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    Southern University System selected as pilot institution for CIA’s White House Initiative

     Initiative focuses on HBCUs Recruitment and Workforce Development Program 

     

    The Southern University System and the Central Intelligence Agency entered into an unprecedented partnership to benefit students and faculty. President-Chancellor Ray Belton, Executive Vice President-Chancellor James Ammons, and representatives from the CIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Sept. 16 that will serve as the foundational framework for the university system’s participation in the CIA’s recruitment and workforce development initiative, which is part of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Southern University System Board of Supervisors will ratify the agreement at Friday’s board meeting on campus.

    According to the MOU, the CIA chose Southern as the first participant based on the university system’s accredited programs, the graduation rate of its students, and the CIA’s track record of onboarding highly skilled and well-qualified talent.

    “Southern University is honored to have been chosen as the first institution to partner with the CIA for this initiative,” Belton said. “The reputable stature of the CIA alone is an asset to the university, students, and faculty, and we believe that the outcomes will be mutually beneficial for all involved.

    “For nearly 140 years, Southern has been a leader in innovation and scholarship. This opportunity with the CIA adds to our extensive portfolio of public and private partnerships that allow our students and faculty to expand their knowledge and to enhance their technical skills.”

    The MOU allows the CIA to engage in a broad range of classroom workshops, curriculum development, and recruitment activities to foster ongoing relationships with key university staff and personnel on Southern’s five campuses, and will provide for immediate contact with a qualified and diverse applicant pool.

    The Southern University System is comprised of Southern University Baton Rouge, Southern University New Orleans, Southern University Shreveport, Southern University Law Center, and Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The System is the only HBCU system in the nation.

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  • 20 take-a-ways from Wake Up Happy!

    Recently, I stumbled on a discounted copy of Wake up Happy by Michael Strahan and Veronica Chambers. It was stuffed in a pile of unknown debut novels and children’s books that Albertson’s Grocery positioned in the middle of the medicine aisle.

    While reading the first two or three chapters, I stopped several times to think through the writing until I finally surrendered to grabbing a pen, marking up the margins, doodling emotions, and underlining paragraphs, page after page. I honestly was not expecting the wealth of insight Strahan laid out.

    Here are the best take-a-ways:

    • It is the attitude with which we pursue our goals that give us our biggest boosts of happiness (Strahan quoted Shawn Achor)
    • Start today with music, words, movements use the power of pause. Don’t rush your day.
    • True love multiplies the joy in your life
    • Find ideas and inspiration everywhere you go. Visualize by using all your senses. Be conscious.
    • Just because no one’s screaming your name, doesn’t mean you can’t win. We count ourselves out waaaaay too soon.
    • We hold ourselves back and doubt ourselves more than anybody else will.
    • There’s more power in your attitude than your bank account
    • Your role of agreement is to find a way to say yes.
    • Process information given and readjust. Process the opportunities, failures, observations.
    • It’s your life, drive it like you own it. Project your purpose to the world.
    • Happiness is the joy we feel while striving toward our potential.
    • Do not be afraid to bet on yourself. Win or lose, take joy in striving toward your potential
    • Be around people who encourage you to talk about your dreams then pushes you to dream bigger
    • A little nibble will give you hope; A line in the water gives you hope.
    • Having something to strive for breeds its own kind of joy
    • Figure out what are the untapped resources that could change your life.
    • Pay attention to detail, the specifics of techniques, and develop a mental toughness. The art of mental toughness is finding focus and confidence to attack whatever challenges arise with everything you’ve got and then some.
    • That juice is worth the squeeze!
    • Answer: what did you do to get better today?
    • Indulge your playful side.

    And of course, wake up happy.

    By Candace J. Semien
    The Jozef Syndicate

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  • $4 million to go to Southern University’s science and engineering building

    Entergy has partnered with Southern University and A&M College to further support their mutual commitment to developing engineering talent for the future. A $2 million grant to Southern University from Entergy and the Entergy Charitable Foundation will support classroom and lab infrastructure improvements, as well as curriculum and faculty professional development for the university’s engineering program. During today’s grant press conference, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a $2 million match.

    This multi-year initiative will focus on enhancing Southern’s engineering curriculum and staff development as well as state of the art improvements to labs and classrooms to enable students to obtain hands-on experience.  In addition, the grant will also fund the creation of internship and mentoring programs to enhance and strengthen the relationship between Entergy and Southern University.

    “As a national leader in educating minority and women engineers and STEM professionals, Southern University is an ideal partner for Entergy to continue to build on our investments in growing a diverse workforce,” said Leo Denault, Entergy chairman and chief executive officer. “Entergy has a long history of working with universities within the Gulf South to develop the professional and technical employees that can support the continued economic development across the region as well as Entergy’s internal long-term workforce needs.”

