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Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants (HSI) Program

The HSI Program promotes and strengthens the ability of HSIs to carry out higher education programs to attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation's food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences professional and scientific work force. This grant program aligns the efforts of HSIs to support academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups.

The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program seeks to: (a) strengthen institutional educational capacities to develop and enhance curriculum, faculty, instruction delivery systems, and infrastructure including libraries and scientific instrumentation, in order to respond and serve the needs of underrepresented students in identified State, regional, national, or international educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences; (b) recruit, retain, and support undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups in order to prepare them for careers related to the food, agricultural, and natural resource systems of the United States; (c) facilitate cooperative initiatives between two or more Hispanic-Serving Institutions or between Hispanic-Serving Institutions and public or the private sector, in order to maximize the development and use of resources and to improve the food and agricultural sciences teaching programs.

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Collaboration Grants

Projects in which two or more Hispanic-Serving Institutions form a linkage arrangement to carry out a common project that aims to promote and strengthen their abilities to carry out higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences, nutrition, and natural resources. The collaboration between institutions increases the cost-effectiveness of the project by achieving economies of scale and strengthening the overall scope and quality of a project’s impact. These projects must serve a minimum of fifteen undergraduate and ten graduate students from underrepresented groups. Other non-HSIs institutions could be additional partners. Awards of up to $1,000,000, for a grant period of four years.

Collaboration Projects 2020-2021
Institution Year Awarded Project Titles Summary
New Mexico State University 2020 Enhancing Hispanic Access to Natural Resource and Agricultural careers through Education Mentorship and Training "ENHANCEMENT" ENHANCEMENT brings faculty across five NMSU campuses, including four community colleges, and mentors underrepresented students (graduate and undergraduate). We prepare students to transfer from community college, excel at a 4-year degree and ultimately transition to careers by providing tools, experience and mentorship to succeed. 
Texas Tech University 2020 Initiating and Mobilizing a Pipeline in Agricultural Careers Training (IMPACT) The major goal of this project is to form a regional pipeline between Texas Tech University and Eastern New Mexico University to increase graduate and undergraduate student retention and graduation rates among underrepresented students in the region.
University of Texas, San Antonio 2020 BE AWARE 2: BioEnergy And Water for Agriculture Research and Education Network 2 BE AWARE 2 aims to expand our traineeship model by offering a modular education model that includes courses/certificates/projects in Internet of Things (IoT) security, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence for the optimization and design of agricultural systems.
California State University, Fresno 2020 Agricultural Career Readiness Skills for the 21st Century (ACRS21) The ACRS21 Certification Pathway is a focused strategy aimed to create a system-wide pathway (high school to university) to empower students' success and preparedness to become the next generation of agricultural leaders through collaborations with the agriculture industry, faculty, and leaders in agricultural education.
University of California, Merced 2021 UC Merced FARMERS The goal of this project is to attract and support undergraduate (UG) and graduate (GS) students from URM groups to prepare them for careers related to the food, agricultural, and natural resources and human sciences.
Texas A&M University, Kingsville 2021 GO START NOW: "Getting Occupational Student Training in Agricultural Research Through Novel Workshops" This project's goal is to empower underrepresented students, through excellence in soil, animal, plant, and agricultural sciences, to build career skills addressing the NIFA Priority Science Areas.
The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley 2021 South Texas Agricultural Roadmap for Teaching, Research, Experiential Learning, and Careers (STARTREC) in Food, Agriculture The primary purpose of this project is to align the efforts of multiple Hispanic Serving Institutions in southern and central Texas who have ongoing programs for academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups in fields related to sustainability in agriculture, including soil and water management, horticulture, animal science, and whole farm systems. 
California State University, Long Beach 2021 Leveraging Interdisciplinary Nutritional Knowledge (LINK) Program LINK Program will promote the success of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in the food and human sciences professional and scientific workforce, emphasizing Latino nutrition through outreach, mentoring, education, support services, research, and professional internships with community partners. 
New Mexico State University 2021 Young Agri-Scientists: Connecting diverse students to each other and FANRSS careers through experiential learning in mentored research and science communication Young Agri-Scientists (YAS) is a collaborative program between New Mexico State University and Texas Tech University designed to increase diverse student graduates who meet the global need for the next generation of leading agricultural scientists who are as well-versed in conducting sound food, agricultural, and natural resources systems and sciences research as they are in the diffusion of research and innovation through science communication.
California State University, Monterey Bay 2021 Increased Degree Attainment in FANH Sciences: Creating a Regional Pipeline California State University, Monterey (CSUMB) will partner with the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) to promote broadening participation in sustainable agriculture education by working collaboratively to support recruitment, retention, and job placement for underrepresented students through partnerships with community colleges, community organizations, and the regional agriculture industry.
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras  2021 HSI: The Puerto Rico Natural Resource Career Tracks (PRNRCT) Via experiential learning in the workplace and laboratory, we will prepare our students with tools, knowledge of basic concepts, and critical thinking necessary to address climate change impacts to agriculture and natural resources using integrated socio-environmental-technical systems approaches.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Barranquitas  2021 Farming for Future: Integrated Interventions to Improve Student Success and Experimental Learning in Controlled Environmental Agriculture The goals of the project are to attract and support undergraduate students from underrepresented groups by developing new courses in Controlled Environmental Agriculture and to maximize the outreach potential of the project with an off-campus training facility for local communities in the form of an Agricultural Mobile Laboratory.
The Florida International University 2021 BASE II: FIU-UTRGV-NMSU Consortium Through research, internships, cross-campus student exchange and joint workshops, webinars, and special experiential learning activities, students will acquire scientific skills analyzing crop production, farm natural resources (including soils, water, and biodiversity), and financial and social aspects of farming.


Regular Grants

Projects in which Hispanic-Serving Institutions carry out a project that aims to promote and strengthen their abilities to carry out higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences, nutrition, and natural resources. Awards are up to $250,000 total for a period of four years.

Institution Year Awarded Project Titles Summary
Regular Projects 2021
University of Houston 2021 Prepare Next Generation of Hispanic Students for Career in Food Biotechnology. The project's workshop and summer camp will be designed to attract high school students to the UH Food Science, and Biotechnology programs, and career opportunities within USDA.
Texas State University 2021 Food Security LEADers (Learning Communities and Experiential Learning Advancing Dietetics and Nutrition) LEADers proposes the formation of a multi-level learning community to support experiential learning and leadership development of Hispanic undergraduates, graduate students, and dietetic interns in food security and community nutrition.
Universidad Ana G. Mendez 2021 Agricultural Diverse Learning Approach Program The goal of this project is to promote advances in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) sciences through the development and implementation of the Agriculture Diverse Learning Program (ADLP) to enhance the teaching, learning skills, knowledge and abilities of in service-science teachers,  graduate students, and faculty members, to facilitate a bridge between secondary schools and the university to ensure the success and readiness of underrepresented students to become the next generation of agricultural leaders in PR. 
New Mexico State University 2021 Innovators from Marginalized Communities: Interactive Labs which Help Students See Themselves in Agricultural Careers This research-based project will develop online, interactive virtual labs that help students from marginalized communities see themselves in agricultural careers, while building conceptual understanding of agricultural science topics.
California State University, Chico  2021 DA-FAN_HSI This project will support curriculum development of new courses and interdisciplinary course-based data science projects that engage and enhance students' understanding of their domain through data.
Chemeketa Community College 2021 Inspiring Hispanic Students to Pursue Careers in Agriculture and Technology through Experiential Learning The project will focus on preparing a workforce that is capable of meeting the needs within the many sectors of agriculture by helping students see the value of agriculture careers and building skills in communication, leadership and innovation. 
Texas State University 2021 Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics: integrating scientific inquiry in curriculum for pre-service Agricultural Education teachers (STEAM-AGED) The program, STEAM-AGED, attracts and supports underrepresented students to prepare them for academic or professional science, technology, engineering, agricultural, or mathematics (STEAM) careers with USDA or similar employers.
Adams State University  2021 HSI Education Program: Experiential Education in Agriculture and Food Studies at Adams State University Adams State will expand its enrollments, increase retention and graduation rates, and advance equity in education in 3 food and agriculture bachelor degree programs: Business Administration (Agribusiness emphasis), General Agriculture (Agricultural Business or Agricultural Biology emphasis), and Food Studies.
University of Arizona 2021 Arizona`s Science, Engineering, And Mathematic Scholars (ASEMS): Preparing And Retaining Leaders In STEAM This project will adapt the ASEMS Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS-ASEMS) to increase retention among undergraduates focused on food and agricultural sciences. CALS-ASEMS will increase annual retention, sense of belonging and participation in experiential learning opportunities among undergraduates from underrepresented groups.
California State University, Stanislaus 2021 Career Ready Ag Food Safety (CRAFS) The goals of this project include the advancement of convergence between STEM, Science and Agriculture studies to meet the needs and challenges of industry critical to our Central Valley area. Additionally, in educating students about the career opportunities available in the Food Safety area and aligning their interests with the challenges industry faces in the recruitment of the next generation workforce, an education to industry pipeline benefits the entire community.
University of Arizona 2021 Sopa (Student Success By Increasing Opportunity, Participation, Awareness, And Achievement) The S2OPA2 objective is to increase the number of students completing the Nutritional Sciences bachelor's degree and earning dietetics credentials at The University of Arizona-Yuma  through the development of farm-to-table food as medicine experiential learning activities addressing regional food safety, food security, food production, incorporation of local cuisine, and cooking traditions.
LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York 2021 Project SEMBRAR: Growing and Diversifying the Next Generation of Urban Agricultural STEM Leaders The main goal of Project SEMBRAR is to sustain and grow the next generation of Urban STEM agricultural leaders through building a coordinated pathway to degrees and careers in urban agriculture, food science and food justice for Hispanic and low-income students of color.

Conference Grants

Conference Grants support scientific meetings that bring together educators to identify research, education/teaching, and/or extension needs, update information, or advance an area of education/teaching. Awards must not exceed $50,000 total for a project period of up to two years. Conference grants are not renewable.

Institution Year Awarded Project Titles Summary
Conference Project 2018-2019
The University of Texas at San Antonio 2018 Innovations in Data Analytics for Smart Agriculture (iDASA) UTSA proposes to organize a scientific meeting to bring together educators from multiple institutions across the nation with the ultimate goal of identifying research, education, training, and extension needs in data science with applications in agriculture to devise the data-driven agricultural systems of the future and train a highly-qualified diverse workforce. iDASA will focus on the application of data analytics, statistical analysis, machine learning and cloud computing to unlock the true power of data to model, design and optimize sustainable agricultural systems.
St. Edward's University 2019 A Conference Proposal for "Building STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics) at Texas Hispanic-Serving Institutions" The conference will promote opportunities for students to access internships and careers related to Food, Agriculture, Natural resources, and Human sciences (FANH) and opportunities for faculty to access research and funding related to FANH.
California State University, Fullerton 2019 Southern California Urban Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems Research & Education Conference This proposal requests funding to develop and implement a regional conference focusing on urban agroecology and sustainable food systems in research and education at southern California colleges and universities.
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