The Carolina Cluster Career Pathway Program (Carolina Cluster) is a collaborative initiative between Benedict College, Claflin University and Voorhees College with the purpose of elevating student achievement and success by producing prepared and career-ready HBCU graduates coveted by employers and graduate programs.

The Carolina Cluster reflects the commitment of Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College to strengthen career advising and mentoring, enhance curricula, and support integrated co-curricular engagement. The Carolina Cluster is actively forging a new model for career readiness through a range of academic programs, student internships, industry partnerships, specialty certifications, and faculty development.



In 2016 the Carolina Cluster Career Pathway Program received a $6 million grant from the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) under the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), to support our effort to design and implement programs that improve employment outcomes for graduates.

Made possible through a $50 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) is a unique pilot program for select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) that is helping them enhance career readiness for their 54,000 enrolled students. Many of the students will be the first in their families to earn college degrees. The majority of these students are also from low-to-moderate income families and must receive federal financial aid to pursue their undergraduate studies.

UNCF has chosen 24 colleges and universities for CPI implementation grants. Nine of the institutions (including Claflin, Benedict and Voorhees) have been selected for three cluster grants, in which each cluster of three institutions collaborate intentionally to achieve their shared outcomes.

The State of South Carolina is the state with the largest share of the grant funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. with $6 million allocated: Claflin University ($3.3 million), Benedict College ($1.5 million), and Voorhees College ($1.2 million). A portion of the Claflin University grant ($1.8 million) operates a jointly-established State Coordinating Office that directs and monitors all of the activities of the awarded institutions.