WASHINGTON (WJTV) – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), along with U.S. Representative Michael Guest (R-Miss.), announced the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants totaling more than $1.7 million to Southwest Mississippi Community College (SMCC), Alcorn State University (ASU), and Jackson State University (JSU).
SMCC received an initial $592,000 grant through the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Program to increase student retention through degree and training programs, with an emphasis on STEM-related instruction. ASU was awarded two Talent Search Program grants worth $554,570, while JSU received $277,375 for its Talent Search program.
The PBI and Talent Search grants approved by the Education Department represent the first year installment for grants anticipated to extend for five years.
In addition to a focus on student retention and degree achievement, SMCC will also improve remote learning and develop an Electrical Lineworker program to expand access to STEM programs for underrepresented students.
ASU and JSU will be able to reach hundreds of students through the Talent Search program by helping them graduate from high school and continue on to postsecondary education.