Secretary DeVos Announces Grant Funds to Expand STEM-Focused Education Opportunities for Students at HBCUs, MSIs

STEM education

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently announced $3.9 million in new grant awards to 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to improve science and engineering education programs for students.

“The Administration is focused on making sure each and every student has access to the education opportunities they need to reach their full potential,” said Secretary DeVos.

“All too often, minority students lack access to STEM education and are underrepresented in STEM jobs. That’s why this grant program is so important. It provides HBCUs and other MSIs the opportunity to expand and enhance their STEM offerings so their students can be prepared for the science and technology jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The grant is part of the Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP), which supports expanding the scientific and technological capacity of the United States to build global competitiveness by increasing the number of minority graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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The program awards grants through a competition among eligible applicant institutions, which include the following:

  • Public and private nonprofit accredited institutions of higher education with minority enrollments that exceed 50% of total enrollment
  • Professional scientific societies
  • Nonprofit science-oriented organizations
  • Nonprofit four-year accredited colleges and universities that provide needed services to a group of eligible minority institutions or that provide special training for project directors, scientists, and engineers from eligible minority institutions.

This grant program is the latest in a long-term effort by the Administration to support and significantly increase investment in HBCUs and their students.

In December 2019, Secretary DeVos worked with Congress to pass the FUTURE Act to permanently provide more than $250 million a year to HBCUs and other MSIs.

Additionally, the Administration has focused on increasing HBCU competitiveness by requiring federal agencies to develop annual plans to help foster public-private partnerships between these institutions and businesses and organizations in their communities.

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Seventeen colleges and universities in eight states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive grant funding under the program.

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