U.S. Department of Education Awards Project SERV Grants to North Carolina Central University, Philander Smith College, and Hampton University

Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education Awards Project SERV Grants to North Carolina Central University, Philander Smith College, and Hampton University

January 13, 2023

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) grants to three additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that experienced bomb threats last year. North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina was awarded $213,500; Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas was awarded $149,963; and Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia was awarded $214,317 in Project SERV grants, respectively.

“The bomb threats made last year against several Historically Black Colleges and Universities not only shattered their campus communities’ sense of safety and created fear in students but strained institutions’ resources by prompting costly campus lockdowns, class cancellations, and law enforcement activities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As Secretary of Education, I categorically reject any and all efforts to terrorize Black students and educators and I am committed to ensuring access to Project SERV grants and all available federal resources to help HBCUs restore safe, welcoming, and nurturing learning environments. I’m pleased that these three grants will advance efforts by HBCU leaders to strengthen mental health supports, help students overcome these traumatic experiences, and invest in their campus security.”

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will use its Project SERV funds to address student safety concerns by providing a full-time care manager and Director’s LEAD (Learning, Empowering and Advocating for Diversity) Workshops. These workshops train faculty on recognizing impacts of PTSD and racial trauma. Delivered over six sessions, this training better prepares individuals to support students and aid in the overall safety climate at the university. NCCU also will fund a part-time case manager to be a first responder to reported crises on campus and aid in providing follow-up care to students who have been directly impacted, as well as support for their Campus Police Services. NCCU also will use Project SERV funds to pay overtime for five officers and six Residential Life staff who supported campus evacuation and student response after hours.

Philander Smith College will use its Project SERV funds to hire three new security officers, including support for overtime hours, and support for a police department contracted security detail for a one-year period.

Hampton University will use its Project SERV funds for the hiring of two full-time positions —one Trauma/Resilience Mental Health Specialist and one Psychology Technician. Hampton University also will be using Project SERV funds to support Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), which is aimed at addressing common trauma reactions that may include depression and risk for suicide. 

Additional HBCUs that also have been awarded Project SERV grants are Tougaloo College, Fayetteville State University, Southern University Law Center, Fisk University, and Coppin State University.  

“We’re pleased that these institutions are receiving the aid they deserve to ensure the well-being and safety of their students, staff, and faculty,” said Dietra Trent, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “The Biden-Harris Administration is here to support our HBCU community, and we will continue working to promote policies and practices that fortify their strength and advance educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity through these institutions.”

Project SERV provides short-term funding for local educational agencies and institutions of higher education that have experienced a violent or traumatic incident to assist in restoring a safe environment conducive to learning. The Department expects additional grants to be awarded in the coming weeks and continues to work with additional HBCUs impacted to support them in the grant application process and in expediting applications once received. 

The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take a whole-of-government approach to support HBCU campuses. The Administration has delivered nearly $6 billion in cumulative investments to HBCUs, including:

  • $3.7 billion through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief; 
  • $1.6 billion in capital finance debt relief;
  • $1.4 million in Project SERV funds; and
  • $500 million in grant funding to help HBCUs and other MSIs expand capacity.