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An HBCU in Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Union University, announced a new initiative for workforce development and technical training on Monday.

The university’s Board of Trustees approved a new two-year program for students seeking a fast-track to start their career. The new academic entity within VUU will offer the program for individuals who wish to obtain an associate’s degree or a certification in specialized studies. 

“The pandemic changed the business model of higher education, and this initiative is our direct response. By offering both an associate’s degree option and a certification program in specialized fields, we can offer higher education to those individuals who may not have otherwise been able to attend college, thus putting them on the path toward achieving a successful future,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO of Virginia Union University.

virginia union university
Student Ambassadors at VUU.

HBCU strengthens workforce development, technical training

Founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated Black people a jumpstart toward education and opportunity, VUU hopes to accelerate learning with its new program. It’s open to Advanced Placement high school students and high school graduates.

Importantly, the initiative will meet the needs of those individuals who choose to gain experience outside of a four-year degree program. It will provide an all-encompassing educational experience and one-stop for individuals to further their education.

“Offering additional educational programs will create a strong pipeline to VUU and help meet the needs of the 21st century student who requires more flexibility and more options,” says Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of the VUU Board of Trustees. “And, as an alumni, it is both humbling and rewarding to serve the community of this university and play a role in its future.”

The school expects to launch the new program in June 2022.

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