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U.S. University Partners to Increase Education Access and Affordability for African Students

SEED president Joe Lopez and Monroe’s Eric Bland during the ribbon cutting

Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, and SEED, an international non-profit organization that provides academic, athletic, and leadership development programs to promising students in Africa, have launched a visionary program to make Monroe’s undergraduate programs available to students in Senegal this fall.

Through this academic collaboration, African students accepted into the program will be able to pursue an Associate or Bachelor’s degree program through Monroe’s fully accredited online platform, while receiving academic support, tutoring, mentoring, advising, and student life activities on-site at a conveniently located facility housed at the International School of Dakar (ISD) in Dakar, Senegal.  Monroe College and SEED announced that nine undergraduate programs will be initially offered. Students successfully completing their degree program will earn their U.S degree from Monroe, joining its alumni from all around the world.

A celebration was held at the International School of Dakar on September 7, 2021, to launch the program and welcome the first students. They will start their courses on Thursday, September 9, 2021. “We are excited to partner with the SEED Project on this incredible program to help gifted students in Senegal obtain their undergraduate degree from Monroe,” said Marc Jerome, president of Monroe College. “SEED has been doing amazing work to open doors of opportunity for Africa’s future leaders, and we are honored to help make the college dreams of these deserving kids come true.”

The SEED Project also expressed its excitement about the venture. “This innovative SEED Monroe College pilot project is going to bring about enormous opportunities and open up life-changing pathways not only for these six competent youth but for much other youths in Africa to follow,” said Joseph Lopez, President of SEED Project. “We are honored to have partnered with the reputable Monroe College that has considerable experience with online learning and international students, and the generosity of our sponsors really bring it to fruition.”

The student’s tuition and fees for the program are generously covered by student scholarships funded through SEED Project’s dedicated partners. Longtime SEED supporter Africa Development Solutions (ADS) was the first to provide support by offering SEED Monroe College scholarships to some selected students through its subsidiary, Social Nation Africa. Students accepted into the program may choose from nine initial areas of study. Monroe retains full academic oversight, with the online programs leveraging the College’s existing curriculum, course content, and learning management system.

Classes will be held online, with in-person academic and personal support offered in space graciously provided by the International School of Dakar in the Mermoz area. Student activities will also be available to provide a robust college experience. Equally exciting, students will have the opportunity to participate in an academic and cultural immersion trip to New York during their third semester of the program. Monroe offers three full academic semesters per year, enabling full-time students to earn an Associate degree in less than two years and a Bachelor’s degree in less than three years. This accelerated timetable allows graduates to begin their careers sooner than graduates of institutions only offering two semesters each year.

The Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEED) Project is an international non-government organization that believes every youth in Africa deserves the right to be supported so they can reach their full potential. Using sport as a catalyst, SEED Project exists to educate, equip, and empower youth from across Africa with the right tools so that they, in turn, can become active actors of development on the African continent. SEED Academy, based in Thiès, Senegal serves 40 high-school boys and girls annually with boarding and after-school athletic, academic, and leadership programs, enabling students to matriculate to university programs from institutions in Senegal, the United States, and Europe. Founded in 1933, Monroe College is a recognized leader in urban and international education. The College is proud of its innovative programs to increase college access, affordability, and completion outcomes, especially among first-generation students, and for the national recognition, it receives for strongly impacting its graduates’ social mobility.

Monroe College educates 8,000 students each year, offering Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs from New York campuses in the Bronx and New Rochelle, as well as in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia. Students may also pursue degree programs through Monroe Online. Programs are offered through Schools of Allied Health Professions, Business and Accounting, Criminal and Social Justice, Education, Hospitality Management, Information Technology, and Nursing, as well as through its King Graduate School. Liberal arts and continuing education programs are also available.

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