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In New Program, Paul Quinn College Students Will Live, Study And Work In Plano

Paul Quinn College
Paul Quinn College students gathered with Plano city and company officials on Thursday to announce the college's expansion in Plano.

Paul Quinn College in southeast Oak Cliff announced it’s expanding north – to the suburbs.

Starting this fall, selected students will live, work and study in Plano. It's part of an expansion of the school's Urban Work College Model. 

The program seeks to tackle poverty by offering students jobs, housing and lower tuition.

Students will live in apartments in Plano while corporate partners provide internships and classroom space.

Michael Sorrell is president of Paul Quinn.

“This model, by living in apartments and making them available to them 12 months out of the year, allowing them to keep costs down, and allowing them to have relevant work experiences, we think this is the new direction of higher education in the country,” Sorrell said at Thursday's announcement. “And we are so proud to be able to launch this model here in Plano.”

Sorrell says that by forgoing the traditional campus infrastructure, there are cost savings – and he says students should benefit from those savings.

“So they're not being charged for overhead that they frankly shouldn't be charged for,” he said.

Paul Quinn is partnering with several companies that will offer paid internships – including JcPenney, JP Morgan Chase and Liberty Mutual.

Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere says Paul Quinn's presence in the city is "the demonstration of educators, businesses, and civic leaders collaborating to transform the lives of our youth."

Last year, Paul Quinn became the ninth federally-recognized Work College. The historically black college says its work program has helped reduce tuition by almost $10,000 — and boost graduation rates.

Watch: KERA's "CEO" episode with Paul Quinn College President Dr. Michael Sorrell