US offers opportunities for American and International Students and Scholars at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON: As the 2022 National HBCU Week gets underway, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) recognized 19 HBCUs as “‘Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders.”’

The recognition is based on strong partnership between the State Department’s Fulbright Program and HBCUs during the past two academic years and is part of the larger White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs. In addition to this recognition, the Department has many opportunities for both U.S. and international students and scholars related to HBCUs, including:

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides fellowships for U.S. new college graduates, graduate students, young professionals, and artists to study or conduct research abroad, or to serve as English teaching assistants in classrooms abroad at the primary through post-secondary education levels. The Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program offers opportunities for U.S. faculty, administrators, professionals, and artists to teach, conduct research, or carry out a professional project abroad.  Other Fulbright programs include the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program, the Fulbright Scholar in Residence Program, and the Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund.

The Gilman Scholarship Program awards grants to U.S. citizen undergraduate college students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. The Program is open to students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding and are studying at U.S. two-year or four-year colleges or universities.

The Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS) provides intensive immersion programs for U.S. college and university undergraduate and graduate students in 15 languages that are important to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.

The Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program provides small grants, trainings, and resources to U.S. colleges and universities to create, increase, and/or diversify their study abroad programs.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global Ugrad) provides one semester scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world for non-degree full-time study combined with community service, professional development, and cultural enrichment.

The Mandela Washington Fellows Program is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Since 2014, nearly 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries.

Bridge USA annually attracts around 300,000 individuals to the United States from 200 countries and territories to study in U.S. high schools, universities, and research institutions; build professional networks; enhance English language and intercultural skills; and teach in U.S. schools, colleges, and universities.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, ECA awarded grants or scholarships to HBCUs or to students, faculty, and/or staff from or hosted by HBCUs as follows:

  • Twenty-four Gilman Scholars from 10 HBCUs, including: Albany State University (Albany, GA); Bennett College (Greensboro, NC); Bowie State University (Bowie, MD); Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, FL); Howard University (Washington, D.C.); Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD); Spelman College (Atlanta, GA); Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL); University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, AR); and Xavier University (New Orleans, LA).
  • Seven HBCUs received institutional IDEAS grants, including: Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX); Dillard University (New Orleans, LA); Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC) working with Benedict College (Columbia, SC) and Voorhees College (Denmark, SC); Savannah State University (Savannah, GA); Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC) working with North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC); Lincoln University (Lincoln University, PA); and Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, MS).
  • Three HBCU students received scholarships from the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, from Howard University (Washington, D.C.); Coppin State University (Baltimore, MD); and Spelman College (Atlanta, GA).
  • Three students from two HBCUs received awards from the CLS Refresh Alumni Language Program, at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC).

Twenty-nine U.S. and international Fulbrighters were affiliated with (either traveling abroad from or placed at) 14 HBCUs through the Fulbright Program. These institutions included: Bennett College (Greensboro, NC), Bluefield State College (Bluefield, WV), Central State University (Wilberforce, OH), Coppin State University (Baltimore, MD), Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC), Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, FL), Lincoln University (Lincoln University, PA), Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, MS), North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC), Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, LA), Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN), Texas Southern University (Houston, TX), Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL), and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Pine Bluff, AR)  These scholars and students took part in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Fulbright Specialist Program, Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, and Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program, as well as the Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund.

Eleven Global Undergraduate Exchange Program participants were hosted by three HBCUs: Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC); Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, MS); and Xavier University (New Orleans, LA).

Clark-Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA) received an institutional grant award to host a cohort of 24 Mandela Washington Fellows under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

ECA partnered with the Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID), a collaboration between Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and Tougaloo College, to implement 32 virtual International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) projects for 298 participants.

One of the Global Ties U.S. Community-Based Members is the International Visitors Center of Jackson, part of Jackson State University (Jackson, MS), which received a community-partnership grant to arrange International Visitor Leader Program (IVLP) participant itineraries in Mississippi.

The Reach HBCU: Global Institute is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund. The grant is designated for U.S. Exchange Alumni to implement a public service project. Global Ties Alabama President Jacquelyn Shipe (Alumna Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative YLAI – Reverse Exchange 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and Ryanna Miller (Gilman Scholar 12’, South Africa) coordinated a three-day virtual conference in April 2021 where DAS White provided remarks at the opening plenary session.

The S. Speaker Program supported six virtual programs with experts from Delaware State University (Dover, DE), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), and Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA).

BridgeUSA: In 2021, twenty-two HBCUs were Department-designated sponsors in the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP), also known as BridgeUSA.  BridgeUSA exchange visitor students and scholars enhance the academic and research environments at HBCUs, helping to internationalize the higher education experience and contributing to ECA’s mission of fostering mutual understanding.  During the 2021/2022 academic year, nine of these institutions hosted 35 exchange visitors from 15 countries representing all six global regions in the Research Scholar, Short-term scholar and College and University Student categories.