For Immediate Release - Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: October 20, 2011

Southwest Tennessee Community College Receives Multi-Million Dollar Grants from the U.S. Dept. of Education

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently awarded Southwest $3,654,777 in funding to implement the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Competitive and Formula Grant programs. Southwest received a five-year total award of $1,529,885 for the PBI formula Grant, specifying $305,977 for the first year of funding – the grant period beginning October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. The purpose of the PBI formula Grant Program is to strengthen eligible institutions to plan, develop, undertake and implement programs to enhance the institution's capacity to serve more low- and middle-income Black American students; to expand higher education opportunities for eligible students by encouraging college preparation and student persistence in secondary school and postsecondary education; and to strengthen the financial ability of the institution to serve the academic needs of these students.

The college will be eligible to receive $305,977 each subsequent year for an additional four years contingent upon performance outcomes. Southwest will utilize the funds to implement a pilot project to increase the persistence and completion rates of Black American students through the redesign of Southwest's Developmental Studies Program.

The college also received a four-year total award of $2,124,892 for the PBI Competitive Grant Program, specifying $524,394 for the first year of funding – the grant period beginning October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. The purpose of the PBI Competitive Grant Program is to support Predominately Black Institutions to establish or strengthen programs in the following areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), health education, internationalization or globalization, teacher preparation and improving educational outcomes of African-American males.

The college will be eligible to receive continuation funding in the amount of $525,441 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012–2013, $534,245 for FY 2013–2014, and $540,812 for FY 2014–2015 contingent upon performance outcomes. Southwest will utilize the funds to implement Project M.O.S.T (Men of Southwest Tennessee) to increase the retention and graduation rate of African-American male students by providing them with resources that will enable them to achieve their educational and career goals. 

Overall, the U.S. DOE awarded $24,601,758 to 62 colleges to enhance their capacity to serve low and middle-income African-American students. Colleges receiving funds under the two programs are institutions with an undergraduate enrollment that is at least 40 percent African-American and at least 50 percent low-income or first-generation college students.

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Photo caption: Southwest Tennessee Community College, Memphis, TN

For more information contact: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247, bjrayner@southwest.tn.edu, Farris Bldg., Room 1002, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134