Academics - Tue, Dec. 6, 2016
After a six-month planning phase, UNCF announced Wiley College as one of 24 colleges and universities that will receive five-year grants totaling $35.3 million for the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), a transformative effort to design and implement programs to improve employment outcomes for graduates. Wiley College will receive $1 million over five years to implement its "Your Career Starts Now" program.
"Wiley College is honored to have been one of the institutions selected to receive this grant," said Dr. Haywood L. Strickland, President and CEO of Wiley College.  "This transformational initiative will strengthen the College's career preparation infrastructure and engage faculty more intentionally in facilitating the preparation of students for jobs that will exist when they graduate."
Strickland said Wiley's faculty and staff are enthusiastic about the program. "The College is fortunate to have faculty and staff  who are committed to working with businesses and employers in Texas as well as throughout the nation to align the curriculum with the competencies and skills needed by employers."
 Ultimately, says Strickland, the institution's participation in the initiative will lead to increased positive outcomes for students and their families while enhancing the College's reputation for producing graduates who are ready to compete, lead, and achieve in the workforce. "Wiley's  successful implementation of  the 'Your Career Starts  Now' program will ensure a higher return on students' and parents' investment and will  enable the College to further enhance and  sustain its market niche as one of the 'best buy' higher education institutions in Texas." 
To view an interview of Dr. Strickland by UNCF Senior Communications Manager Ashlei Stevens, please click the link:  
Made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) is a unique pilot program for select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) that is helping them enhance career readiness for their 54,000 enrolled students. Many of these students will be the first in their families to earn college degrees. The majority of students are from low-to-moderate income families and must receive federal financial aid to pursue their undergraduate studies. 
Wiley College submitted a proposal that reflects a commitment to strengthening career advising and mentoring, enhancing curricula, and supporting integrated co-curricular engagement. As part of CPI, Wiley College and the other selected institutions will develop a range of academic programs, student internships, industry partnerships, specialty certifications, and faculty development as they forge a new model for career readiness.
A complete list of colleges and universities receiving the grants can be viewed here:
"These colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African American college students and graduates," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. "We heartily congratulate Wiley College and the 23 other institutions chosen to lead this important work."
UNCF launched CPI in December 2015 through a rigorous and competitive multi-phased grant process that targeted 87 eligible public and private HBCUs and PBIs. In the first phase, UNCF made planning grants to 30 institutions. In the final phase, UNCF selected 24 colleges and universities for implementation grants. Of those schools, 15 institutions, inclusive of Wiley and its $1 million award, will receive individual awards ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. Nine of the institutions have been selected for three cluster grants, in which each cluster of three institutions will collaborate intentionally to achieve their shared outcomes. Each cluster will receive up to $6 million
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli—through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders' wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. Although it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana, it does support efforts of national significance particularly in the field of religion and on an invitational basis disaster relief and recovery efforts and programs that enhance higher education opportunities for African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans across the country. More information can be found at
About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark: A mind is a terrible thing to waste®. Learn more at, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF and #UNCFCPI.