Grants: What they can, and cannot, do for higher education

As states experience fiscal challenges, higher education institutions across the U.S. are facing reductions in publicly funded support. One of the ways to counter this loss of revenue is by winning grants from government and private entities. My school, Pima Community College, is actively competing for this source of funding. Currently, we have 45 active grants, totaling more than $50 million. The grants range in size from $5,000 to $15 million. The grants serve 12,000 students and employ 200 staff and faculty. They provide student support services, curriculum development, professional development for faculty, classroom redesign and other services. Our most recent grant award is a $3.1 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (HSI-STEM) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will expand student support services and tutoring, and establish specific transfer pathways to Arizona’s four-year universities. The goal is to improve the academic and career success of Hispanic/low-income students...

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