Morehouse Online: A bold new path for future leaders

Morehouse College's move to launch the 21st-century technology platform will help those who already may have credits but did not earn degrees.
By: | February 2, 2021
Photo courtesy of Morehouse College

Since 1867, Morehouse College has educated a long line of future leaders, including Jeh Johnson, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The question is, how many more are out there?

Recognizing that some ‘Men of Morehouse’ may have missed opportunities to complete their degrees through the years, Morehouse President Dr. David Thomas acknowledged in a letter to staff and faculty on Tuesday that “the world has changed a lot since our founding.”

And so, they will get a chance to pursue them in a non-traditional way.

Targeting students who still need to earn credits to finish undergraduate studies, Morehouse is launching Morehouse Online, a remote pathway that is part of the Historically Black College and University’s (HBCU) overarching commitment to virtual instruction.

The new platform will start in August and run alongside its traditional powerhouse in-person offerings, offering students who have stopped out the chance to pick off where they left off in business administration and other disciplines. Morehouse Online eventually will become a space for fully online degree programs, providing even more opportunities.

For Morehouse, which is partnering with education technology leader 2U on the project, this is the moment – with a pandemic lingering, with careers in peril and with technology taking off – when it can make a real difference.

“There has never been a more important time for the impact of Morehouse to scale,” Thomas said. “While the settings and tools we use to educate our students change with the times, our mission remains constant: to develop men who will lead lives of leadership and service.”

The college said enrollment for Morehouse Online will begin during the spring. In the meantime, Morehouse plans to roll out its admissions and applications requirements along with the courses it initially will feature. Launching the platform will give Morehouse a new way to deliver on its promise to develop leaders for the 21st century.

“The strategic vision of President David Thomas to create a global Morehouse will open the doors of opportunity and promise of a Morehouse education and its special community to men of all ages, regardless of geography, for the first time in the school’s history,” said 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher Paucek.

The mission of this initiative is clear, the college says: to get the nearly 3.5 million Black men under 25 who have left the higher education system with credits to come back. Thomas says giving them flexibility will be a win-win for them and the institution.

“The challenges we face as a society today require exceptional leaders with superior critical thinking skills, a high moral compass, and a tireless pursuit for a just world,” he said. “These are the kinds of leaders we’ve been producing since our founding. We look forward to continuing educating and uplifting Black men and men of color. The accessibility of an online education allows us to deliver the Morehouse experience and education to countless men who can bring their light to the world.”