The Carnegie Foundation Welcomes Students From the African Leadership University and College Track

July 29, 2022

Students from across the African continent and United States will be part of the Silicon Valley Program, an intensive, experiential entrepreneurship learning experience

Stanford, CA. — The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the African Leadership University (ALU) and College Track are pleased to announce their collaboration on a groundbreaking, experiential entrepreneurship program. In this full-time residency at Stanford University, cohorts of students from across California and the African continent will work in close collaboration, to build knowledge and key competencies at each stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from developing business ideas to scaling and sustainability.

“The purpose of this effort is twofold,” said Carnegie Foundation President Timothy Knowles.  “To create an existence proof of a new model of postsecondary education in the United States that is rigorous, experiential and career aligned. And to establish a pipeline of extraordinary African and American students prepared to enter wealth building, purposeful careers. At its heart, this is about educational, economic and racial justice.”

ALU and College Track students will work together with established entrepreneurs and scholars on the Carnegie Foundation campus. Students will be engaging in group work on a startup idea, simulating the four stages of building a company: Genesis, Birth, Scale, and Transition. These young people, hailing from six countries (Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) and five cities across California, will be exposed to seminars on topics such as entrepreneurship and raising capital, interactive workshops to develop skills in continuous improvement and human-centered design, site visits to Silicon Valley innovation hubs and companies, and networking opportunities with established leaders and entrepreneurs such as Dr. William Cockayne, Jackiee Bernhelm, Abraham O. Tuyo, and Dr. Timnit Gebru.

The Silicon Valley Program is part of a new, tripartite collaboration between Carnegie, ALU and College Track to develop breakthrough postsecondary educational models that drive economic opportunity for underrepresented young people across the U.S. and Africa.

“This is an exciting new introduction to our 70% experiential learning model at ALU. By being the first African university to establish a presence in the U.S., we are exposing our students to global organizations and peers in Silicon Valley — to turbocharge their ability to see and create opportunities that will solve Africa’s grand challenges. As we continue to work towards providing excellent education at scale for our ALU students, we are also eager to collaborate with Carnegie & College Track to further develop this strategy in the U.S., and ultimately bridge the global access gaps in education and entrepreneurship,” says Fred Swaniker, founder of ALU.

 “College Track is thrilled to be a partner in this ambitious, bold effort, which aligns so tightly to our organization’s vision to inspire a movement to democratize potential,” said Dr. Shirley M. Collado, president and CEO of College Track. “The deliberate creation of empowering cross-sector partnerships such as this one, which both apply and reframe existing systems of success through a lens of innovation and ethics, is an approach that is desperately needed as we collectively grapple with the impacts of entrenched systemic challenges around the globe. I am excited by what lies ahead for the talented scholars who comprise this inaugural cohort, and look forward to how they will work together across lines of identity.”

At Carnegie, this effort is being led by the foundation’s newly established Center for Postsecondary Innovation, designed to help instantiate new and emergent models of postsecondary education that effectively serve underrepresented students.

“This collaboration between Carnegie, ALU, and College Track speaks to the kind of innovative approaches we need in the higher education sector to ensure that every student, particularly those historically marginalized, have access to meaningful and high-quality postsecondary experiences,” says Manuelito Biag, Managing Director of the Center for Postsecondary Innovation.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to develop effective ways of working and cultivating authentic relationships critical to the success of start-ups; distinguish between entrepreneurial behaviors, approaches, and ideas that can be applied to their personal missions and professional futures; and examine the relationship between entrepreneurship, innovation, and ethics as they relate to their personal values.

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation ( is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. 

About the African Leadership University

ALU ( provides higher education for a higher purpose. Our students declare missions, not majors. They incorporate playful imagination, drive, and a passion for Africa to collaborate in taking on the world’s most pressing challenges. ALU students learn by doing and have fun while at it! They take ownership of their learning from day one through our peer and student-led approach – because ALU believes in the power and agency of young people to start shaping the future right now. Together, with a world-class faculty and staff, our students are igniting a ripple of positive impact across Africa and the world. ALU students come from over 40 African countries.

About College Track

College Track ( is a comprehensive college completion program that equips students confronting systemic barriers to earn a bachelor’s degree, in pursuit of a life of opportunity, choice, and power. From ninth grade through college graduation, its 10-year program systematically removes the academic, financial, and social-emotional barriers that keep first-generation students from low-income communities from completing college and thriving in the workforce. Today, College Track serves nearly 3,800 students across 12 communities in California, Colorado, Louisiana, and the D.C. Metro Area, with 950+ alumni leading a movement to democratize potential.