Saint Augustine’s University Announces Nation’s First HBCU Urban Access Center to Advance Educational Equity
Saint Augustine University (SAU) was founded in 1867 to educate freed slaves in Raleigh, North Carolina. Today, SAU officially announces the nation’s first Urban HBCU Access Hub to advance equity in education by bringing the HBCU experience to urban communities where there are no HBCUs.
“Despite the progress made by African Americans, too many young people are not benefiting from an education in America,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “With one-year access to college, students will find opportunities to come to SAU, including summer enrichment programs, financial aid, and scholarships, starting in ninth grade.”
The HBCU Urban Access Hub offers students a convenient and cost-effective opportunity to attend SAU and seamlessly accumulate college transfer credits while enrolling at their home institutions. The first institutions to join SAU in this endeavor are Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) and Cass Technical High School, both located in Detroit, MI.
“Our mission has always been to find pathways to a better life through education,” said Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery. “We are very excited about this collaboration with SAU’s HBCU urban access hub program.”
“We were honored to have Saint Augustine University visit,” said Lisa Phillips, Principal of Cass Technical High School. “President McPhail is a leader who engages and follows through with precision. I enjoyed the relaxed meeting at home and the management team made me want to re-enroll in their university. I look forward to a great partnership with one of the most prestigious and oldest HBCUs in the country.
Additionally, after a historic reunion in New York at the 2022 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Conference in New York, NY, the HBCU Urban Access Hub has garnered the attention and support of leaders in community colleges across the country, such as:
Dr. Lorenzo Esters, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College
Dr. L. Marshall Washington, President, Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor, Houston Community College
Dr. Annette Parker, President, South Central College
Dr Kimberly Beatty, Chancellor, Metropolitan Community College
Dr. Landon Pirius, Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, Colorado Community College System
The SAU Urban Access Hub will work with partner institutions to advance program pillars, including:
- Leadership and Commitment
- Awareness and preparation
- Admissions & Advice
- Financial aid
- Student Engagement and Academic Affairs
“Urban students need an HBCU experience,” said Dr. McPhail. “Programs such as these embody the meaning of building a legacy.”