The purpose of this program is strengthen the capacity of Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas to carry out resident instruction, curriculum, and teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences through distance education technology. The Distance Education Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas (DEG) is a NIFA-administered competitive grants program focused on improving formal, postsecondary agricultural sciences education.
Eligible institutions include colleges/universities located in an Insular Area conducting teaching/extension programs in at least one discipline/area of food & agricultural sciences. Eligible public- or state-funded, Non-Land-Grant institutions must submit a letter signed by the institution's Authorized Representative certifying that it meets the requirements in this RFA. An eligible institution means an institution of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1995 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), that is located in an Insular Area and that has a demonstrable capacity to carry out teaching and extension programs in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences. All public or non-profit 2-year and 4-year accredited institutions of higher education that offer certificate/degree programs in FANH sciences and located in the Insular Area are eligible. Individual land-grant colleges and universities, and other institutions that have secured land-grant status through Federal legislation, and which are located in Insular Areas are automatically eligible for awards under the DEG grant program as direct individual applicants. Individual branches of a State university system or public system of higher education that are separately accredited as degree-granting institutions are treated as separate, individual institutions eligible to apply for and receive awards, provided they otherwise satisfy the definition of “eligible institution” as specified above. Independent branch campuses of individual institutions may apply for and receive grant awards under this program, provided that they otherwise satisfy the definition of “eligible institution” as specified above. An “independent branch campus” means a unit of a 2-year or 4-year institution of higher education that is geographically apart from the main campus, is permanent in nature, offers courses for credit and programs leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree, and is autonomous to the extent that it has its own faculty and administrative or supervisory organization and its own budgetary and hiring authority.