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Wilberforce University embraces the 2024-25 academic year with a spirit of innovation!

Wilberforce, Ohio (June 5, 2024)

Wilberforce University, the nation’s first private Black University, embraces a spirit of boldness and innovation with new programs and expanded course offerings designed to better equip students to enter a technological based workforce upon graduation.

Beginning in the fall of 2024, Wilberforce students can major in liberal arts studies infused with STEM and modern technology-based principles.

“Integrating and infusing STEM into our existing liberal arts program is good for our students and for the institution,” says Wilberforce University President Dr. Vann R. Newkirk. “Today’s students must be prepared to solve complex problems and infusing STEM
into our liberal arts curriculum and by adding specialized disciplines such as digital humanities will better prepare them to do so.”

President Newkirk added that the “new” Wilberforce will ultimately go beyond just infusing STEM and technology into programs and courses but is poised to become a full-fledged research institution. “These changes are just the beginning of what Wilberforce will become and we invite students to come to Wilberforce and be part of this exciting future.”

Recent news and workforce data suggest that this is a good move for all liberal arts colleges. According to the National Science Board-Science and Engineering Data, by including workers of all educational backgrounds and the wide variety of occupations that require significant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and expertise, the STEM workforce represented 23% of the total U.S. workforce in 2019. This number significantly increases when you factor in humanities professions utilizing technology to perform job functions.

“The need for a technologically trained workforce will continue to grow. Liberal arts colleges and universities cannot ignore this trend if they are to ensure that their students have excellent job prospects, secure gainful employment, or matriculate to higher education,” says Brandon A. Owens, Sr., Ph.D., Provost, and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Humanities and social sciences are not taking a back seat, we’re simply putting STEM and technology in the passenger seat and providing Wilberforce students with a much richer academic experience,” adds Dr. Owens. “This is better for our students, for the workforce, and for the world.”

The Ohio Department of Education (OHDOE) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approved new degree programs in Business Management and Technology, and Digital Humanities. Wilberforce University has also received approval from the OHDOE to offer degree programs in Mathematical Sciences and Kinesiology, but they are pending HLC approval. Degree programs in Sustainability Engineering, Communications Engineering, and Civil Engineering are still pending approval from both organizations.

These programs represent the beginning of the “new WU” (Wilberforce University) and according to President Newkirk mark the beginning of a bold and bright future for Wilberforce University.

To learn more about Wilberforce University or about the new and/or expanded course offerings call 937-376-2911 or visit


For Immediate Release 
Media Contact: Lena Arnold
Phone: 937-508-5532
June 5, 2024

About Wilberforce University: 

Wilberforce University is the nation’s oldest private, historically black University owned and operated by African Americans. Its roots trace back to its founding in 1856, a period of American history marred by the physical bondage of people of African descent. It was also a period when the education of African Americans was not only socially prohibited but was illegal. There was nothing about the prevailing social and cultural ethos of the era that suggested that African Americans might or should be taught or could learn. Yet a powerful idea assumed life and Wilberforce University was born. The founding of Wilberforce University represented a bold, audacious, and visionary example of what could happen when men and women of goodwill transcended race and the prevailing social and cultural constructs and norms to pursue a noble purpose. Today Wilberforce University offers 25 academic programs to students of promise from marginalized communities. Learn more at


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