Dillard Notables of 2018: #5 Advancing Academics

2018 saw several major advances with our academic programs. One of our new initiatives, our evening and weekend program, saw its first set of graduates.

Our nursing program turned 75, and it was marked with a restructured program for a new cohort of students. In addition, our first group of RN to BSN students graduated this year, a way for community college graduates to get a four year nursing degree.

We collaborated with Xavier University to modify our chemistry degree to facilitate an easier transition for students entering Xavier’s pharmacy school. At least one 2018 graduate began pharmacy school at Xavier this fall.

We also strengthened our commitment to pre-health advising. I’ve had many conversations with the president of Meharry Medical College (also United Methodist school) who wants MORE students from UNCF schools. We decided to create a model to have a full time pre-health advisor, so we can better advise students pursuing medical or dental school, or better align those for other health related careers. Our new advisor, Tracie Thomas, hit the ground running and we are already seeing great increases in students admitted to professional schools.

We had a great national story on one of our signature programs, film. I am always amazed at the hands on opportunities film students get, and being in New Orleans is a big plus since lots of films are done in our state. You should follow the program on Twitter:

Finally, our pre-law program continues to garner national acclaim.

This year we won the prestigious 2018 ABA Section of Litigation’s Diversity Leadership Award. The Section of Litigation created this honor to recognize those who have made outstanding commitments to promoting full and equal participation in the legal profession through the encouragement and inclusion of women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and/or persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities. We were the first undergraduate institution to win this award.

This is on top of being awarded $185,000 for our pre-law pipeline program for the New Orleans HBCUs which has had fantastic success this year as students improved LSAT scores from the diagnostic test to the actual exam by about 13 points.

So I am really excited about some of our academic advances this year.

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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