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Creating Safe Spaces for Black Students – Dr. Lauren Mims

Creating Safe Spaces for Black Students - Dr. Lauren Mims

For Dr. Lauren Christine Mims, few challenges are more important in public education than creating spaces for Black students to flourish and thrive.

“I’m less interested in preparing Black children for this world if we are not also preparing the world for the Black children,” says Mims, assistant professor of applied psychology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University.

For Mims, that means dismantling biased systems that stereotype Black students as behavioral problems rather than recognize their resilience in the face of racism and tap into their innate brilliance.

Mims says the work is particularly crucial for Black girls, who are at the heart of her research agenda.

Colleagues and students hail Mims for shifting the focus away from viewing Black students, parents, and families through a deficit lens.


“Her groundbreaking work in the field of psychology is reshaping the narrative by highlighting the strengths and daily experiences of Black families and bringing a much-needed focus to the experiences of Black girls,” says Elisha Arnold, who has Mims as her graduate advisor at NYU.

Natalie H. Brito, an associate professor of applied psychology, also at NYU, shared similar observations.

“Dr. Mims is pushing the field to conceptualize Black homes as a conduit for positive growth, learning, and development by acknowledging the unique skill set and contributions Black parents provide to ensure that their children learn and thrive,” Brito says.

Much of the language that Mims uses in her research is about liberation for Black students. She espouses creative problem solving in what she refers to as “fugitive spaces,” where students discuss systems of oppression – and community strengths – as a part of the creative process.

She says the goal of her research is to help Black students to “freedom dream,” a term inspired by Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, a 2002 book by Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA.


To get a sense of what freedom dreaming looks like in action, consider a recent visit Mims made to a middle school in Richmond, Virginia, as part of “Freedom Dreaming and Dreamkeeping with Black Girls,” a course she developed for Black middle school girls with a small grant from NYU.

“I gave them a big, huge piece of white butcher paper that goes across the table, and they just wrote all of the dreams that they had,” Mims recounts. “They wanted mental health professionals and counselors that were Black and understood what it meant to be Black. They wanted teachers to talk about Black joy in the classroom and not just Black pain or slavery. They wanted spaces where they could just see themselves and just laugh and be joyful during the school day.”

The freedom dreaming that Mims does with students began in Fairfax, Virginia, where she grew up as the daughter of a librarian mother and a lawyer father. One of her fondest memories is of getting books from the library with her family and then discussing them in the living room.

“I was able to dream out loud,” Mims recalls. “And I think these spaces that allow children to dream out loud, they’re just so important.”

Mims attributes much of her career success to the late Elijah Cummings, the longtime U.S. Congressman from Maryland. Specifically, it was a 2013 keynote speech that Cummings gave for the Black Policy Conference held at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. Mims was working on her master’s degree in child development at Tufts University at the time.

“He said wherever you are, you need to be the best,” Mims recalls. That philosophy, Mims says, enabled her to go from being an intern within the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during the Obama Administration to becoming assistant director of the initiative.


“I wanted to be the best intern I could be,” Mims says, explaining how, when she wrote a policy memo, she would include talking points. She would also look at the director’s calendar and assign herself work to support upcoming events.

“For me it was really trying to be the best in that role,” Mims says. She knew the work paid off, she says, when others began to say: “You are an invaluable member of the team.” 


#BlackEducation #InclusiveSpaces #Growth #Diverse #Learning #Education #Equity #Empowering #Communities #BlackExcellence #CreativeProblemSolving #EducationForAll #DreamBig #EducationalEquality

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Here’s how AI is driving equity in Higher Education

Here’s how AI is driving equity in Higher Education

In the pursuit of creating a level playing field in education, Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, a Complete College America Fellow and a member of UT Arlington’s team, alongside leaders like Audrey Ellis, the founder of T3 Advisory, have spearheaded initiatives to promote fairness. Central to their efforts is the development of an AI playbook and a comprehensive paper dedicated to fairness in education. Their collaboration with Complete College America has been instrumental in making these endeavours possible.

The Ideation of Equity in Education

In this paper on fairness, Dr. Vistasp Karbhari and Audrey Ellis introduce a groundbreaking concept: The Complete College America Council on Equitable AI in Higher Education. The council aims to amplify the voices of individuals from diverse backgrounds in education, particularly those often overlooked in discussions about policies, products, and funding for post-secondary education. Their vision includes forging partnerships with major tech companies to ensure that educational institutions, which typically miss out on opportunities when new technologies emerge, are granted equitable access.

