The U.S. Department of Education has announced that nine TCSG colleges will share in $23.5 million from two federal grants. The money is to be used to improve the colleges’ abilities to serve African American and other low- and middle-income students.
Eight TCSG colleges were awarded a total of $10 million over the next five years from the Predominately Black Institutions (PBI) Formula Grant Program. Five of those colleges, plus one other, also received $13.5 million under the PBI Competitive Grant Program.
Georgia’s share of the grants, which were announced on September 30, is the largest number and highest dollar amount given to any state.
The PBI program supports colleges that have undergraduate enrollment that is at least 40% African American and at least 50% low-income or first generation college students. The formula and competitive grant funds may be used for a wide range of projects, including programs that are structured to encourage more students to pursue and complete a college education. The money can also pay for the development of tutoring, counseling and service programs that will ensure students’ academic success, as well as upgrades to the colleges’ learning facilities.
In a prepared statement, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, "These grants will help build the capacity of colleges that educate large numbers of African American students. 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."
The eight TCSG colleges that received the $1.25 million formula grants, payable at $250,000 over five years, were Atlanta Technical College, Augusta Technical College, Central Georgia Technical College, Columbus Technical College, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (formerly DeKalb Technical College), Middle Georgia Technical College, Savannah Technical College and South Georgia Technical College.
In addition, Albany Technical College, Atlanta Technical College, Augusta Technical College, Columbus Technical College and Georgia Piedmont Technical College each received a $2.4 million competitive grant, which will be paid in $600,000 installments over four years. South Georgia Technical College was awarded $1.5 million from the competitive grant, also distributed over four years.
“The goal of the Technical College System of Georgia is to open the doors of a college education to all and to provide every student with the knowledge and skills that they need to compete in today’s job market,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. “These grants will greatly assist the recipient colleges in their efforts to add to and enhance programs that are designed to help African American and low- and middle-income students learn, graduate and become an integral part of Georgia’s 21st century workforce.”
For more information from the U.S. DOE about the PBI grants, click here.