Alcorn receives nearly $2.5M grant through U.S. Department of Education

Alcorn State University is among 18 eligible Historically Black Colleges and Universities to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education over a six-year period to improve graduate education opportunities at the master’s level in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The U.S. Department of Education announced the recipients of the renewed Historically Black Colleges and Universities Master’s Grant (HBCU-M) program for 2017 in the amount of $7,500,000. Alcorn will receive $2,499,996 from 2017-2023, to help better serve students through various programs and services.

Six master’s degree programs at Alcorn have been selected to participate in the grant to strengthen graduate STEM opportunities for underserved, underrepresented and low-income students: Department of Agriculture, Department of Applied Science and Technology, Department of Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Graduate Nursing.

Dr. Donzell Lee, provost and grant manager for the HBCU-M Grant, looks forward to watching the progress of the selected programs due to the new grant.

“We are pleased that the Alcorn STEM programs selected to participate in this grant will implement projects and activities to support student services, tuition assistance, educational infrastructure improvements, research, innovation, educational equipment acquisition, purchase of educational materials and telecommunications program materials,” said Lee.

Lee said the grant is the key to enhancing the university and preparing students to be top STEM professionals. “The funding will certainly assist Alcorn’s academic efforts to improve institutional student outcomes and increase a strong pipeline of graduates well versed in science, technology, computer science and mathematics and nursing.”

The HBCU-M program is designed to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities academic infrastructure, academic resources, financial management, and endowment-building capacity. Funds may be used for the purchase, rental, or lease of scientific or laboratory equipment. Also supported are the construction, maintenance, renovation, and improvement of instruction facilities. Funds support faculty exchanges and the development of academic instruction in disciplines in which black Americans are underrepresented. Projects may support the purchase of library materials as well as tutoring, counseling, and student service programs.

More than 20 percent of African-American college graduates receive their degree from an HBCU, and the schools are credited with producing an impressive proportion of STEM degrees earned by African-Americans, including 31 percent of biological science and math degrees.

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