Education

Published on January 13th, 2021 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Benedict College Partners with Propel Center,a New Global HBCU Headquarters for Innovation

Propel Center will provide students and faculty with world-class skills and leadership development opportunities through virtual and in-person instruction

COLUMBIA, S.C.– Benedict College is proud to announce its partnership with Propel Center, a new global campus headquartered in Atlanta that will support innovative learning and development for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. Benedict College will collaborate with Propel Center and the entire HBCU community to bring leadership and career development programming to its students.

Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing education through technology — with Apple and Southern Company supporting the project as founding partners. The Propel Center is designed to connect HBCU students to technology curriculum, cultural thought leaders, entrepreneurship skills development, and accelerator programs, with a focus on social justice and equity. 

The first-of-its-kind initiative will serve as a hub for all 100+ HBCUs, and is designed to connect students and faculty from across the community and provide them with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources necessary to transform our nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Curriculum options will include AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creativity, career preparation, and entrepreneurship tracks. 

“We are excited about our partnership with the Propel Center and the promise that it holds to accelerate education, innovation, and workforce development at Benedict College and throughout the entire HBCU community,” stated President Roslyn Clark Artis. “The Center will undoubtedly create new pathways and help to remove barriers to socio-economic advancement opportunities for HBCU students and communities of color. Benedict College is proud to be a significant contributor along with Apple and Southern Company in this endeavor.”

Students from participating schools will access Propel Center’s online digital learning platform from anywhere, and will also have access to the 50,000 square-foot Propel Center headquarters in Atlanta, equipped with state-of-the-art lecture halls, learning labs, and on-site living for a scholars-in-residence program.

“The HBCU community is a tremendous engine of Black creativity, entrepreneurship, and inclusive opportunity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We are thrilled to join with partners and community stakeholders to support the Propel Center and be part of this groundbreaking new global hub for HBCU innovation and learning, devoted to helping faculty create best-in-class curriculum and ensuring students have access to cutting-edge skills.”

“We know inequities exist in our society, and it’s up to each of us to be more intentional in our efforts to make a difference and bridge the gap,” said Tom A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. “We know more must be done, and the establishment of the Propel Center is another important demonstration of Southern Company fulfilling our commitment to move our communities to a more equitable future. Partnering with Apple in this initiative is an exciting way to connect future leaders with these critical resources.”

“These investments are critical as we begin to truly scale Black innovation ecosystems,” said Anthony Oni, chairman, Ed Farm. “By leveraging technology and partnerships to connect students with unique learning opportunities, we can lift up the talent that already exists at these institutions of higher learning and accelerate their development. In doing so, we will have a hand in shaping the workforce of the future — and the leaders of tomorrow.”

Additional information on Propel Center can be found at PropelCenter.org.

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About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 25 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 
  
Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 
  
Over the past ten years, three out of five Benedict College graduates have attended professional or graduate schools. There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 
 
The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 
  
Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest. 
  
Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Five of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work, Environmental Health Science, Arts and Sciences and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

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