Provided by Facebook
Contributed by Wilberforce University
Wilberforce, OH — Wilberforce University continues to position itself as a university unafraid of innovation and the intentional pursuit of disruption as a formula for institutional transformation. As a result, the university has entered an exciting partnership, which resets the time-honored Co-Operative Education Program to establish robust college-to-career and entrepreneurial pathways for its students.
The Co-Operative Emerging Leaders Program will provide an experiential learning engagement for students by placing them in workplace environments in on-and off-campus settings to gain the requisite skills and experience to position them for fluid pathways into corporate and entrepreneurial settings upon graduation from Wilberforce University. This represents an intentional reimagining of the Co-Operative Education Program at Wilberforce that was one of the first at an HBCU.
Atlanta-based Chime Solutions signed the first contract with the newly established Wilberforce University Foundation to invest $10 million to fund the first cohort of 100 students in the program.
Chime CEO Mark Wilson is a graduate of Wilberforce University and serves as the chairman of its board of directors and was, as a student, a participant in the Co-operative Education Program. As such, he realized the transformative power of the Co-Operative Education experience and engaged in focused discussion with the university’s leadership to reexamine the relevance of the Co-Operative Education Program for the academic and career aspirations of the 21st century Wilberforce University students and the changing needs and demands of the corporate workplace and entrepreneurial landscape.
Wilson said, “As a student at Wilberforce University, my experience with the co-op program was life-changing and provided me with a mindset and set of skills which set me on a course of success in the corporate work environment and as an entrepreneur. This partnership is an act of gratitude to Wilberforce and a demonstration of what collaborative and innovative thinking can accomplish for our students”
President [Elfred] Pinkard said, “This focus on college-to-career readiness and entrepreneurship through the Co-Operative Emerging Leaders Program and business partnerships will result in two very critical outcomes; the creation of the next generation of African American corporate leaders and entrepreneurs and the development of alternative revenue streams.”