EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 14, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is joining NBC Universal News Group and 16 academic institutions across the nation in the newly-launched NBCU Academy, a journalism training and development program for four-year university and community college students.

NBCUniversal News Group announced the $6.5 million, multi-year partnership today, enhancing its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by creating pathways for storytellers in underrepresented groups.

NBCUniversal News Group is launching the endeavor with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions and colleges with significant Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous and tribal populations, as well as those that serve students with different abilities and from various economic and geographic backgrounds.

“Creating an inclusive culture for journalism that represents the communities we serve is at the very core of what we do,” said NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde. “Through NBCU Academy, we have the opportunity to widen our extraordinary legacy by building on-ramps for a talented generation of journalists and storytellers who—for so long—may have been overlooked.”

The investment will provide equipment, onsite curriculum and various opportunities for students to engage and learn from NBCU News Group journalists, executives, managerial, production and editorial team members. Additionally, the initiative provides funding for journalism programs and scholarships—including scholarships worth $3.5 million over the next two years—and will support professors as they develop seminar courses.

A&T is the only North Carolina-based university represented in the partnership. The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) houses the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JOMC), which offers three concentrations: mass media production, multimedia journalism and public relations.

“We are delighted to partner with NBCUniversal News Group to prepare the next generation as they explore career aspirations in journalism through hands-on training and professional development,” said Frances Ward-Johnson, Ph.D., CAHSS dean. “Our journalism and mass communication department produces exceptional students, who will not only benefit from this opportunity, but will also have much to contribute to the academy. Additionally, the support our professors and the program will receive will further enhance the impact we can make.”

This partnership follows several impressive announcements from the college last fall, including the UNC System Board of Governors appointment of Kim Smith, Ph.D., a JOMC associate professor, as a new member of the UNC Press Board of Governors. 

About North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is the nation’s largest historically Black university, as well as its top ranked (Money magazine, Best Colleges). It is a land-grant, doctoral university, classified as “high research” by the Carnegie Foundation and a constituent member of the University of North Carolina System. A&T is known for its leadership in producing graduates in engineering, agriculture and other STEM fields. The university was founded in 1891 and is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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