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'HBCU Urban Access Hub' establishes HBCU Presence in Fresno, CA for the first time ever

SAU Extends its Recruitment Reach to Fresno, CA; Creates Transfer Portal to 4-Year Education

By ONME Newswire

In this episode of ONME Quick News Bits, host Julia Dudley Najieb reveals exclusive interview with Saint Augustine’s University president, Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail, who talks about the new HBCU Urban Access Hub opportunity and grants for community college students in the Central Valley.


FRESNO, CA--Over 100 historically Black colleges and universities exist in the United States; most of them are in the Southern states. Only one exists in California, and it focuses exclusively on health and science, located in Los Angeles, CA--Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science.

Now Fresno, CA and Central Valley community college students have an opportunity to attend an HBCU, with the assistance of grants and an automatic admissions process.

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU), founded in 1867 to educate freed enslaved persons, has extended its student recruitment and reach to the West Coast. By establishing the HBCU Urban Access Hub, SAU is promoting student access in Fresno, California, to the historically Black college and university (HBCU) learning experience for the first time.

The HBCU Urban Access Hub is an innovative collaboration with community colleges across the country to provide students with a pipeline to a four-year education where there is no HBCU. Saint Augustine’s University’s HBCU Urban Access Hub will connect community college students in Fresno to opportunities to transfer to SAU for a four-year education.

Participating community college students receive an incentive to continue their education via a Community College Transfer Grant valued at $8,945/annually. They will also receive:

  • Guaranteed admission to SAU and are eligible for the Community College Transfer Grant (CCTG), so long as they have earned an associate degree in an area of study offered at SAU

  • Automatic grant renewal for one academic year provided the student maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8

  • Academic support to encourage students to earn at least 30 credit hours during the prior year and perform 40 hours of community service

The SAU team and university president visited the Central Valley in early July, making imperative connections for effective student outreach throughout the Central Valley.

“Expanding to Fresno, California, makes sense. I consider Fresno my second home,"said Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail, president of Saint Augustine’s University. "I graduated from Fresno City College and Fresno State University. So, this is my way of giving back to a place that has given me so much,”

Dr. Johnson McPhail is the 13th President of Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC. Prior to joining Saint Augustine’s, Dr. McPhail served as President and CEO of the McPhail Group, LLC and a nationally recognized thought leader in higher education. She is the founding professor and director of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University. Dr. McPhail is the former president of Cypress College in California. She also recently served as a professor of practice at Kansas State University in the John E. Roueche Center for Community College Leadership Development. She is a Certified Associate for Emergenetics International, which helps organizations, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, achieve desired results including increased efficiency and improved communication through solutions centered on the Emergenetics Profile and tools. After multiple decades in higher education, Dr. McPhail served as a leadership coach with Achieving the Dream with a mission to help leaders shape the teaching and learning environment by engaging, aligning, and inspiring people to act.

Community college students can find out more about the hands-on enrollment process for the HBCU Urban Access Hub by calling: 919.516.4630.


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