Vice Chair Crowley Announces Federal Grant to Help Close Achievement Gap for Hispanic Students at Vaughn College

September 24, 2015
Press Release

Funding will support Vaughn College program to improve academic achievement and retention for Hispanic and other high-need students

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, announced that Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology will receive over $500,000 in funding under the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program. The grant will help Vaughn increase the number of Hispanic students who are enrolled, persist and graduate with high-earning degrees.

“These resources are critical for HSIs such as Vaughn College to continue providing Latinos with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in fields where they have been historically underrepresented,” said Rep. Crowley, who co-authored the Hispanic Opportunity Program in Education and Science Act (HOPES Act) in April. “It’s vitally important that Latinos, our nation’s youngest and fastest-growing ethnic group, are well equipped for the jobs of tomorrow and ready to contribute to our nation’s future economic growth, security and global leadership. Vaughn has a long and storied tradition of success and I congratulate them on this award.”

“Vaughn College is excited about the opportunity to provide Hispanic students even greater support to help them achieve the dream of a college degree in engineering, aviation, technology and management,” said Dr. Sharon DeVivo, president of the college. “As a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education and with a student population that truly reflects the diversity of New York City, Vaughn's project will raise academic success by increasing student achievement rates on several milestones toward degree completion.”

The HSI Program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. The HSI Program grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.

Crowley has been a leader in the effort to secure grant opportunities for HSIs, including co-authoring legislation and leading successful measures in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of these institutions. In June, the House of Representatives passed Crowley’s bipartisan amendment to the FY2016 Intelligence Authorization Act to provide national security training grants to HSIs to prepare students for careers in national security. In addition to Crowley, the amendment was offered by Reps. José E. Serrano (D-the Bronx) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).

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.

Congressman Crowley is the nine-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.