Strategic Education, Inc. to Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities through Partnerships and Access to its Products and Expertise in Online Learning

 Dr. Leonard Haynes joins Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI) as Senior Advisor

Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI), an education services company whose mission is to improve the economic mobility of its students, has launched a new initiative with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that will focus on extending access to its expertise and products in online learning to more students. Dr. Leonard Haynes will join the company as a Senior Advisor to SEI’s new HBCU initiative.

"At SEI, we’ve invested in innovation and reimagined our role as not just an education provider, but an enabler of economic mobility -- to ensure that our graduates have the skills and tools to succeed professionally," said Karl McDonnell, CEO of SEI. "Delivering on that promise, our new initiative will allow us to share our expertise of serving students online with a broader community so that we may support the important work of HBCUs. This is particularly critical today, as colleges and universities close campuses and move to online learning platforms in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Dr. Haynes, who most recently served as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education, brings a combination of policy and practical experience as a college president that will strengthen SEI’s support of HBCUs, and the students they serve.

"Developing and implementing successful, innovative education strategies is both an economic and social imperative around the world," said Haynes. "This is an important time for the education sector, in particular for HBCUs, and I look forward to working alongside SEI leadership to develop and enhance meaningful educational opportunities for HBCUs."

Haynes is also the former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and served as Acting President of Grambling State University in Louisiana. During President George H.W. Bush's administration, Haynes was the first African American to be appointed to the position of U.S. Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education and Director of Academic Programs for the United States Information Agency.

He has served on numerous education-related boards and advisory commissions. Haynes holds a B.A. from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a M.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

"SEI is delighted to welcome Dr. Haynes," said McDonnell. "He is widely respected as one of the foremost leaders in higher education. He’s a true champion of educational advancement, and we’re thrilled to have him as a part of our SEI team."

"SEI and HBCUs have a shared mission of improving the economic mobility of students," said Haynes. "For over a century, HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions have made extraordinary contributions to the general welfare and prosperity of our country. Not only have they provided an affordable education, particularly to first-generation college students, but these institutions have also produced many of our nation’s leaders in business, government, academia, and the military, and helped create a black middle class."

"SEI’s extensive experience serving non-traditional and first-generation students online and its robust technology offerings will enable HBCUs to continue to engage and support their students in new ways. I’m honored to work with SEI and leaders in this community to ensure HBCUs remain a bedrock of higher education achievement," said Haynes.

Already as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SEI recently provided support to HBCUs by offering free access to both the Sophia Learning platform for online general education courses and Strayer and Capella University courses, and professional development support with webinars and supplemental academic support from a team of individuals experienced in online learning. In his new role, Dr. Haynes will continue cultivating this effort particularly given the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak facing all educational institutions.

About Strategic Education, Inc.

Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA) ( is dedicated to enabling economic mobility with education. We serve working adult students through a range of educational opportunities that include: Strayer University and Capella University (separate institutions that are each regionally accredited), which collectively offer flexible and affordable associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs; a Top-25 Princeton Review-ranked online MBA program through the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University; self-paced Sophia Learning general education-level courses, recognized by many institutions for college credit; customized degrees for corporations through Degrees@Work; and non-degree web and mobile application development courses through DevMountain at Strayer University, Generation Code, and Hackbright Academy. These programs help our students prepare for success in today’s jobs and find a path to bettering their lives.

View source version on


Elaine Kincel