Akinleye traces NCCU’s emphasis on providing access to quality higher education to the university’s founder, Dr. James E. Shepard.
“That’s number one, our priority,” he says. “That access is very important.”
He goes on to list several themes of the Promise:
- Market-ready graduates. NCCU will both provide the academic background and help students develop the soft skills necessary to get a job in today’s economy, Akinleye says.
- A four-year path to a degree. “Nowadays we know that the cost of education is rising, so the time to degree is very important,” he says.
- Social and global engagement. “We now know that we live in a world that is without boundaries anymore,” says Akinleye, himself a native of Nigeria.
- Leadership skills. “NCCU has been in that space for a long time,” Akinleye says, counting a former North Carolina governor and members of Congress among the university’s alumni.