The AI playbook translates their vision into immediate action. It offers colleges and universities invaluable insights and practical applications for harnessing the power of AI to enhance college opportunities and boost completion rates. The playbook delineates actionable steps in three critical areas: organizational effectiveness, teaching and learning, and the student experience. It also provides user-friendly prompts for leveraging dynamic AI chatbot technology.

Bridging the Access Gap

The core objective is to empower institutions to transform AI solutions into reality, both in the present and the future. Dr. Vistasp Karbhari emphasizes the critical need for all educational institutions to have access to the right technology, expertise, and financial resources required to effectively implement dynamic AI. This concerted effort is aimed at maximizing the potential of these tools and addressing disparities in access and achievement.

Audrey Ellis underscores the practicality of the playbook and equity paper, equipping higher education professionals with tangible tools to accelerate equity and graduation rates within their institutions. Through the judicious implementation of AI, colleges and faculties can revolutionize their establishments and elevate the academic journey of their students.

Complete College America, known for its forward-thinking approach, introduced the CCA Tech Approval Seal in 2016. This initiative acknowledges unique software solutions that bolster Game Changer tactics for student success and graduation.

AI’s Transformative Role in Higher Education

In an ever-evolving landscape of higher education, AI tools have emerged as indispensable assets. They enable educational institutions to leverage technology for inclusivity, equal opportunity provision, and enhanced student success. The collaborative efforts behind the playbook and equity paper signal a commitment to harness the potential of AI to drive holistic improvements in higher education.

In conclusion, Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, Audrey Ellis, and Complete College America have embarked on a journey to reshape the future of education by promoting fairness and inclusivity through AI. Their work is not only visionary but also equipped with practical tools and strategies to catalyze positive change in higher education.


#FocusQuest #EquitableEducation #AI #Education #HigherEdInnovation #Tech #DiverseVoices #StudentSuccess #TransformativeAI #Inclusive #Future #Equality

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The Divine Nine: History of Black Sororities and Fraternities
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The Divine Nine: History of Black Sororities and Fraternities

The Divine Nine: History of Black Sororities and Fraternities

Black Greek-letter organizations have made a deep impact on Black American culture. Learn more about the fraternities and sororities that started it all.

The Divine Nine is the nickname of a group of nine historically Black Greek-letter organizations called the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). These nine organizations have a significant place in Black American history and culture. Collectively, these organizations comprise nearly 4 million members. These organizations are a source of family and community to many Black students, with some first-generation members and others joining as a legacy.

The Divine Nine organizations have been around since the early 1900s and have contributed greatly to Black American culture. They are committed to public service, scholarship and brother- and sisterhood. These traditions have trickled down through generations of members and even infiltrated pop culture. The Divine Nine’s impact on Black American life and culture is apparent.

Which Greek-Letter Organizations Are Part of the Divine Nine?

The Divine Nine comprises nine organizations in total, each with a different purpose and attributes. Here is a short breakdown of each.

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.: With the aim of manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization founded for Black men in the United States. Seven students at Cornell University started the organization on December 4, 1906. It started out as a study group.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, whose members are also known as the Ivies, is the oldest established Greek-letter organization for Black women. The organization started at Howard University on January 15, 1908. They aim to be of service to all mankind.
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: This organization focuses deeply on community service, with special emphasis on serving the Black community. Delta Sigma Theta, founded on January 13, 1913, at Howard University, aims to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.: Also known as the Nupes, Kappa Alpha Psi has been dedicated to brotherhood and service in the Black community since its founding on January 5, 1911, at Indiana University Bloomington. It has two names, the other being Phi Nu Pi. The fraternity’s motto is Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor.
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.: Founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University, this organization is based on four principles: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift. Omega Psi Phi aims to elevate its members and the Black community.
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.: The only NPHC member fraternity with a constitutionally-bound sister Greek-letter organization — Zeta Phi Beta — Phi Beta Sigma‘ was established on January 9, 1914, at Howard University. Its mission focuses on community service, building brotherhood, and promoting scholarship.
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.: The sister organization to Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta sorority’s ideals include Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood. Zeta Phi Beta, founded on January 16, 1920, at Howard University, prides itself on achieving a legacy of excellence.
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.: Sigma Gamma Rho is the only Black sorority founded at a predominantly white institution, Butler University in Indiana. Founded on November 12, 1922, its mission is to better women’s lives through community service, civil, and social action.
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.: Founded during the Civil Rights movement on September 19, 1963, at Morgan State University, Iota Phi Theta fraternity was the last member admitted to the NPHC. They have a long history of social service. The organization is dedicated to making meaningful contributions to society, with special emphasis on doing so in the Black community.
The History of the Divine Nine

Now known nationally and internationally, the Divine Nine have a long and rich history cultivated over decades of growth.

