Paul Quinn College, Minerva Project Announce Urban Scholars Program Launching Fall 2020

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Paul Quinn College (PQC), America’s first urban work college and one of the most celebrated colleges in the country, is pleased to announce the launch of the Urban Scholars Program in partnership with Minerva Project, a pathbreaking educational innovator. The co-designed program is an innovative, accredited, degree-granting program offered out of the newly established Honors College at Paul Quinn College to train the future leaders of our cities and country.

The Paul Quinn College x Minerva Urban Scholars Program is an accelerated rigorous, interdisciplinary course of study for high-achieving, ambitious students who also possess an urgent sense of purpose. The Scholars selected for this program will earn a degree in Business Administration and Public Policy, while preparing to develop solutions to problems in one of three subject areas: public health, criminal justice reform, and the wealth gap. In addition to their academic studies, students will develop relationships with national and community leaders, who will share insights gained from their years of personal experiences.

“Students no longer want to sit in classrooms for four years and be lectured to over and over again. Instead, today’s college students want to engage in the world around them, from day one,” said Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College. “This program, which focuses only on the most pressing issues of the day, is the future of interdisciplinary, challenge-based education. Paul Quinn is thrilled to have found the perfect partner in Minerva for bringing this dream to fruition.”

“We are proud to partner with PQC to offer the Urban Scholars Program, which is a revolutionary degree program for young men and women to gain and apply relevant skills for creating real solutions in their communities. We owe it to this generation to redefine how a college education can change their life trajectory,” said Ben Nelson, Founder and CEO of Minerva Project. “We are committed to working with forward-thinking institutions to design relevant and compelling programs that put student learning at the forefront. Working with the team at PQC, there is no doubt their goal is to design an educational program for their students with maximum impact.”

With the exception of a two-month winter break, students will attend classes year-round for three years. There will be no geographic restraints, nor residency requirement. Students will enroll in this program from all corners of the United States and be able to live at home. After their first year, Urban Scholars will work between 15 and 20 hours per week, as is standard with the PQC Corporate Work Program. The tuition for each semester will be fully covered by Pell Grants for the highest need students, and the full cost of other fees will be covered by employer subsidies and scholarships in the second and third years. The Paul Quinn College x Minerva Urban Scholars Program will enable students to earn a bachelor’s degree, gain relevant work experience, and work towards solving some of the greatest challenges of our time, all over the course of only 36 months, and for less than $7,500 in out-of-pocket costs for Pell eligible students.

For more information about the Urban Scholars Program, visit

About Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year, liberal arts-inspired college that was founded on April 4, 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their offspring. Today, we proudly educate students of all races and socio-economic classes under the banner of our institutional ethos, WE over Me. Our mission is to provide a quality, faith-based education that addresses the academic, social, and Christian development of students. Under President Sorrell’s leadership, Paul Quinn has become one of the most innovative and respected small colleges in the nation and now serves as a model for urban higher education. Fortune magazine recognized President Sorrell’s work and the College’s transformation by naming him one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. President Sorrell is also a three-time award winner of HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest and was named by Time magazine as one of the “31 People Changing the South.”

About Minerva Project

Minerva Project is a leading educational innovator, providing top-tier educational programs through its flagship Minerva Schools at KGI, as well as other educational and corporate partners. Founded by Ben Nelson in 2011, Minerva’s mission is to nurture critical wisdom for the sake of the world. Building upon the best traditions of liberal arts and sciences education, Minerva is committed to preparing global leaders and innovators for the complexities of the twenty-first century. Its groundbreaking creation of a new university program is detailed in the book Building the Intentional University: Minerva and the Future of Higher Education (MIT Press).


Anthea Danby and Meredith McKee, for Paul Quinn College

214-205-8062 and 214-577-5896 and

Robin Goldberg and Diana El-Azar, for Minerva Project

+1 650-787-2905 and +41 79 251 9372 and