selma
  • Arkansas: Arkansas State University Mid-South, Southeast Arkansas College, and University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College
  • Georgia: Atlanta Metropolitan State College
  • Illinois: Olive-Harvey College (City Colleges of Chicago)
  • Louisiana: Baton Rouge Community College, Delgado Community College, and Southern University at Shreveport
  • Massachusetts: Roxbury Community College
  • Michigan: Wayne County Community College District
  • South Carolina: Central Carolina Technical College, Denmark Technical College, Northeastern Technical College, and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College