Higher Education Challenge Grants Program, USDA

Posted by on January 16, 2004

[posted to National Service-Learning listserv]

The US Department of Agriculture solicits applications for an anticipated $5.5 million in grants for the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (HEC). Applications must be received by close of business on February 4, 2004 ( 5:00 p. m., Eastern Time).

The HEC program seeks to stimulate and enable colleges and universities to provide the quality of education necessary to produce baccalaureate or higher degree level graduates capable of strengthening the Nation’s food and agricultural scientific and professional work force. It is intended that projects supported by the program will: (1) address a State, regional, national, or international educational need; (2) involve a creative or nontraditional approach toward addressing that need which can serve as a model to others; (3) encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community, as well as between universities and the private sector, to enhance program quality and supplement available resources; and (4) result in benefits which will likely transcend the project duration and USDA support.

USDA has identified the following two funding priorities:

Funding Priority Area #1 – Applications incorporating multi-institutional or interstate approaches to curriculum development, faculty sharing, cross enrollments, joint degrees, or similar methodologies with the potential to reduce instructional costs and encourage regional program delivery;

Funding Priority Area #2 – Applications supporting undergraduate or first professional degree students’ participation in university or industry laboratory/field-based research internships related to fields of science with demonstrated shortages of professional, technical, or scientific personnel.

Applications may be submitted by (a) U.S. public or private nonprofit colleges and universities offering a baccalaureate or first professional degree in at least one discipline or area of the food and agricultural sciences; (b) land-grant colleges and universities (including land grant institutions in the Insular Areas); (c) colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences; and (d) other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences.

This program supports projects related to strengthening teaching programs in any subject matter area(s) in the food and agricultural sciences.

For more information, and application materials, visit <a href="http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/funding/rfahec.htm">http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/funding/rfahec.htm</a>

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