Initially, fraternities in the United States, like the institutions of higher learning in which they were founded, were exclusively for white male students. Women created sororities in response to the fraternities’ refusal to admit them. Subsequently, when Black students began to enroll in universities, they faced the same issue. So, they created the first Black Greek-letter organizations in response to the racism Black students experienced on campuses.

After the establishment and popularization of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, Black fraternities and sororities followed. The organizations began out of fellowship and shared principles rather than as a direct response to racist beliefs and practices. Howard University, in particular, was the founding site for five of the Divine Nine. These organizations quickly spread to other universities in the coming decades, including at primarily white institutions (PWIs).

Black Greek Organizations Formed the NPHC

Howard University students founded the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) — not to be confused with the National Panhellenic Conference — in 1930 to spark unity and protect the members’ collective interests.

Though some members of NPHC were at HBCUs, others were not and needed a place to ensure their institutions would treat them fairly. The council’s formation ensured that members would have a say on their respective campuses.

The Divine Nine’s Civil Rights Legacy

Black Greek-letter organizations like the Divine Nine have been historically significant for many reasons, including involvement in the Black Arts movement, the Civil Rights movement, the Black Power movement, and most recently, Black Lives Matter. As organizations committed to serving the Black community, these organizations’ missions easily fell in line with the movements’ missions.

Many members of Divine Nine organizations were pivotal figures in the Civil Rights movement, including but not limited to:

Chapters themselves were also important to the movement, as they formed connections with organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

What the Divine Nine Does Today

Today, the Divine Nine is still deeply committed to the Black community. The organizations have not forgotten their history as changemakers and are still dedicated to service, empowerment, and fellowship.

Members of NPHC called for racial justice in 2020, specifically in response to George Floyd’s killing. Individual chapters and members have also demonstrated in support of the message behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

Both collegiate and alum members of the Divine Nine organizations participate in philanthropic efforts — from heart disease awareness to denouncing sexual assault — with the specific cause varying from chapter to chapter. They are all also very involved in voter rights activism.

The Divine Nine at HBCUs

At HBCUs, the Divine Nine are usually intertwined with the history of the schools. They are involved in campus-wide events and are recognized and celebrated by faculty and staff. HBCUs feature Greek life organizations like the Divine Nine at athletic eventsprofessional affairs, and the HBCU homecoming experience — which is much more than just a football game for many HBCUs.

Additionally, members of the Divine Nine understand the powerful network of members, both collegiate and alumni, that come along with joining these organizations. With more people interested in joining HBCUs, those networks become much stronger.

The Divine Nine at PWIs

At PWIs, Divine Nine organizations may be less involved in school-sponsored activities and events, but they are no less committed to their missions. These groups often become hubs for Black and other minority students interested in the principles of Divine Nine organizations.

Additionally, Divine Nine members at PWIs are often leaders of social activism on their campuses. They also tend to be involved with other organizations across campus. Divine Nine fraternities and sororities at PWIs tend to be smaller in number and very tight-knit, with members who are devoted to their new-found families.

 #DivineNine #BlackExcellence #CulturalLegacy #Sororities #Fraternities #NPHC #HBCUs #HBCU #FocusQuest

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Massasoit Community College Launches New Black Studies Major

Massasoit Community College Launches New Black Studies Major

In a pioneering move, Massasoit Community College, located in Massachusetts, has become the first two-year school in the state to offer a degree program in Black Studies. This initiative aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the Black experience through courses such as “Sociology of Race and Ethnicity” and “Contemporary Issues in the Black Community.”

The Decade-Long Journey

The roots of this groundbreaking program trace back a decade when student feedback highlighted the need for a more culturally diverse curriculum. “In 2020, as interest grew and Black student enrollment increased, Sauvignon crafted a Black Studies curriculum and submitted it to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The program got approval last spring.”

