House Passes Intelligence Authorization Bill That Includes Crowley-Serrano-Curbelo Provision to Provide National Security Training Grants to Hispanic Serving Institutions

Dec 2, 2015 Issues: Education

(Washington, D.C.) – On December 1, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Intelligence Authorization agreement, legislation that funds the nation’s intelligence programs. The agreement includes a bipartisan provision authored by Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, José E. Serrano (D-the Bronx), and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) to provide national security training grants to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) of higher education to prepare students for careers in national security. The bill will now head to the President’s desk for his signature.

The Crowley-Serrano-Curbelo provision allows the Director of National Intelligence to provide grants to HSIs to offer advanced foreign language education and study abroad and cultural immersion programs to increase diversity in the national security and intelligence community. The goal is to prepare America’s fastest-growing minority for careers in national security.

“National security and intelligence are fast-growing fields that will require a steady stream of talented professionals in the coming years. These training grants will help ensure Hispanic students have the opportunities to explore careers in these critical fields, better prepare them for jobs of tomorrow, and ensure that our intelligence community accurately reflects the diversity of the American people. I’m proud to work with Congressmen Serrano and Curbelo in leading this provision that will go a long way in opening doors of opportunity for Hispanic students,” said Crowley.

“As the number of job opportunities and importance of the national security and intelligence fields increases, Hispanics and other minorities must be prepared to compete for these opportunities. Too often, Hispanics don’t pursue these types of opportunities, not for lack of interest, but rather because they don’t have the preparation and support to do so. This amendment, which is now part of the final bill, will help close this gap by facilitating Hispanics’ access to a strong education in national security matters. Ensuring increased diversity in these fields will help make America stronger and more secure,” said Serrano.

“This amendment will allow Hispanic-serving institutions of higher education to receive grants for foreign language programs that are vital to our intelligence community. Students will have the opportunity to serve their country while gaining first-hand insight into the cultures they are studying. I am proud to join my colleagues from New York in supporting this amendment which will directly benefit several institutions in Florida’s 26th district, including Miami-Dade College and FIU,” said Curbelo

“The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) offers its sincerest appreciation to Congressman Joseph Crowley for introducing the original amendment to the FY2016 Intelligence Authorization Act and to Congressmen José Serrano and Carlos Curbelo for helping to shepherd this important authorization for the development of new training grants for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The grants will help HSIs to offer advanced foreign language education and study abroad, as well as cultural immersion programs for the over three million students they serve,” said Dr. Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU. “The 409 HSIs are highly diverse colleges and universities educating more minority and first-generation students than any other cohort of similar institutions in the United States. Access to these new resources, will allow HSIs to significantly contribute to the growth and development of the country’s national security workforce.”

The members have long supported grant opportunities for HSIs. In May, Crowley, Serrano, and Curbelo, along with Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Will Hurd (R-TX), successfully led an amendment to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act to require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a grant program to support undergraduate STEM education at HSIs. The amendment was the latest move in the longstanding effort to establish this program, including recent legislation introduced by Serrano, Crowley, and Luján in April.