Education firm EAB announced today that Tuskegee University, Harris-Stowe State University, and LeMoyne-Owen College have joined the Way Forward Initiative, a multiyear collaboration between EAB and Bank of America to support historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The work is made possible through funding provided by Bank of America as part of the bank’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.
“Despite their vital role in creating opportunities for students and communities of color, many HBCUs face daunting financial pressures caused in large part by a historical lack of support from federal and state governments,” says EAB Chief Partner Officer, Sally Amoruso. “EAB is proud to partner with Bank of America to provide data, insight, and advice to help propel HBCUs and their students into a brighter future.”
EAB and Bank of America established the Way Forward Initiative in 2021 in partnership with an initial cohort of five HBCUs working together to advance their institutional goals. Schools in the program have a dedicated EAB support team and access to EAB’s Global Research Partnership. They receive leadership training, on-demand market research, and opportunities to collaborate with peer institutions. EAB’s support team guides them through opportunity assessments and tactical changes designed to improve student retention and graduation rates, financial stability, and operational efficiency.
“Education is one of the most powerful tools available to address economic and social inequality,” says Ebony Thomas, Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity Initiatives executive for Bank of America. “The Way Forward Initiative is focused on advancing student and institutional success by providing advisory services to help schools set strategic priorities, establish goals for long-term financial sustainability, and accelerate their progress toward those goals.”
Tuskegee University, Alabama; Harris-Stowe State University, Missouri; and LeMoyne-Owen College, Tennessee join the 2021 inaugural cohort of five HBCUs, which includes Central State University, Ohio; Huston-Tillotson University, Texas; Claflin University, South Carolina; Savannah State University, Georgia; and Virginia Union University, Virginia.
“Our work with EAB and Bank of America has already been extremely beneficial in the preparations for our upcoming accreditation review,” said Harris-Stowe State University Interim Provost Edward Hill. “The services and support provided through the Way Forward Initiative have also helped us to better inform and engage all critical stakeholders.”