Morehouse College receives $9 million grant to boost STEM subjects

One of Atlanta’s most prominent Historically black colleges received another funding booster shot focused on increasing opportunities for minority students.

Morehouse College said Thursday it received a $9 million grant from the National Science Foundation as a founding partner of the HBCU Undergraduate Success Research Center. The initiative is designed to “increase educational and employment opportunities for minorities interested in STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” according to a news release.

Morehouse said it’s sharing “part of the grant” with Atlanta’s Spelman College and Virginia State University.

Morehouse Provost Michael E. Hodge said he expects the new center, known as “STEM-US,” to become a “national hub for collaboration, research, and resources for successful STEM outcomes.”

The STEM-US center will focus on studying impactful STEM initiatives at 50 HBCUs, and produce data and a set of best practices that can be duplicated on a national scale to help mainstream state institutions and other liberal arts colleges graduate more minority STEM majors, according to the release. Morehouse said it’s the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates in STEM fields.

Morehouse-based researchers will investigate how and why HBCUs are so successful in supporting the nation’s broadening participation efforts in STEM, as well as what systems or programs exist at HBCUs that facilitate this success, according to the school.

The center’s goal is to ensure that HBCUs play a leading role in revamping STEM education both locally and nationally.

“Investing in the institutional capacity of HBCUs and developing diverse STEM talent is part of NSF’s longstanding commitment to broaden participation of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM,” said NSF Program Director Claudia Rankins, who manages the HBCU program. “The knowledge generated by this center will detail what practices make HBCUs successful in educating Black students in STEM, and the center will place HBCUs at the forefront of STEM education reform.”

The National Science Foundation grant follows last month’s $40 million donations from Netflix to Morehouse and Spelman College aimed at providing scholarships and erasing student loan debt.

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