Dr. Sauvignon emphasizes that the program goes beyond catering solely to Black students. It serves as a platform for students from all backgrounds to gain insights into the Black experience, fostering understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures. “It’s a good place in time right now, where critical race theory is being embraced, where understanding and appreciating cultures is being embraced, with racial equity and DEI initiatives being embraced.”

Shaping Future Perspectives

Renowned sociologist Dr. Elijah Anderson stresses the importance of understanding Black Studies as a reflection of American history. This innovative program is designed not only to empower Black students but also to enlighten students of all backgrounds about different cultural experiences. Dr. Shawn Utsey, professor of psychology, emphasizes how exposure to the Black narrative can reduce biases, particularly among those in law enforcement. “If we can expose them to let them know that Black folks are just different sometimes – there’s not anything to be afraid of – people would perhaps be less alarmed in the presence of Black people, and we will reduce the many, many mishaps that occur.”

Beyond Academia

The interdisciplinary approach of Massasoit’s Black Studies courses ensures that the knowledge gained isn’t confined to a singular academic pursuit. Credits from these courses count toward liberal arts and humanities elective requirements across various degrees and facilitate smooth credit transfers to four-year colleges. “The goal is to provide the foundation for Black students to understand who they are, where they come from, and where they can go. For non-Black students, it’s an opportunity to learn about different cultural experiences that would enhance their academic learning.”

Current Status and Future Goals

Though the program is in its early stages with three declared majors, leaders at Massasoit express optimism about its growth. They aim to increase visibility and enrollment through presentations and community collaborations, with hopes of expanding the program to include Women’s Studies and Latino Studies in the future. “Next fall, we’re obviously a lot more optimistic that we’ll see people actually going into the major.”

As Massasoit pioneers Black Studies in the community college landscape, it sets a precedent for embracing diverse perspectives and fostering a deeper understanding of cultural experiences.


#BlackStudies #Diversity #Education #InnovationInCurriculum #MassasoitCollege #HigherEducation


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5 Steps to Setting SMART Goals: Achieving Success in the New Year

5 Steps to Setting SMART Goals: Achieving Success in the New Year

The beginning of a new year marks a period of renewal and aspirations. While many embark on setting resolutions, the key to transforming these aspirations into accomplishments lies in crafting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — SMART goals. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of setting and achieving your SMART goals, offering valuable insights to keep you motivated and on track.

Step 1: Identify Your Goal

The foundation of any SMART goal is a clear identification of what you aim to achieve. Precision is crucial. Instead of a vague goal like “lose weight,” strive for specificity, such as “shed 10 pounds by June.” This clarity sets the stage for a well-defined path forward.

Step 2: Make it Measurable

A SMART goal is one that can be measured, allowing you to gauge your progress and adjust your efforts accordingly. Instead of a broad objective like “be more organized,” zero in on a measurable target: “clean and organize my closet by the end of the month.” This way, you can tangibly track your accomplishments.

Step 3: Make it Attainable

While ambition is commendable, ensuring your goal is attainable is equally essential. Realism should guide your aspirations. If you’ve never run a marathon before, a goal of completing one in a month might be unrealistic. Establish goals that are challenging yet realistically within reach.

Step 4: Make it Relevant

Your goals should align with your current situation and broader life objectives. If fitness improvement is the aim, a goal to become a professional basketball player may not be relevant unless basketball is already a significant part of your life. Relevance ensures your goals contribute meaningfully to your overall vision.

Step 5: Set a Deadline

Give your goal a sense of urgency by setting a deadline. Rather than a generic goal to “save money,” specify a target: “save $1,000 by December.” This not only provides clarity but also instills a timeframe for accomplishment, fostering commitment.


Tips for Staying Motivated and on Track
  • Break it Down: Complex goals can be overwhelming. Break them into smaller, manageable steps for a more achievable roadmap.
  • Track Progress: Keep a record of your journey. Celebrate small victories along the way to maintain motivation.
  • Remember Your Why: Revisit the initial inspiration behind your goal when motivation wanes. This reminder can reignite your drive.
  • Build a Support System: Surround yourself with individuals who understand your aspirations and offer encouragement. A supportive community can be a powerful motivator.


Setting SMART goals is more than a New Year’s tradition — it’s a proven strategy for turning dreams into reality. By following these steps and staying dedicated to your journey, you’re not just setting goals; you’re unlocking a path to success.


