UMES to receive $2.5 million federal grant
WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Sept. 17, 2012) - UMES is among 97 of the nation’s historically black institutions that learned today it will receive a share of a $227.9 million federal grant to strengthen academic resources, financial management systems, endowment-building capacity and physical plants.
The university will get $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education, which formally announced plans to distribute the federal aid beginning Oct. 1.
The five-year grants — Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities — will help pay for such activities as curriculum reform; counseling and student service programs; establishing teacher education programs designed to qualify students to teach; acquiring real-estate property in connection with construction, renovations, or additions that may improve campus facilities; and funding faculty and staff development. In addition, funds may be used for the purchase, rental, or lease of scientific or laboratory equipment and the development of academic instruction in disciplines in which African Americans are underrepresented.
Dr. Frances H. McKinney, director of UMES’ Title III program office, said the money comes to the university through a long-standing federal program that assists HBCUs with special needs. McKinney is hopeful Congress will continue to provide UMES with similar allocations the remaining four years, as well.
Among ways UMES will spend the grant:
- Co-curricular programs for English-communications students to provide hands-on experience in video (Discover UMES) and radio (Hawk Radio) broadcasting.
- A “safety net” program for first- and second-year students to improve retention (and graduation) rates. It includes tutoring, mentoring and workshops on such things as effective ways to study, time management, coping with stress during exams.
- Strengthen the early childhood degree program in the Department of Human Ecology, one of UMES’ most popular majors.
- Enhance outreach of the Hotel Restaurant Management program at the Shady Grove campus in Montgomery County.
- On-campus workshops for faculty as well as pay for travel to attend off-campus conferences where the emphasis is on “professional development.”
The International Education office also will use its allocation to sponsor workshops and counseling to help international students and their instructors bridge cultural gaps that sometimes inhibit communication and classroom success.
“HBCUs have made enduring, even staggering contributions to American life despite the steep financial challenges many have faced,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “The grants will help these important institutions continue to provide their students with the quality education they need to compete in the global economy.”
The Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant is administered by the Office of Postsecondary Education.
Compiled from information provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the UMES Title III office.