Skip to Content

Our Latest Grants and Investments

An Announcement from Lynn Alvarez, Vice President, Programs and Strategy

May 13, 2024

In support of our North Star goal to eliminate equity gaps in postsecondary completion and our mission to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation, we are proud to announce a new series of grants and program-related investments made from December 14, 2023, to April 30, 2024. The total funding for this period is $17,843,554. Each project meets one or more of our three strategic priorities: removing barriers to postsecondary completion; building the capacity of organizations, institutions and systems; and transforming the postsecondary ecosystem.

Some of our recent grants fall within one of our six initiatives, including our new Rural Impact Initiative, and others are considered strategically responsive. A selection of grants and investments are detailed below. For a full list of the Foundation’s active and inactive grants and program-related investments, please visit ECMC Foundation’s website.


Basic Needs Initiative

Temple University of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education, The Hope Center for Student Basic Needs ($321,600) to drive greater investments in practices and resources that work to reduce students’ basic needs insecurity.

CTE Leadership Collaborative Initiative

Association for Career and Technical Education ($216,150) to help postsecondary data practitioners (ECMC Foundation Fellows) analyze the impact of postsecondary career and technical education programs on student pathways to success.

The Center to Advance CTE ($899,030) to improve postsecondary CTE knowledge and skill development across the ECMC Foundation Fellows, so they are well positioned to facilitate the expansion of equitable postsecondary CTE programs.

Men of Color Initiative

African American Male Education Network Development Organization ($400,000) to expand their student charter program to 10 campus locations outside of California for the first time and strengthen their organizational capacity and internal operations as they grow their programmatic footprint.

Public Policy Institute of California ($50,000) to assess if men, and men of color in particular, have benefitted equitably from the implementation of remedial coursework reform in California.

The University of Texas Austin ($475,000) to capture national data on the experience of men of color enrolled in community colleges, deepening the field’s understanding of the experience of men of color by identifying and promoting the myriad factors that inhibit and enhance college success.

Rural Impact Initiative

College in High School Alliance ($340,000) to eliminate access gaps for the participation and success of rural students in dual enrollment and early college programs and have a policy system in place that ensures students are completing meaningful and intentional college course experiences in high school.

Columbus Learning Center Management Corporation ($1,000,000) to develop stronger talent systems for tomorrow’s economy through increased student credential completion rates, post-credential employment rates and employer engagement rates in rural communities.

Single Mother Student Success Initiative

Association of Community College Trustees ($1,500,000) to increase childcare availability to single mother students by demonstrating the viability of a replicable, sustainable and systemic expansion of a Head Start co-location model.

The Jed Foundation ($554,826) to increase single mother students’ persistence and completion by supporting colleges in implementing the toolkit by addressing the mental health disparities faced by younger student parents and single mothers.

Transfer and Credit Mobility Initiative

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) ($500,000) to evaluate the market-place viability of alternative credentials and provide institutions with guidelines about how to design credentials of value at their institutions.

North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities ($400,000) to provide North Carolina community college students with real-time information that will show how their community college courses will transfer to North Carolina independent colleges and universities, thereby facilitating the ability of these students to chart their transfer pathway toward four-year degrees.

Strategically Responsive

All-In Milwaukee, Inc.(AIM) ($500,000) to grow AIM’s reach and expand AIM’s advising model to include career development support.

Alliance for a Just Society ($100,000) to provide the state of Washington with recommendations to effectively create and implement equitable policies and practices on campus to improve access and address the needs of all students to improve completion rates in community colleges across the state.

American Council on Education (ACE) ($1,250,000) to develop the social and economic mobility (SEM) indicator that will be used to classify all US colleges and universities, expand the Carnegie Classification's website functionality and develop crosswalks between the Carnegie Classification system and other pertinent higher education databases.

Bipartisan Policy Center ($150,000) to analyze how reforms to the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) could enhance student outcomes and disseminate the learnings to policymakers and the field more broadly.

Clark Atlanta University Inc. ($600,000) to increase the longevity and effectiveness of HBCU presidents by providing leadership training, mentoring relationships and a network of support.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Inc. ($741,954) to expand Helms College into at least two new Goodwill markets to provide more students with economic mobility.

Institute for Citizens & Scholars ($550,000) to reinforce higher education’s value as a public good that serves society and supports democracy.

Miami EdTech ($250,000) to increase the number of apprenticeship offerings connected to higher education institutions and improve the postsecondary success of the students participating in work-based learning.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Inc. ($1,000,000) to revise Phase 3 of the First Scholars Network curricula and provide institutions with the necessary training and support to better identify, collect and utilize data on first-generation students to improve their completion rates.

Rutgers University Foundation ($250,000) to provide enhanced professional development and individual mentoring support to Aspiring Leaders so that women and people of color are better equipped for the demands of the presidency, including how these leaders are serving students and promoting student success.

The University Innovation Alliance (UIA) ($643,000) to understand how UIA institutions impact their broader state outcomes and influence innovation and progress statewide for low-income students, rural students and students of color so that every student graduates.

University of Southern California, Pullias Center for Higher Education ($399,994) to understand, develop, and implement Shared Equity Leadership on four college campuses as an approach to support student success for low-income, first-generation, and racially minoritized students in higher education

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ($750,000) to ensure CTE programs prepare students for changing job requirements and availability in an AI-driven world.

WestEd ($1,500,000) to produce actionable insights that improve economic mobility for students by activating existing staff and resources to facilitate data driven decision-making at the institutional and systems level.

ECMC Group ($1,000,000) to create an environment where underserved Black learners aged 16-24 in the Twin Cities have tools to identify, pursue and thrive in their chosen career path, creating obstacle-free pathways to postsecondary education and subsequently a family-sustaining wage.

Program-Related Investments

Beam ($500,000) to support the expansion of its emergency cash assistance and technology platform.

Funding U ($750,000) to provide underserved students with an equitable and viable alternative loan option to close tuition funding gaps and remain enrolled in postsecondary education.

Making Space ($150,000) to increase job opportunities and placements for people with disabilities through an inclusive training platform.

Proserva ($102,000) to accelerate and enhance the pathway to becoming a teacher by providing real-time data and targeted development alongside a platform that fosters collaboration and shared best practices among peers so all students can reach their full potential.

Back to News