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Grants & Funding

Department of Defense Offers STEM Ed Funding for Community Colleges

The United States Department of Defense is doling out up to $55 million in funding for STEM education at two-year institutions (2YI) and community colleges (CCs). The DoD STEM Community College Consortium grant program seeks institutions forming regional consortia that will "develop and encourage STEM ecosystems" among two- and four-year institutions, industry partners, local education agencies and others, with the goal of developing STEM talent for the workforce.

The development of readily accessible, highly technical and diverse STEM talent is an essential part of the Federal and DoD strategic plans. "The DoD STEM vision is a diverse and sustainable STEM talent pool ready to serve our Nation and extend the Department's competitive edge," the grant documentation states. "Each regional DoD STEM Community College Consortium should collaboratively work with members of their geographical area to promote partnerships that enhance STEM education at 2YI/CCs, while aligning to the DoD STEM mission to 'inspire, cultivate, and develop exceptional STEM talent through a continuum of opportunities to enrich our current and future DoD workforce poised to tackle evolving defense technological challenges.'"

Applicants should focus on one of both of the following goals, the DoD said:

  • "Promote and support the completion of technical training and certificate programs that strengthen the DoD and Defense Industrial Base (DIB) science, technology, and manufacturing workforce," and
  • "Develop, support, and increase the transition of students, especially those from underserved and underrepresented populations to include veterans and their spouses, from 2-year institutions and/or Community College STEM programs to STEM degrees at 4-year institutions."

Proposals will be judged on overall technical merit (including creativity, innovation, feasibility and efficacy), management and approach, and financial viability (long-term sustainability as well as the ability to maximize the investment for critical impact). The program intends to fund approximately five consortia up to $5 million each for an initial three-year period; then, based on performance and availability of funds, each consortium may receive up to $2 million per year in additional funds for three years.

The deadline for applications is March 29, 2022. For more information, visit

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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