DOD Awards National Defense Education Program Cooperative Agreements

September 16, 2022

SPC Marketing & Strategic Communications

The Department of Defense announced today cooperative agreement awards of up to $55 million to five awardees under the National Defense Education Program to foster the development of Two-Year Institution/Community College Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education consortia.

Each consortium will receive an initial award of $5 million over a three-year base period with the possibility of three one-year option periods at $2 million per year, totaling an award ceiling of up to $11 million over six years.

The Military City USA (MCUSA) Consortium, led by Palo Alto College is one of the awardees. St. Philip’s College, San Antonio College, Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Texas A&M University – San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, a non-profit organization, are partners and will follow a Recruit, Prepare, Place, and Succeed (RPPS) model. The MCUSA Consortium includes all five of the Alamo Colleges and both four-year public universities in the San Antonio area, seven Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and one Historically Black College and University (HBCU) for a unified approach to strengthening a diverse STEM Ecosystem in the region.

“The Department of Defense recognizes how critical the STEM workforce pipeline is to our future national security. Two-year institutions and community colleges play a key role in educating, training, and transitioning students onto a path to a STEM career,” said Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “These awardees are not only preparing students for careers in the defense sector, they are also building transition pathways to four-year degrees. By investing in these educational institutions—and reaching out to underserved communities and veterans—we are broadening the defense innovation base, making it possible for more Americans to get the education and skills our nation will need to stay ahead.”

Selected consortia will implement far-reaching, sustainable programs; promote the completion of certificate training programs aligned to DoD critical technology areas; and/or increase transition from community college programs to STEM degrees at four-year Institutions, especially amongst underserved and underrepresented populations, as well as veterans and their spouses.

Activities will support the DoD Fiscal Year 2021 – 2025 STEM Strategic Plan, and align to the 2018 Federal STEM Strategic Plan. Several of these efforts will include participation with the Department’s laboratories and military installations across the country.

Other awardees are:

Denver Metro Engineering Consortium (DMEC) Cooperative Agreement: Broadening Participation in Community College Transfer Pathways by Building “College Capital”

Lead University of Colorado, Boulder; and partners Community College of Aurora and Community College of Denver will increase the number of underrepresented students earning associate degrees and transferring to undergraduate engineering programs, and is accomplished through the creation of multiyear, year-round transfer pathways that integrate academic coursework with paid research and internship opportunities, along with intensive wrap-around and STEM career awareness.

Ohio TechNet (OTN) Defense Industrial Base (DIB) STEM Consortium

Leads Lorain County Community College and Sinclair Community College; and partners Cincinnati State University, Cleveland State University, Columbus State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Hocking College, Miami University, Ohio State University, Ohio University and Stark State College will foster in-demand talent and advance STEM workforce innovations. This initiative leverages an existing and highly effective teacher training pilot program which was developed in partnership with ARCTOS Technology Solutions, a global aerospace and defense contractor, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, and Institutes within the Manufacturing USA network.

A Collaborative Pennsylvania-wide Community College Consortium for Enhancing STEM and Cybersecurity Education: Indiana University of Pennsylvania Research Institute

Lead Indiana University of Pennsylvania; and partners Montgomery County Community College, Northampton Community College, Butler County Community College, Bucks Community College, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and Westmoreland County Community College will work together to enhance STEM education across Pennsylvania with special emphasis on cybersecurity.

Inclusive Engineering Consortium (IEC) 2to4: Facilitated Transition from 2-Year to 4-Year Engineering Studies

Lead Inclusive Engineering Consortium, a non-profit organization that has at its core Electrical & Computer Engineering programs at 15 HBCUs, three HSIs and two Tribal Colleges and Universities; and partners Southwestern Indian Polytechnic University, Morgan State University, Howard University, Southern University, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Tennessee State University, Jackson State University,  Hampton University, Norfolk State University, University of Texas at Rio Grande University, Navajo Technical University, North Carolina A&T University, Tuskegee University and  University of Maryland Eastern Shore will build, implement, and support a consortium with the goal of doubling the number of community college students transferring into its four-year partner institutions.

About USD(R&E)

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at