BRCC awarded $2.6 million USDOE grant to expand capacity to serve more minority students

Baton Rouge Community College has been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Competitive and Formula Grant Programs to expand higher education opportunities for minority students by removing barriers, improving advisement, strengthening institutional capacity and enhancing student access to programs and services.

The USDOE’s Competitive and Formula Grant Programs makes grant awards to eligible institutions to plan, develop, undertake and implement programs to enhance the institution’s capacity to serve more low- and middle-income minority students.  Through the grant, institutions are able to expand higher education opportunities for students by encouraging college preparation and student persistence in secondary school and postsecondary education and by strengthening the financial ability of the institution to serve the academic needs of these students.

BRCC previously received the grant from 2016 – 2021 and established the college’s Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement (CUSA). With the new grant funding, BRCC has proposed projects that will build upon the current CUSA activities, including a more comprehensive model that redefines the community college experience and addresses the needs of students through academic counseling, academic workshops, customized tutoring, workforce development, and leadership and entrepreneurial pathways. 

“I am grateful that the U.S. Department of Education awarded this grant to Baton Rouge Community College.  It speaks to the dedication of our faculty and staff in serving our students and community,” said BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith. “This grant is transformative and aligns with the Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement’s mission to improve the educational outcomes of our students.”

The funding of the grant will be $537,625 per year, and will total $2.6 million over five years, from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2026.

In applying for the USDOE grant, BRCC identified four goals that will strengthen the college to serve the needs of more students in the community. The first goal is to enhance BRCC’s capacity to recruit, enroll, support, and serve more low- and middle-income minority students using evidence-based student-centered approaches. The second goal is to embed faculty development and support structures and processes to increase faculty efficacy and cohesion, improve student outcomes, and raise the quality of instruction across BRCC. The third is to enhance the capacity to leverage technology to expand in-person, remote, and hybrid instructional and support service options for students and to facilitate real-time transparent access to data to support student participation, retention, persistence, completion, graduation, and employment or entrepreneurship. The fourth is to enhance BRCC’s capacity for student and community engagement and leadership.

With more than seventy-degree, certificate, and certified training programs, BRCC is committed to academic excellence, student access, and student success.