By Special to the Daily World
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently announced the award of $24.6 million to 62 colleges to enhance their capacity to serve low and middle-income African-American students.

“These grants will help build the capacity of colleges that educate large numbers of African-American students,” Duncan said, “Strengthening these schools is critically important to increasing student completion and meeting  President Obama’s goal of being first in the world in college graduates by 2020.”

Colleges are receiving funds under two programs that both support predominantly Black institutions with an undergraduate enrollment that is at least 40 percent African American and at least 50 percent low-income or first-generation college students.

The first is a formula grant program, which awarded $9.6 million to 35 schools in 14 states.  The funds will be used for a wide range of projects that include academic instruction in disciplines in which Black Americans are underrepresented; tutoring; counseling service programs designed to improve student success; upgrading libraries, laboratories, and other instructional facilities; and establishing or enhancing a teacher education program, to name a few.   These grants are funded for five years.

The other is a competitive grant program, which awarded $15 million for 27 four-year grants to schools in 12 states.  Funds in this program are used to establish or strengthen programs in specific areas: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); health education; internationalization; teacher preparation, and improving educational outcomes for African-American males.

The Georgia colleges awarded are: South Georgia Technical College in Americus; Atlanta Technical College in Atlanta; Augusta Tech College in Augustus; Columbus Technical College in Columbus, Georgia Perimeter College in Decatur; Savannah Technical College in Savannah; Central Georgia Technical College in Macon, and Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robbins.  All will receive $250,000, except for Decatur, which will receive $411,773.  For more information contact the individual schools or the U.S. Department of Education.

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