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The UNCF Institute of Capacity Building Selects Dr. Verna Orr as a 2022 Change Agent

Columbia, S.C, – July 19, 2022 — The UNCF Institute of Capacity Building (ICB) recently announced Dr. Verna Orr as a Change Agent. Orr is in her second year as a Special Assistant for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness for Benedict College. She is being recognized for driving transformation at Benedict College to promote institutional resiliency and exceptional student outcomes.

“Dr. Orr has been invaluable to our transformation process,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President, and CEO of Benedict College. “Within her short tenure a Benedict College, she has used her assessment and insight skills as a well-respected researcher to lead data-driven results while being proactive in problem resolution.”

Dr. Orr is a Fellow at the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, where she completed a Post-Doctoral Research appointment. She earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a three-time graduate of Howard University earning a Bachelor of Music Education, a Master of Education, and a Doctor of Educational Policy and Administration.

“The award I received states…’Embodying the spirit and meaning of academic improvement and transformation’ which speaks to the vision set and modeled by our amazing President, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis,” said Orr.  “I am most grateful to do this work under her tutelage, along with some awesome colleagues!”

Benedict College is part of an 11-institution cohort that has been working with UNCF on transformational efforts surrounding sustainable and expanded enrollment, improved career, and post-graduate outcomes, and increased institutional health and stability.

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About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 26 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest

Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Five of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work Program, Environmental Health Science Program, Studio Art Program, and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

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