UMKC Black Studies Program Expanding

Aspiring Entrepreneurs in the program encouraged to apply  

The Black Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the newly formed Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce are expanding the UMKC internship program.

Students enrolled in the Black Studies program with an interest in entrepreneurship or business ownership are strongly encouraged to apply. The internship will include lessons on starting and growing a new business, as well as understanding business struggles. An additional topic will cover the resources available to a minority business owner and the opportunities and challenges that exist.

The newly merged Heartland Chamber – formerly the Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce – has entered into an agreement with Black Studies to grow its existing Internship in Black Studies courses, by providing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to integrate community engagement into their Black Studies course experience.

The courses are open to students seeking a minor in Black Studies and in the Graduate Certificate in Black Studies, and the internships are available to all qualifying students.

“The partnership with the Black Studies Program and the Heartland Chamber, in association with Marvin Carolina, Jr., chairman of the board for the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, will provide our students an opportunity to expand their education beyond the classroom into community engagement,” said Adrienne Walker Hoard, Ed.D., professor and director of the Black Studies Program.

“It dually provides exposure to corporate America that our students may not otherwise experience and it provides exposure for corporate America to our students’ contemporary ways of knowing and navigating the local and global marketplaces,” said Hoard.

The courses will open in the 2015-16 academic year, beginning in the Fall 2015 semester.

Undergraduate and graduate students will integrate their academic studies in the Black Studies discipline with community service and onsite learning. During the first two weeks of the semester, students will undergo work-life training and a review of their contract with the selected company. Following, they will spend their class time at the assigned company.

As students intern in either a business or professional organization, they will gain essential information about the business’ processes and workplace procedures as they relate to the African American community.

In order to qualify for the internship course, a student must have a minimum of 90 credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree; overall GPA of 3.0 or higher; completed six hours of Black Studies courses; have a designated on-site supervisor and a Black Studies professor as an academic supervising instructor; and be approved by the director of the Black Studies Program prior to enrollment in the course.

Academic credits for a one-semester internship may range from one to three credit hours.

For additional information, contact the UMKC Black Studies office at 816-235-2636.

The Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce will now serve four states – Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.


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