Johnson C. Smith Univ Uses Grant to Grow Online Education

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Johnson C. Smith University will be using a $1.75 million grant from the Duke Endowment in order to increase the number of online programs it offers for adult students.

“We are extremely grateful to The Duke Endowment for this support…” JCSU President Ronald Carter said in the statement. “The online degree programs will further our goal of creating diverse change agents to transform society.”

The additional funding will go to the expansion of the Metropolitan College, which offers students the opportunity to earn an undergraduate adult degree in business, criminology and social work in partnership with Charlotte University.

The college plans to add two online degree programs to their current offerings in the area of business administration management and sport management in an effort to increase capacity by expanding their academic offerings to nontraditional students, as well as to diversify revenue streams at the school.  Both programs are set to begin enrolling students for the 2015-16 school year, writes Jennifer Thomas for The Charlotte Business Journal.

“By expanding Metropolitan College’s distinctive learning environment, more students will have access to degree programs and opportunities for success,” says Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, the trustee who chairs The Duke Endowment’s Committee on Educational Institutions.

Metropolitan College has increased its enrollment to 186 students, up from just 11 when the program began in 2009.  Overall, 39 adult students have currently graduated from the program, reports Andrew Dunn for The Charlotte Observer.

This year, the program generated a revenue stream of $1.4 million, up from $162,432 in 2009 according to university officials.

Johnson C. Smith University currently enrolls over 1,400 students.

The Duke Endowment, which was founded in 1924, has given more than $3 million in grants across North and South Carolina, mostly going to institutions with a focus on education, children, and health. The Duke Endowment has donated to Johnson C. Smith University several times in the past. While the endowment shares its name with Duke University and Duke Energy, all three are separate entities, reports QCity.

Johnson C. Smith Univeristy has a history of creating educational opportunities for the African-American community. The university participated in the first black football game against Livingstone College in 1892.  In 1919, the school, still named Biddle University at the time, was the first black college in the south to professional courses in education.

The university gained national recognition in 2000 by being on of few school to partake in the IBM Laptop Initiative that provided an IBM laptop to every student. The university continues to focus on providing its diverse student body with new academic opportunities.