Members of SAU’s leadership team meeting with Wayne County Community College District leaders at the Curtis L. Ivery Downtown Campus in Detroit, MI.

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) was founded in 1867 to educate freed slaves in Raleigh, North Carolina. Today, SAU officially announces the nation’s first HBCU Urban Access Hub to advance equity in education by taking the HBCU experience to urban communities where there is no HBCU.

“Despite the gains that African Americans have made, too many youths aren’t taking advantage of education in America,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “With year-long access to the university, students will find opportunities to come to SAU, including summer enrichment programs, financial aid, and scholarships, starting in the ninth grade.” 

The HBCU Urban Access Hub offers a convenient, cost-effective opportunity for students to attend SAU and seamlessly accumulate college transfer credit while matriculating at their home institutions. The first institutions to join SAU in this venture are Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) and Cass Technical High School, both located in Detroit, MI.

“Our mission has always been to find pathways to better lives through education,” said Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery. “We are very excited about this collaboration with SAU’s HBCU Urban Access Hub Program.”

“We were honored to have a visit from Saint Augustine’s University,” said Cass Technical High School Principal Lisa Phillips. “President McPhail is a leader who makes a commitment and follows through with precision. I enjoyed the relaxed down-home meeting, and the leadership team made me want to re-enroll in their university. I’m looking forward to a great partnership with one of the most prestigious and oldest HBCUs in the country.”

In addition, after a historic meeting in New York at the 2022 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Conference in New York, NY, the HBCU Urban Access Hub gained the attention and support of community college leaders from across the country such as:

Dr. Lorenzo Esters, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College
Dr. L. Marshall Washington, President, Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor, Houston Community College
Dr. Annette Parker, President, South Central College
Dr. Kimberly Beatty, Chancellor, Metropolitan Community College
Dr. Landon Pirius, Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, Colorado Community College System

The SAU Urban Access Hub will collaborate with partner institutions to advance the program’s pillars, which include:

  • Leadership & Commitment
  • Outreach & Preparation
  • Admissions & Advising 
  • Financial Aid
  • Student Engagement & Academic Affairs

“Urban students need an HBCU experience,” said Dr. McPhail. “The programs such as these epitomize the meaning of legacy building.”