Funding Advances Diversity Goals in Massachusetts Institutions

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Massachusetts’s Healey-Driscoll Administration awarded $1.3 million in Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) grants to advance racial equity on campuses across the state.  

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Education and Department of Higher Education released a joint press release on Tuesday, in which Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler said, “We know there are racial disparities in college attainment, and these grants are part of larger efforts to create a public higher educations system that serves all students equitably.”

Bridgewater State University will oversee the $250,000 grant for the “Racial Equity and Justice Institute” project, intended to infuse tenets of racial equity into all partner institutions. Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester was awarded $51,968 toward the development of a diversity, equity, and inclusion certificate program. 

$139,828 at North Shore Community College will go to the Massachusetts Community College Prior Learning Assessment, which provides opportunities for college credits from prior learning and experience, and Holyoke Community College will oversee $230,340 for Massachusetts Community Colleges Equity Consortium, which connects institutions with anti-racist resources and best practices.

$168,813 at Middlesex Community College (MCC) will help develop the Community Leadership Credit Certificate, which teaches students how to be active leaders in their communities, while $70,000 at MCC, as well as $100,000 at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will go toward partnerships with behavioral health providers in promoting diversity in workforce training and behavioral health education.

Formerly known as the Performance Incentive Fund, the HEIF supports campus programming geared towards educational opportunities for the diverse population of Massachusetts.

In the release, Noe Ortega, the state’s commissioner of higher education, said, “Building a more equitable landscape in higher education hinges on cultivating a culture of collaboration, and these systemwide and regional consortia demonstrate how our Commonwealth’s leaders are committed to working together to improve outcomes for students of color.”