Paul Quinn College Launches 36‑Month Urban Scholars Degree Program for High-Achieving Students Who Want to Make a Difference

This fall, Dallas' Paul Quinn College will launch an accelerated Bachelor’s degree track that's designed to help students become "leaders and activists with a commitment to real change" in partnership with education innovator Minerva Project. The program, part of PQC's newly established Honors College, offers a double-major in Business and Public Policy that will focus on the economics and politics of societal transformation.

Paul Quinn College, in partnership with Minerva Project, has announced a new project that is intended to train the future leaders and activists of our country.

The Paul Quinn College x Minerva Urban Scholars Program is an accredited, degree-granting program that will be offered out of Paul Quinn’s newly established Honors College. The innovative program was co-designed by the two organizations to be an accelerated rigorous, interdisciplinary course for the most high-achieving students.

“Students no longer want to sit in classrooms for four years and be lectured to over and over again. Instead, today’s college students want to engage in the world around them, from day one,” Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, said in a statement. “This program, which focuses only on the most pressing issues of the day, is the future of interdisciplinary, challenge-based education.”

The students selected to participate will be among the most ambitious, who also possess an urgent sense of purpose, the organizations said. As Scholars of the program, each student will earn a degree in Business Administration and Public Policy while at the same time develop relationships with national and community leaders.

They will also develop real solutions to pressing community problems in one of three domains: public health, criminal justice reform, and the wealth gap.

It’s a revolutionary degree program for the young men and women of Paul Quinn, Ben Nelson, founder and CEO of Minerva Project, said. Not only will they be able to gain and apply relevant skills, but the students will also earn a bachelor’s degree and gain relevant work experience. To him, it’s a program with “maximum impact.”

Dr. Sorrell called Minerva Project the perfect partner to bring the dream to fruition.

Minerva Project, which has a mission to “nurture critical wisdom for the sake of the world,” provides top-tier educational programs through its flagship Minerva Schools at KGI and additional strategic partnerships.

“We owe it to this generation to redefine how a college education can change their life trajectory,” Nelson said. “We are committed to working with forward-thinking institutions to design relevant and compelling programs that put student learning at the forefront.”

The 36-month Paul Quinn College x Minerva Urban Scholars Program will require students to attend classes year-round for three years, with the exception of a two-month winter break. The two organizations said there will be no geographic restraints or residency requirement—students from across the country can enroll and live at home while completing the program.

Each semesters’ tuition will be for less than $7,500 in loan debt for Pell eligible students. The full cost of other fees will be covered by employer subsidies and scholarships in the second and third years, as Urban Scholars will work 15-20 hours a week after their first year.

That is a standard with the PQC Corporate Work Program.

Paul Quinn is known as America’s first urban work college. The private, faith-based four-year liberal arts-inspired college has grown into a model for urban higher education under President Sorrell’s leadership.

The innovative PQC model is designed to eradicate poverty by combining affordable higher education with quality paid work experiences, year-round housing, and reduced loan debt. This equips students with skills that are applicable to today’s job market, and in turn, gives them greater access to post-grad opportunities.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul Quinn College also announced that it will only offer classes using an online instructional model for the upcoming fall semester. In a statement, President Sorrell wrote the following:

As a result of the surging number of COVID-19 cases locally and nationally, the Board of Trustees and the administration have made the decision that Paul Quinn College will only offer classes using an online instructional model for the fall 2020 semester. At this time, no decision has been made regarding the course delivery method for the spring 2021 semester. Our goal is to make that determination in November.

Read his entire statement here.

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