Hillsborough Community College Receives U.S. Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grant

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30 September 2016
Hillsborough Community College has received a nearly $6 million grant to boost Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education opportunities, especially for Hispanic-American students. The grant is for five-years from the U.S. Department of Education and is the largest in its history in this category. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions – Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (HSI STEM) and Articulation Program. HSI provides grant funding to colleges and universities to assist with bolstering academics to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented populations.
“Hillsborough Community College is extremely proud to have received this five-year, $5.98 million Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Title III grant, the largest in our history,” HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater said. “As the only HSI in Tampa Bay, we appreciate the recognition of the important work that has been done at our Dale Mabry Campus to increase student success, retention and degree completion in STEM fields with this growing Hispanic student population.”
To support Hispanic-American students with STEM career aspirations and ensure that they move directly into the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution, HCC plans to use the grant to strengthen the STEM-preparatory pipeline from developmental math through baccalaureate degree completion.
Although Hispanic students have been shown to be equally as likely as other students to major in STEM subjects, they are significantly less likely to earn a degree or certificate in a STEM field, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Hispanic students represent the largest minority group with a noted interest in STEM fields, so investing in them should open greater opportunities going forward.
 “Higher-wage jobs for Tampa-area graduates are an important part of growing an economy that works for all of us. Investments in a well-educated STEM workforce keep our region and nation competitive in the global marketplace,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “Most importantly, investing in a STEM workforce in the Hispanic community will foster higher-paying jobs and more opportunity for our neighbors. Today’s STEM students are the researchers, scientists, doctors and engineers of tomorrow. HCC and Tampa Bay have built a track record for diversity – as the only HSI in Tampa Bay – and attracting a variety of public and private grant dollars. I am proud to have championed to bring this $6 million investment to this great institution in Tampa Bay.”
Video: U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announces $6M grant for HCC 

HCC prepares a diverse student body of more than 44,000 students. More than 50 percent of these students represent minority populations, including 28 percent Hispanic-American. In addition, the Tampa Bay region leads the state when it comes to high-skill, high-wage STEM jobs, with nearly 65,000 STEM employees, according a report published last year by Bloomberg.
“HCC is a high-tech training center for its students and the Tampa Bay area. This, along with Hillsborough County’s focus on STEM education, a Hispanic community that has always recognized hard work and education as the way for their children to get ahead and live the American Dream, a budding startup community and private investment and collaboration by major local employers will build this region as a powerhouse for a high-tech economy. I hope this encourages our next generation of students: there are training opportunities and pathways to land the higher-paying jobs of the future,” U.S. Rep. Castor added.

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