N.C. A&T Deese College Partners with Synchrony on Education as an Equalizer Initiative

By Jackie Torok / 05/13/2021 College of Business and Economics

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 13, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics is partnering with Synchrony on the company’s Education as an Equalizer initiative.

Education as an Equalizer is designed to expand access to higher education, skills training in high-growth fields, and financial literacy for underserved communities and its own workforce.

The Deese College will receive $500,000 as part of the more than $50 million investment Synchrony will make in the program over the next five years.

“We are very excited to partner with a great company like Synchrony and truly appreciate their desire to drive change in education equity,” said Kevin James, Ph.D., Deese College dean. “Our work together will significantly enhance our students’ ability to obtain a world-class college education and prepare for high-trajectory careers.”

Synchrony’s total investment in the initiative includes more than $20 million in philanthropic grants from the Synchrony Foundation that will help to increase educational and reskilling opportunities for individuals and students from low-income and underrepresented communities, particularly Black and Hispanic communities. The company’s eight employee Diversity Networks will serve as strategic advisors.

The remaining funds – approximately $30 million – will go toward training and upskilling opportunities for the company’s workforce, as well as programs to build a diverse talent pipeline and strengthen financial literacy skills for all.

“The pandemic has deepened economic inequality and accelerated demands for a reskilled and upskilled workforce,” said Brian Doubles, president and CEO of Synchrony. “We believe everyone should have access to education and skills training, which are essential for driving an inclusive recovery, growing our economy and securing a strong financial future.”

Harnessing Synchrony’s business expertise and employee talent through mentorships and other activities, Education as an Equalizer will build on the company’s commitment to address deeply-rooted economic inequality within the communities it serves. Through investment, engagement and social reform, it will collaborate with academic institutions like A&T, nonprofits, government and businesses.

The Deese College – the nation’s No. 1 graduate business school at a historically Black college or university – develops and maintains corporate partnerships that provide students with both practical instruction and meaningful engagement. This new partnership with Synchrony complements A&T’s Equity in Education Initiative (E²I), which includes the Black Male Initiative housed in the Deese College.

E²I focus areas support academic performance, enhance critical resources needed to graduate on time and with less debt burden, prepare graduates for first-destination career readiness and expand social mobility through additional economic pathways.

All Deese College graduate and undergraduate degrees are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. The business programs were first accredited in 1979, when A&T became the first university in the Piedmont-Triad area to earn the organization’s prestigious stamp of quality. A&T continues to be one of only 189 business schools worldwide to have its entire business program AACSB accredited as well as separate AACSB accreditation for its accounting program.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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