Supported by a donation from marketing software company HubSpot, D.C.-based HBCU Howard University is planning to launch a Center for Digital Business to offer business education programming over the next five years.
The center will hold a physical space inside of Howard’s business school and will be open for collaboration between students, faculty and biz leaders. The center’s programming will focus on three areas: academics, experiential learning and support for job readiness.
“For our students to remain competitive, it is critical that they have exposure to the latest technologies and processes that are utilized in the current business environment,” said Anthony Wilbon, dean of the Howard University School of Business, in a statement. “The new Center will certainly accelerate our goal to enhance students’ skills so they can be immediate contributors to the digital workforce.”
The new center aligns with the university’s goal of creating a better pipeline of young, diverse professionals. Along with job readiness support, the center will also provide mentorship opportunities for students looking to launch careers in sales, marketing, entrepreneurship and technology.
Howard will begin offering for-credit courses through the Center for Digital Business in spring 2021. These select classes will focus on teaching students how to conduct social media audits and provide digital marketing support (both in line with HubSpot’s core offerings). Eventually, students will have the opportunity to pursue digital business degrees and academic certificates through the courses they take at the center — and students will also get a chance to sit in on guest lectures with executives at big companies and participate in case competitions.
Howard alum Andrew Lindsay, now HubSpot’s SVP of corporate business development, said in a statement that the initiative is “incredible personal.”
“At HubSpot we feel that it’s vital for leading businesses to play an active role in the development of the next generation of Black business leaders,” he said, “and this Center is just one key component of our commitment.”
Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.
The news of this center comes after the university announced a multi-year partnership with interactive fitness platform Peloton and multi-hyphenate performer Beyoncé to celebrate music and provide two-year Peloton digital memberships for all students. Earlier this year, Howard also launched a partnership with AARP to develop age-tech solutions to improve healthcare.
Howard plans to continue virtual learning through the spring semester. The university recently announced that it will be reinstating its spring break for students slated for March 2021 and is requiring all faculty to be certified in online instruction.