Howard University prepares their freshmen classes like no other school in the nation. The School of Business has established a program that shapes their freshmen into well-rounded businessmen and businesswomen. The program is called The 21st Century Cap Advantage Program, or better known as 21 CAP.

21 CAP was created to increase the retention rate for first year business students, and it has done just that. Throughout the year CAP 21 addresses all major factors that impede the success for a first-time-in-college student. Major factors include lack of support, lack of motivation, lack of academic preparation, and financial aid problems.

All freshmen business students take part in a required business orientation course their first semester at Howard. During their business orientation course is where 21 CAP takes full affect. The freshmen class is divided into twenty different groups. A Fortune 500 company that serves as their “parent” company adopts each group. Goldman & Sachs, Google, and PNC bank are just three of the twenty sponsors of 21 CAP. The students practice interview skills, resume building, presentation skills, case studies, and are required to wear suits every Tuesday and Thursday.

The freshmen business students at Howard University are exposed to things in the corporate world that students at other universities are not exposed to until their Junior and Senior year. First-year students are immediately connected to the business world, an experience that enables them to focus on their career development and be comfortable and confident in a business environment. Companies in 21 CAP become actively involved in educating and developing students, some of whom have become valuable employees. For example, each academic year, scholarships and numerous internships are offered to members of the freshmen teams.

Kris Kirkpatrick