    Entergy has an extensive track record of supporting the communities it serves, and the company believes that reinvesting in these cities and neighborhoods will enhance the quality of life for everyone. Entergy also works to attract talented, diverse employees through its college recruiting efforts and relationships with minority professional organizations. Having contributed more than $2.3 million over the past five years to historically black colleges and universities in the company’s service territory, Entergy hopes to continue to play a key role in keeping talented graduates employed in our region.

    41513676_2123512174326507_7127266127679324160_n“When we invest in our students, we are investing in their future and the future of Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “As career opportunities continue to grow in the STEM fields, it is necessary that we prepare our students to meet the needs of employers and be competitive in the global market, which is exactly what Southern University is doing while also ensuring African-American students receive the high quality education necessary for developing a diverse workforce. The long standing partnership between Entergy and Southern University is a successful blueprint for both industry and higher education.”

    “Our ongoing partnership with Southern University is an example of how industries and universities can work together to advance common goals,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. “Entergy Louisiana’s diverse and talented workforce includes some of the best and brightest engineers. We are committed to supporting programs that will help develop and enhance the next generation of engineering innovators.”

    “Southern University is one of the top producers of African-American engineers in the state of Louisiana and beyond,” said Ray L. Belton, Southern University System president. “This partnership with Entergy will ensure that we not only continue this great legacy, but that we also expand opportunities so that students are poised to make valuable contributions to our global society through STEM disciplines.”

    Take a look at the event gallery here.

     

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  • Southern University Baton Rouge maintains accreditation

    During its June meeting, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges removed a warning sanction from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. The University satisfied all issues raised by the accreditation agency during its last review in June 2017.

    “This is great news for not only the institution and students, but for our alumni and other supporters,” said Ray L. Belton, Southern University System president-chancellor. “Our team of dedicated faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that we demonstrated compliance with the principles of accreditation so that we are able to continue fulfilling our mission of providing a high-quality educational experience.”

    The SACSCOC peer reviewers evaluated the university’s Fifth-Year Interim Report in 2016, and identified four areas for improvement: faculty adequacy, institutional effectiveness, student complaints, and student achievement. To address these areas, University leaders developed strategic solutions that has ultimately laid a solid foundation for continuous improvement. The University anticipates its accreditation to be reaffirmed for the next 10 years.

    “We are delighted that we have met this challenge,” said James H. Ammons, Ph.D., executive vice president/executive vice chancellor. “Our team has worked really hard and we will continue to make making progress in demonstrating compliance in all areas.”

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  • SU System Board meets June 22

    The Southern University System Board of Supervisors will hold its regular meeting Friday, June 22 at 9 a.m., in the Millie M. Charles School of Social Work Auditorium on the campus of Southern University New Orleans (6400 Press Dr.).

    The agenda and other documents can be found at:http://www.sus.edu/page/su-board-current-month-packet.

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    SU fall enrollment sees jumps in key areas

    SU fall enrollment sees jumps in key areas

    Student population is expanding at Southern University Baton Rouge. In particular, for the first time in several years, the University experienced significant growth in important sectors this fall. Online enrollment increased 70 percent from last fall; new first-time students had an increase of 13 percent; cross-enrolled saw an increase of 609 percent; and transfer students jumped five percent.

    “What is encouraging about these numbers is the increase in the first-time freshmen at the University,” comments Ray Belton, president-chancellor of the Southern University System. “The SUBR campus has suffered from declining enrollment for multiple years, so this response gives indication that we are on the right path.”

    The increase in online enrollment is associated with marketing strategies including targeted digital campaigns the University activated last semester. The focus was to highlight newly released programs and concentrate on a new demographic: working professionals.

    “It gives me great joy to see our System flourish,” said Luria Young, interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “While working collectively, we achieved a goal that we can continue to build upon.”

    Dianna Depron, SUBR executive director of admissions and recruitment, attributes the increase in transfer and cross-enrolled students to trending recruitment tactics, such as social media and digital campaigns, email marketing, and aggressive recruiting.

    In addition to the growing enrollment on its flagship campus, the SU System is enjoying encouraging numbers from the SU Law Center (SULC) and Southern University New Orleans (SUNO).

    According to Lisa Mims-Devezin, SUNO chancellor, the campus overall enrollment increased nearly five percent with first-time freshmen student enrollment expanding by 47 percent.

    “We took the initiative to do more community outreach, engagement, marketing, and recruitment,” said Mims-Devezin.

    SULC Chancellor John Pierre reported that despite the trends of national law schools, enrollment at the SU Law Center is up slightly this fall.

    “We’re very happy with the composition of the class and the numbers,” said Pierre.

    The SU System saw a moderate increase in overall student enrollment.

