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IUSE: Innovation in Two-Year College STEM Education (ITYC)

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NSF 23-584

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a prominent role in the improvement of undergraduate STEM education at the Nation’s colleges and universities.  Through the IUSE: Innovation in Two-Year College STEM Education (ITYC) program, the agency seeks to extend this effort by making an intentional investment in the country’s two-year institutions of higher education, or two-year colleges. The twin goals of the ITYC program are to (1) center students in the effort to advance innovation, promote equitable outcomes and broaden participation for all students in STEM education at two-year colleges, and (2) enhance the capacity of two-year colleges to harness the talent and potential of their diverse student and faculty population through innovative disciplinary, multi-department, and college-wide efforts. These goals will be achieved by investing in projects at two-year colleges that contribute to student success in STEM-based foundational courses and academic pathways for both majors and non-majors. Project activities may be in any discipline that is currently supported by NSF funding, which includes the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Collectively, projects in the ITYC program will make progress towards ensuring that two-year college students and faculty have the resources to fully participate in and contribute to the broader STEM enterprise.

Aligned with the goals above, the ITYC program features two tracks: (1) A Focus on the Academic Experiences of Two-Year College Students and (2) Leveraging Institutional Strengths and Innovation. Each Track can support projects requesting up to $500,000 for a duration of up to three years.  For institutions that have not received NSF funding in the past five years, an additional $100,000 may be added to the budget which may be used by the institution to support and carry out grant-funded activities over four years.  This would result in a total maximum budget of $600,000 for a project over four years.   Institutions that have been funded as part of a collaborative award with their own NSF Award Number are not eligible for this incentive, however, institutions that have had a subaward from another institution are eligible.

This program is open to two-year colleges, which includes the following institutions, as described by Carnegie Classifications:

  • Associate’s Colleges:  Institutions at which the highest-level degree awarded is an associate degree.  This may include transfer as well a career and technical oriented colleges.
  • Baccalaureate / Associate’s Colleges:  Institutions that award at least one baccalaureate degree but confer at least 50% of their degrees at the associate level.

The ITYC program is aligned with NSF's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) framework, which is a comprehensive effort to accelerate improvements in the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in STEM fields.

Program contacts

Kalyn S. Owens
kowens@nsf.gov (703) 292-4615 EDU/DUE
Connie K. Della-Piana
cdellapi@nsf.gov (703) 292-5309 EDU/DUE
Michael J. Davis
mdavis@nsf.gov (703) 292-7166 EDU/DUE
V. Celeste Carter
vccarter@nsf.gov (703) 292-4651 EDU/DUE

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program