Morehouse College to Offer Online Program for Black Men Who Have College Credits but No Degree

Photo: Mike Stewart (AP)

It’s not uncommon for folks to attend college for a few years only to leave as a result of unexpected circumstances, a general lack of direction, or simply not having the money to continue their education. To help combat this, Morehouse College is launching an online program aimed at helping those men complete their college education.

According to the Washington Post, the school announced on Tuesday that Morehouse Online will go live this summer and will have three initial course offerings. The service is designed specifically for men who have some college experience under their belt and want to complete their degrees, which the Census Bureau estimates is over 3 million Black men, the Post reports. The program will be open both to former Morehouse students as well as men who went to other universities, and the school hopes to bring back at least 500 Morehouse men over the next five years.

David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College, told the Post that the idea came after speaking to former alumni at events who said they didn’t finish, and would like to, but simply didn’t have the ability to put their life on hold to finish their education.
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“They had a desire to finish their degree, but didn’t have the ability to stop what they were doing in the world and go back to school,” Thomas told the Washington Post. “We owe it to the world to amplify our impact and that means … impacting the world without the world having to come to us. This is us going to the world.”

Thomas added that the benefit of age and lived experience has given the former student a sense of focus and intention that isn’t always present in the 17 and 18-year-olds who enter the school as freshmen.

The school is collaborating with 2U, an online program manager, to oversee the online platform. Courses will be designed to be taken over eight weeks and the program will cost $600 a credit, compared to the $1,115 per credit that residential undergraduates pay. Online students will receive the same access to Morehouse’s career advising and professional, and Thomas ensures that they will be held to the same academic standards as residential students.

“Morehouse has the moral authority to provide the Good Housekeeping seal of Black male excellence,” Thomas told the Post. “What we will demand of our online students will be comparable to what we expect of our on-campus students.”

His goal is for the online program to generate enough revenue to cover its expenses and support faculty research and hiring new faculty.

Morehouse Online is part of a broader strategic plan for the 154-year-old school to grow its footprint that also includes expanding study abroad initiatives and recruiting more international students.

In the past year, Morehouse has enjoyed a series of multimillion-dollar donations from philanthropists, some spurred into action after George Floyd’s death sparked national protests against police brutality and racial inequality. The visibility of historically Black colleges and universities like Morehouse is at a high and the Biden administration has promised greater investment in the sector. Vice President Harris is an HBCU alumna, a graduate of Howard University.


As of now, the program is only available to undergraduate students, and while Thomas is open to expanding it to graduate students, for now, he wants to focus on what he calls Morehouse’s core strengths.

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