NC Congresswoman introduces HBCU Innovation Fund Act
To advance the goals of HBCUs, North Carolina Congresswoman Alma Adams has introduced the HBCU Innovation Fund Act. The bill would create a fund that would make the availability of $250 million in grants open to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
In an effort to improve viability, student achievement, rates of graduation, enrollment figures, and more, the accessibility of grant money to HBCUs would help to push them towards modernization.
As HBCUs continue to receive press regarding how some schools are doing financially, and if segregation regarding offered programs occurs, it is refreshing to see that all HBCUs may receive a boost if this bill passes.
The legislation, H.R. 4857, was lauded by the United Negro College Fund as innovative, and has over 15 co-sponsors in Congress.
If the bill passes, it will open HBCUs up to more than just money and opportunity. Grant money would be used to help remodel certain courses and create new programs. As with the new Queer and Cultural Studies program being offered at Bowie State University, more programs of this nature may be cultivated through HBCUs if H.R. 4857 is passed.
There will be more opportunities for inclusion and recruitment and retention efforts will certainly increase.
Some HBCUs struggle to maintain strong enrollment numbers, particularly in a culture where online learning often replace on-campus iniativies. This bill would hopefully help many HBCUs create stronger programs to go after more students.
But more than anything, this legislation would make HBCUs more competitive in an educational environment that has changed. Some schools have failed to keep up, through no fault of its own, and some are beginning to fall behind.
Stemming that tide and keeping HBCUs around so that more students of color are served, and the cultural importance of each school is maintained, an HBCU fund for innovation and is needed and welcomed.