Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants (HSI) Program

The HSI Program promotes and strengthens the ability of HSIs to carry out higher education programs to attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation's food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences professional and scientific work force. This grant program aligns the efforts of HSIs to support academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups.

The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program seeks to: (a) strengthen institutional educational capacities to develop and enhance curriculum, faculty, instruction delivery systems, and infrastructure including libraries and scientific instrumentation, in order to respond and serve the needs of underrepresented students in identified State, regional, national, or international educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences; (b) recruit, retain, and support undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups in order to prepare them for careers related to the food, agricultural, and natural resource systems of the United States; (c) facilitate cooperative initiatives between two or more Hispanic-Serving Institutions or between Hispanic-Serving Institutions and public or the private sector, in order to maximize the development and use of resources and to improve the food and agricultural sciences teaching programs.


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Collaboration Grants

Projects in which two or more Hispanic-Serving Institutions form a linkage arrangement to carry out a common project that aims to promote and strengthen their abilities to carry out higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences, nutrition, and natural resources. The collaboration between institutions increases the cost-effectiveness of the project by achieving economies of scale and strengthening the overall scope and quality of a project’s impact. These projects must serve a minimum of fifteen undergraduate and ten graduate students from underrepresented groups. Other non-HSIs institutions could be additional partners. Awards of up to $1,000,000, for a grant period of four years.

Collaboration Projects 2014-2018
Institution Project Titles Summary
Texas State University, San Marcos Southwest Agriculture and Food Security Education: Preparing Future Leaders for a Safe and Secure U.S. Food Supply System Through the SAFE grants, 21 students will become certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the course entitled Preparedness and Response to Food and Agriculture Incidents: Management and Planning Level. Additionally, they will take five online Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) e-learning courses related to agriculture and food supply safety.
Humboldt State University CAMBIO: Climate-Change Adaptation and Management for Biodiversity to Promote Inclusion and Opportunities for Hispanic Students The main goal of the project is to provide educational opportunities to increase the skillsets of Hispanic students in critical natural resource management professions as identified by the USDA.
San Diego Community College District STEM Engagement for the Enrichment of Diverse Students (SEEDS) Scholars Programs End product includes: (1) nine food security, hunger, and sustainable agriculture courses in Anthropology, Nutrition, Spanish, Biology, Geology, and Personal Growth; (2) outreach activities to fortify the K-16 pipeline for FSHSA majors; (3) SEEDS high school bridge program; (4) experiential learning opportunities; and (5) student support services.
California State University, Monterey Bay Improving Student Success in Agriculture-Related Sciences with Academic Support and Career Mentoring The project is designed to increase the success of students from diverse backgrounds to succeed in high-risk introductory level STEM courses, such as introductory chemistry and biology. In addition, the project trains students with high impact research and internship experiences to increase the number and quality of CSUMB graduates interested in USDA mission critical careers.
University of New Mexico Northern New Mexico Climate Change Project The project aims to build a pipeline from Taos High School to the University of New Mexico-Taos to New Mexico Highlands University that recruits and prepares graduates for USDA "mission critical occupations" related to climate change.
University of Texas, El Paso I-Discover Program: Collaborative Integration of USDA - Based Research in the Advanced Teaching Laboratories of STEAM majors Over 600 high-achieving advanced students from science and engineering, including many from underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged groups, will participate in the program during the grant period and accelerate discovery and innovation in high-priority research areas led by the USDA such as clean water, food safety, and sustainable energy and agriculture systems.
University of Texas, San Antonio Opportunities for Higher Education and Research Experience in Renewable Energy and Water Quality to Enable STEM Hispanic Leaders The project impacts 100 undergraduates and 30 graduate students by increasing the scientific and educational capability of HSIs in the Water Quality and Treatment, Agricultural Logistics and Renewable Energy (WeARE) Systems through the integration of Education, Research, Outreach and Partnerships.

Regular Grants

Projects in which Hispanic-Serving Institutions carry out a project that aims to promote and strengthen their abilities to carry out higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences, nutrition, and natural resources. Awards are up to $250,000 total for a period of four years.

Institution Project Titles Summary
Regular Projects 2014-2018
New Mexico Highlands University Promoting Real Opportunities for Professional Experiential Learning (Project PROPEL) Project PROPEL seeks to attract and support undergraduate students from Underrepresented minority groups and prepare them for careers in Natural Resources Management with an emphasis on the NIFA priority areas of Climate Change and Water Quality.
Hostos Community College Hostos Community College Food Science A.S. Degree Program The program will attract undergraduate students from underrepresented groups; enhance postsecondary education; provide opportunities for students from underrepresented groups to access food and civil service careers; and align HSI and non-profit organizations in support of academic and career attainment for underrepresented groups. The multidisciplinary program will approach food science through a social justice framework, with service learning internships as graduation requirements.
New Mexico State University Raising the Gates: Addressing Gaps in Students' Understanding of Math and Chemistry in the Animal and Plant Sciences The goal of the project is to design, develop and deliver 4-5 computer based learning tools or animations that will improve student understanding of important chemical and biological concepts using examples from animal, plant and soil sciences in order to improve underrepresented students' chances of success in the scientific agricultural fields.

Conference Grants

Conference Grants support scientific meetings that bring together educators to identify research, education/teaching, and/or extension needs, update information, or advance an area of education/teaching. Awards must not exceed $50,000 total for a project period of up to two years. Conference grants are not renewable.

Institution Project Titles Summary
Conference Project 2017
Our Lady Of The Lake University, San Antonio Conservation Awareness in Resources Education (C.A.R.E.) The CARE conference facilitates the building of a community of practice among local HSIs and supports a collaborative leadership model between higher education, school districts, and government and non-government agencies. Simultaneously, by facilitating the development of HSIs as a community serving education network, CARE assists participating institutions in defining their own unique niche within the education community in San Antonio.
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Grant Program
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