#SmartGoals #GoalSetting #NewYear #SuccessTips #PersonalDevelopment #Motivation #Mindset #FocusedLiving #FocusQuest

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Expanding our Focus and Embarking on a Quest for Success

Embarking on a "Quest for Success" with FocusQuest's New Course

In a bid to empower the next generation with essential life skills, FocusQuest has recently unveiled its latest educational offering – the “Quest for Success” course. Excitement surrounds the more than 50 middle school students who have embarked on this transformative journey, which kicked off in the month of October.

Expanding our Reach: FocusQuest is extending its educational impact beyond higher education. 

We now proudly offer courses that leverage our expertise to bring about positive change in middle and high school education, as well as lifelong learning beyond college and higher education. Acknowledging the crucial role of establishing a robust foundation for academic and personal success during these formative years, we are delighted to introduce our latest educational offering – the “Quest for Success” course.

What Does the Course Entail? 

The “Quest for Success” course is a comprehensive program comprising eight modules that delve into the fascinating realm of critical thinking. Each module addresses key aspects crucial for a student’s academic journey, including topics such as “Discovering Yourself as a Student,” “Time Management,” “Study Skills,” “Test-Taking Strategies,” and practical applications of critical thinking.

Featuring an In-depth 90-Page Booklet by the FQ Team  

As an integral part of the course, participants receive a 90-page booklet meticulously crafted by the FocusQuest team. This comprehensive resource serves as a guide throughout the program, providing additional insights, exercises, and valuable information to complement the module content.

Why is it Crucial for Middle School Students? 

The foundation for academic and personal success is laid during the formative years of middle school. Recognizing this pivotal stage, “Quest for Success” aims to equip young minds with indispensable skills. Critical thinking, time management, and effective study habits take center stage in this course. These skills not only contribute to academic excellence but also prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead.

An Investment in the Future 

Enrolling in “Quest for Success” is more than just participating in a course – it’s an investment in the future. FocusQuest believes in shaping well-rounded, thoughtful, and high-achieving individuals. By providing middle school students with the tools they need to navigate both academia and life, FocusQuest is paving the way for a generation of individuals poised for success.

As we witness the commencement of “Quest for Success” in the month of November, we anticipate the positive impact it will have on the lives of these middle school students, fostering a community of learners who are not just academically adept but also equipped with the skills to thrive in the complexities of life. Explore the full spectrum of our courses offerings and set the stage for academic excellence and students’ personal growth: FocusQuest Courses.

#education #course #academicskills

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Concluding the Year with a Broader Perspective

Concluding the Year with a Broader Perspective

The end of a year is an opportune moment to pause, look back, and appreciate the journey we’ve traversed. Reflecting mindfully allows us not only to acknowledge our achievements but also to learn from the challenges we’ve faced. In this article, we invite you to conclude the year with a broader perspective, leveraging mindful reflection to pave the way for the next chapter.

1. Celebrate Your Achievements: Take a moment to celebrate your successes, both big and small. What goals did you reach this year? Acknowledge your achievements and credit yourself for the hard work and dedication you put into them. Create an “achievements board” in apps like Trello or use an achievements journal to record and visualize your successes.

2. Face the Challenges: Life is full of challenges, and each obstacle is a learning opportunity. Reflect on the tough moments you faced this year. What have you learned from them? How have they strengthened you? Use mood tracking apps like Daylio to analyze emotional patterns and learn from challenges.

3. Define Your Priorities: What truly matters to you? Reflect on your core values and goals. Ensure your actions align with what is meaningful to you as you embark on the next year. Use goal-setting tools like Google Keep or Evernote to prioritize your core values and goals.

4. Plan for the Future: Use this time of the year to plan the next chapter of your life. Are there goals you wish to achieve? What practical steps can you take to move closer to them? Reflective planning can be your compass in the coming year. Planning and organization apps like Todoist or Microsoft To Do can help break down your goals into practical steps.

5. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate gratitude for the experiences, people, and growth you’ve experienced. Gratitude not only focuses your mind on the positive but also connects you with the present. Maintain a gratitude journal on platforms like Gratitude Journal or simply use a special section in your favorite note-taking app.

6. Reflection Exercise: Answer these questions in a journal:

  • What were my major achievements this year?
  • What challenges did I face, and what did I learn from them?
  • What are my key goals for the next year?
  • How can I incorporate more meaningful moments into my daily life?


