Agencies have answered the call from President Obama to improve the education opportunities for the nation’s 55 million Hispanics with increased access to high-quality early learning and STEM education and more grants to Hispanic-serving institutions.
Ten federal agencies answered the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics call. The agencies are making significant commitments to continue investing in and supporting the educational attainment of the nation’s Hispanics.
In addition, the Federal Agencies Investing in Hispanic Education Report and Education Agency Data Plans were announced as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. The report highlights a sampling of the data plans’ nearly 350 activities supporting education, from cradle-to-career.
“Nearly one in four students in our nation’s public schools is a Hispanic youth,” said Education Secy. Arne Duncan. “Making sure these young people have the opportunity to achieve their dreams isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also a matter of our shared success as a country.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will announce $9.2 million in grants to support projects on agricultural science education at Dozens of0020 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) across the nation. These grants will enhance the ability of these colleges and universities to support underserved students and develop a skilled American workforce.
- NIFA will make the awards through the HSI Education Grants Program, which encourages innovative teaching or educational projects that will prepare students to enter the agricultural workforce. An education or teaching activity is formal classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, and practicum experience in the food and agricultural sciences and other related matters. Project activities include student recruitment and services, curriculum development, instructional materials and equipment, and innovative teaching methodologies.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will publish guidance to encourage proposals from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to existing NSF grant programs to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research projects, with an emphasis on programs that address broadening participation in the STEM workforce.
- The NSF is targeting Hispanic-serving community colleges, as well as four-year institutions, to increase the number of STEM proposals and awards to HSIs and increase the participation of students at Hispanic-serving community colleges in STEM education and research. Programs that address capacity building, scholarships and fellowships, research and development, and infrastructure may be of particular interest. Additionally, the NSF will continue to recruit peer reviewers and program officers through the temporary/rotator program from all HSIs. To support this effort, NSF will create an email inbox to answer questions from faculty and administrators at Hispanic-Serving Institutions on volunteering to be a peer reviewer, grant submission processes, and policies, and grant program inquiries.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration’s National Hispanic Affairs Advisory Council, will offer initiatives to support students in Hispanic communities. This includes middle & high school students mentoring events.
- By coordinating mentoring opportunities for middle and high school Hispanic students, Advisory Council members will encourage them to complete high school, consider advanced educational opportunities, and take proactive steps to achieve career success. This initiative includes a “Latinas Empowering Latinas,” a high school mentoring program, which involves professional Latina women interacting with middle and high school students, to inspire them to grow personally and educationally.
At the Education Dept., the Office of Migrant Education will announce final regulations for the Migrant Education Program, which will set specific requirements for states’ use of the Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX). MSIX and the Consolidated Student Records contained in the system benefit all migratory children, regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin.