Jan 12 2022

Higher Ed Reimagined: HBCUs Foster a Virtual Sense of Belonging

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offer a unique education experience — one centered on culture and a sense of belonging — that is difficult to convert into online courses. But North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has done a particularly good job delivering a feeling of community to their online students. This has manifested in an enrollment increase across the board, including for online-only programs.

“We’re so glad to see those numbers increase, because that demonstrates the value that we are adding to the lives of our students — not only those who are here in the state of North Carolina but those who are beyond our state, and especially for our students who are in the armed services,” says Racheal Brooks, director of the Office of e-Learning at NCCU.

MORE ON EDTECH: Learn how HBCUs are creating a strong financial future.


    • Racheal Brooks, Director, Office of e-Learning, North Carolina Central University
    • Roderick Heath, Director, Men’s Achievement Center, North Carolina Central University
    • Leah Kraus, CIO, North Carolina Central University

Video Highlights

  • NCCU faculty and staff understand, on an intimate level, the unique challenges that Black students face in higher education.
  • During NCCU’s initial pivot to online learning, it was difficult to cultivate student connection in a virtual environment.
  • Against all odds, NCCU found a way to support online learners and increase enrollment during the pandemic.