Conclude the year not just as a time marker but as a chapter full of learning and growth. By adopting a mindful perspective, you can move into the next year with clarity and determination. Wishing you a year-end filled with positive reflection and an exciting start to the next!


#YearEndReflection #CelebrateSuccess  #GoalSetting #FuturePlanning #NewBeginnings #PersonalGrowth #FocusQuest

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The Future of Education: Embracing Online Learning

The Future of Education: Embracing Online Learning

In today’s ever-evolving world, education is undergoing a radical transformation. Traditional brick-and-mortar institutions are no longer the sole source of knowledge and skills. Online learning, often known as e-learning or digital education, is reshaping the educational landscape. The future of education now largely rests on online learning. In this piece, we’ll delve into what online learning means, how it bridges gaps in education, and the critical areas for future development.

Online learning effectively addresses several critical gaps in the traditional education system:

  • Accessibility: It eliminates geographical barriers, democratizing education for those in remote or underserved areas.
  • Flexibility: Online learning provides unprecedented flexibility, catering to modern learners’ diverse needs and schedules.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Online courses are often more cost-effective, with savings on commuting, housing, and living expenses, and abundant free educational content available online.
  • Personalization: It allows a high degree of personalization through adaptive technology and data analytics, tailoring course content to individual student needs.
  • Lifelong Learning: Online learning encourages lifelong learning, enabling adults to acquire new skills and switch careers.
  • Global Perspective: It fosters a global perspective by facilitating interaction with peers and instructors from diverse backgrounds.

As online learning becomes integral to the future of education, there are several key areas deserving attention:


  • Quality Assurance: Rigorous course development and evaluation processes are vital to establish trust and credibility. Accreditation bodies need to adapt to online learning and set digital-era standards.
  • Pedagogical Innovation: Instructors must learn to engage students in an online environment through interactive and participatory techniques.
  • Digital Literacy: Both students and educators must develop digital literacy to ensure a smooth online learning experience.
  • Access to Technology: Bridging the digital divide is essential, making technology more affordable and accessible, particularly in underserved communities.
  • Student Support Services: Online students require additional support services to prevent feelings of isolation or being overwhelmed.
  • Lifelong Learning Frameworks: Education systems should adapt to promote lifelong learning, recognizing its value throughout one’s career.
  • Credentialing and Recognition: Employers and institutions should recognize the legitimacy of online qualifications and create transparent credentialing processes.
  • Collaboration and Networking: Online learning fosters virtual study groups, online communities, and global collaborations.


FocusQuest offers comprehensive solutions for institutions looking to implement online learning effectively. Our expertise in course development, quality assurance, and digital pedagogy can empower institutions to lead the way in the education of the future.

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Discover Your True Calling: Find Your Vocation

Discover Your True Calling:
Find Your Vocation

In today’s fast-paced world, the pursuit of one’s true vocation often takes a back seat. We find ourselves caught up in the daily routine, juggling work, responsibilities, and endless to-do lists. However, there’s something profound about identifying your true vocation and following your passion. It’s not just about the job you do; it’s about the life you lead. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of vocation, its significance, and the benefits it brings.

1. What is Vocation?

Your vocation is more than a job or a career; it’s an inner calling that drives you to do what you love. It’s the pursuit of activities that align with your passions, values, and interests. This inner calling propels you to seek a path that resonates with your true self.

2. Why Is Finding Your Vocation So Important?
  1. Sense of Purpose and Happiness: Your vocation is deeply connected to your sense of purpose in life. When you follow your passion, you feel more fulfilled and happier. Each day, you wake up with a clear purpose and the satisfaction of doing what you love.
  2. Increased Motivation and Energy: When you work on what you love, motivation and energy flow naturally. It’s not a struggle to do what you’re passionate about; instead, you’re driven to give your best.
  3. Greater Resilience: Finding your vocation provides greater resilience in the face of challenges. When obstacles arise, your passion and commitment help you overcome them with determination.
  4. Enhanced Performance: Doing what you love tends to make you stand out. You find that you’re more competent and effective in your work because you’re engaged and motivated.
  5. Less Stress and Burnout: Jobs that aren’t aligned with your vocation can lead to stress and burnout. In contrast, following your vocation reduces the feeling of “burnout” and allows you to enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
  6. Meaningful Contribution: Often, your vocation aligns with a greater purpose. Finding your vocation provides you with an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world through your actions.
  7. Personal Growth and Development: The pursuit of your vocation challenges you to grow and develop as an individual. You learn more about your strengths and weaknesses and embark on a journey of self-discovery.
  8. Inspiration to Others: When you follow your vocation, you can inspire others to do the same. Your passion and commitment can serve as an example for friends, family, and colleagues, motivating them to find their own path.
3. Identifying Your Strengths and Passions

One of the first steps in finding your vocation is self-assessment. What are your strengths? What activities are you passionate about?