    “We will continue to invest and to shape strategies that will prove to fulfill our enrollment aims,” said Belton. “There is a great anticipation that we will continue to move the needle forward.”

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  • SU program increases male student retention

    A Southern University System program designed to reverse the trend of fewer Black male students attending and graduating from college is demonstrating higher than average success in student retention.

    Implemented in 2012 and located on the Southern University New Orleans  campus, the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement (CUSA) is the centerpiece initiative of the Five-Fifths Agenda for America (FFAA), a demonstration project with the dual goals of increasing the number of college degrees among black men and increasing the ranks of black male classroom teachers.

    Data from a recent internal SU System CUSA enrollment and retention status report indicates that the Honoré Center program is associated with an increase in fall-to-fall retention in a range of 25 percent to 46 percent.   Of the 30 total students who completed at least one semester after enrolling in the Honoré Center over the past three academic years, 12 remain actively enrolled in the program and another 12 students remain enrolled at SUNO in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Those numbers represent a 40 percent program retention rate, however overall retention rises to 80 percent when including former cohort members still enrolled at SUNO.

    “Not only are Honoré participants being retained in school at a higher rate then comparable students at peer institutions in Louisiana, they are making faster progress towards earning bachelors degrees. All of the Honoré students remaining in school are on pace to earn degrees in six years or less,” said CUSA director Warren Bell Jr.

    The  goal  of  the  FFAA  national  initiative  is  to  “identify  and  enable  young  Black  men  from  the  bottom  quartile  with  character  and  leadership  potential  to  become  educators  and  servant  leaders  who  will  seed  positive  change  in  their  schools  and  communities.  A  value-‐added  goal  is  to  establish  public  Historically  Black  Colleges  and  Universities  as  institutional  bases  for  long-‐term  systemic  change,”  said  FFAA  founder  and  SU  System  President  Ronald  Mason  Jr.

    Bell  said  the  Honoré  program reached  a  milestone  in  April when two  original  cohort  members,  third year  students  Louis  Blackmon  and  Dominique  Carter,  earned  Honor  Roll  recognition  during  SUNO’s  Spring  2015  Academic  Honors  and  Awards  ceremony.  

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    Honoré  Center  for  Undergraduate  Student  Achievement  (CUSA)  students  Louis  Blackmon  (right)  and  Dominique  Carter  (left)  pictured  with  CUSA  director  Warren  Bell  Jr.  after  receiving  honor  roll  recognition  during  SUNO’s  Spring  2015  Academic  Honors  and  Awards  Day  Program,  April  8,  2015

     About  the Honoré  CUSA
     The  state  of  Louisiana  in  2012  awarded  the  Southern  University  System  a  half  million  dollars  in  funding  to  plan  and  implement  an  initiative  designed  to  address  an  important  national  challenge:    to  reverse  the  trend  of  fewer  African-‐American  male  students  attending  and  graduating  from  college.    Named  for  retired  US  Army  Lieutenant  General  Russel  L.  Honoré  who  led  all  active-duty  troops  from  all  military  branches  for  the  storm  recovery  operations  following  Hurricane  Katrina’s  destruction  of  the  Gulf  Coast  in  2005,  the  Center  recruits  New  Orleans-‐area  male  students  into  a  highly  structured  living  and learning  environment  designed  to  ensure  their  academic  and  personal  success  as  college  men  and  future  leaders.    All  Honoré  scholars  promise  to  serve  at  least  two  years  after  graduation  as  local  classroom  teachers.  They  agree  to  rigorous  rules  of  conduct  and  performance.    The  State  of  Louisiana  provided  a  total  $1-million  to  support  the  Honoré  Center.  In  addition  to  Louisiana  Legislative  start-‐up  support,  the  project  is  endorsed  and  receiving  further  support  to  continue  its  operations  through  private  donors  and  philanthropic  organizations  including  the  Thurgood  Marshall  College  Fund,  the  Open  Society  Foundation,  Educational  Testing  Services  plus  the  Kellogg,  Lumina,  and  Kresge  foundations.  CUSA  will  move  ahead  as  a  project  that  is  completely  underwritten  in  FY2016  by  private  and  foundation  dollars.    For  more  information:    http://honorecusa.sus.edu

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  • Mason named University of the District of Columbia finalist

    The Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia has announced the selection of three finalists for the position of President of the University–including Southern University System President Ronald Mason.

    Each of these candidates will visit the campus and participate in two open forums that will provide University stakeholders the opportunity to meet the finalists, ask questions and provide written feedback to the Board of Trustees.

    Open forums for Mason will be Friday, April 3, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Community College, 801 North Capitol Street; and Friday, April 3, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Building 44, Room A03 on the Van Ness Campus. http://www.udc.edu/

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