Congresswoman Alma Adams continued her push for federal HBCU support today, revealing plans to introduce a bill which would grant HBCUs exclusive access to a $250 million annual fund for innovation in program development, recruitment, community engagement and job preparation.
The HBCU Innovation Fund Act would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and would provide black colleges with planning and implementation grants, awarded at the discretion of the Secretary of Education.
According to the drafted legislation, applying HBCUs with demonstrated plans to enhance marketing, recruitment and retention, articulation agreements with other colleges and universities, community economic development and S.T.E.M. commercialization would be eligible to receive up to $150,000 in planning funding, and up to $10 million for five-year implementation.
The act calls for six years of concurrent funding for the program.
“HBCUs provide opportunities for many low-income, first generation and often minority students to get a quality education,” said Congresswoman Adams. “HBCUs give students the chance they deserve to succeed; however, they have been historically underfunded and lack many of the resources needed to address some of their most extreme challenges. The HBCU Innovation Fund Act is one way to help close some of the gaps that persist on HBCU campuses and within HBCU administrations.”
Dr. Adams, who earlier this month announced her be for re-election in Charlotte, is an alumna of North Carolina A&T State University and former professor at Bennett College for Women. She is credited as the founder of the bi-partisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, which launched last April to address funding and political disparities facing public and private black colleges.