NSF awards grants for new Hispanic-Serving Institution Resource Centers
The U.S. National Science Foundation has announced grants for two new resource centers for Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), an investment of nearly $14 million.
The NSF HSI Program Network Resource Centers and Hubs (HSI-Net) support the enhancement of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and the recruitment, retention and graduation of students pursuing associate or baccalaureate degrees in STEM.
"Building on past investments, these new centers will help NSF achieve its broadening participation goals in STEM by growing and strengthening the education and research support that facilitates student and faculty success at HSIs," said NSF Assistant Director for STEM Education James L. Moore III. "NSF's HSI-Net is creating opportunities everywhere through a national system of partners that supports knowledge sharing, institutional capacity building, and undergraduate STEM education."
The new centers are:
The UNIDOS Network Resource Center for Community Coordination (HSI-CCC), designed to build community among current and potential HSI awardees.
The Network Opportunities for Developing Equitable and Effective Evaluation at HSIs Center for Evaluation and Research Synthesis (HSI-CERS), designed to support the HSI community through culturally responsive evaluation practice, assessment and research development.
The new centers will support and strengthen the HSI community by sharing knowledge and frameworks relevant to undergraduate STEM education and broadening participation efforts. The HSI-CCC goals and activities are arranged in four clusters:
Foster connections in the HSI community by hosting an HSI principal investigator meeting, establishing strategic partnerships through technology and networking opportunities, and organizing collaborative "innovation sandbox" meetings to design bold ideas.
Develop the HSI community's capacity for proposal development, leadership and teaching through proposal workshops and resource sharing, a Future HSI Leaders mentoring program, and faculty development of equity-minded teaching.
Host listening sessions with HSI community members, convene an HSI Council of Experts, and form working groups to design toolkits and resources on critical topics for HSIs.
Amplify the work of HSI projects and relevant stakeholders through a comprehensive communication plan, including websites, social media efforts, newsletters and a seminar series.
The HSI-CCC will be coordinated by five institutions: Florida International University; Valencia College; California State University, Sacramento; University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras; and The University of Texas at El Paso.
HSI-CERS, led by The University of Texas at El Paso, aims to build capacity for institutions to evaluate and research ways to strengthen and document the effectiveness of NSF HSI-funded projects.
An interdisciplinary effort to integrate database creation and analysis techniques from education research and data science, the center will generate a model of how to address complex data using quantitative and qualitative methods. Researchers will develop standardized and comparable measures and analyses of NSF HSI program-funded grants that collect data in different ways.
The center will create a database platform for grantees' evaluations and a standardized evaluation framework and provide training for grantees to use both. It will also create reports on the NSF HSI program portfolio's overall effectiveness, as well as research frameworks to improve equity-centered STEM approaches in HSIs and beyond.
In addition to the new centers, NSF's HSI-Net has awarded grants for four new hubs that promote excellence in research on how to amplify student successes at HSIs. They are located at the University of Arizona, The University of New Mexico, University of Las Vegas and SUNY Westchester Community College.
NSF established HSI-Net in 2022 through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions program. For more information about the HSI program and HSI-Net solicitation, please visit nsf.gov.