4. Defining Your Goals and Objectives

Once you have a better understanding of your strengths and passions, it’s time to set clear goals and objectives.

5. Overcoming Obstacles

On the path to realizing your dreams, you’re likely to encounter obstacles and challenges.

6. Find Your True Vocation with FocusQuest

That’s why FocusQuest places so much emphasis on Student Success Coaches. They can help you explore and identify your skills and passions, assist you in charting a plan to achieve your goals, and provide emotional and strategic support to overcome those obstacles.

With the guidance of an FQ Student Success Coach, you’re ready to begin the journey of finding your true vocation. No matter how lost you may feel right now, there’s a path for you, and we’re committed to helping you discover it.

Discovering your vocation is a transformative journey that can lead to a life filled with passion, purpose, and joy. It’s a path that’s worth pursuing, as it brings benefits not only to you but also to those you inspire along the way.

Contact FQ and our Student Success Coaches today and start your quest to find your true vocation. We’re here to support you every step of the way.


#Vocation #Passion #Purpose #LifeGoals #SuccessCoaches #DiscoverYourPath #PersonalGrowth #Motivation #Resilience StudentSuccess #Mentorship #UnlockYourPotential 
#Education #FocusQuest

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These Schools Named ‘Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders’ by U.S. State Department

These Schools Named 'Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders' by U.S. State Department

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) named 19 institutions of higher education as Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leaders for 2023.

Over the last 76 years, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research in the United States or in one of over 160 partner countries worldwide. Fulbright students and scholars are from or hosted by more than 800 colleges and universities across the United States, and thousands more campuses in over 160 countries.

The HBCU Institutional Leader status recognizes engagement across the Fulbright Program, including the hosting Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants at HBCUs, Scholars-in-Residence, and other Fulbright Students or Scholars as well as having U.S. students, faculty and staff receive Fulbrights to study, teach or conduct research abroad.

The 19 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders for 2023 include:

  • Alcorn State University  – Mississippi
  • Bennett College – North Carolina
  • Bluefield State University – West Virginia
  • Central State University – Ohio
  • Delaware State University – Delaware
  • Fayetteville State University – North Carolina
  • Florida A&M University – Florida
  • Howard University – Washington, D.C.
  • Jackson State University – Mississippi
  • Jarvis Christian University – Texas
  • The LeMoyne-Owen College – Tennessee
  • Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania
  • Mississippi Valley State University – Mississippi
  • Morgan State University – Maryland
  • North Carolina Central University – North Carolina
  • Spelman College – Georgia
  • Texas Southern University – Texas
  • Tuskegee University – Alabama
  • Virginia State University – Virginia


ECA established the Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders Initiative to recognize and commend the strong partnership between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs and to encourage all HBCUs to increase their engagement with Fulbright to help their students, faculty and staff to study, teach or conduct research abroad and access valuable international experiences and perspectives.

Fulbright visiting students and scholars contribute to HBCUs’ international networks and create long-term collaborations. Faculty members who have Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards return from their grant experiences and enrich their HBCU’s campus culture, students and curriculum, and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides recent alumni and graduate students with opportunities to gain valuable international perspectives and experiences.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that our faculty and students can pursue international collaboration and enrichment experiences which they bring back to campus for the benefit of our whole community,” Fayetteville State University Chancellor Darrell T. Allison, J.D. stated about his HBCU which was named as a Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader this year. “This is yet another layer of academic excellence that helps prepare our students for global citizenship, and we are thrilled to contribute to global conversations this way.”

Learn more about the Fulbright Program at, including information about applying as well as Fulbright’s efforts to further DEIA within the program.


#HBCUs #EducationExcellence #FulbrightLeaders #GlobalEngagement #CulturalExchange #InternationalEducation #AcademicRecognition #DiversityInEducation #HigherEdAchievements

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