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Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence (Hawkins) Program

Current Section  Purpose
 Office of Postsecondary Education Home

Program Office: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
CFDA Number: 84.116K
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants
Also Known As: Hawkins Program

Program Description

The Hawkins Program, authorized under Part B of Title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) is designed to support centers of excellence at institutions of higher education (IHEs). The selected centers of excellence must be established at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs); or Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), such as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), with a State-accredited teacher preparation program, to help increase the number of well-prepared teachers, including teachers of color, resulting in a more diverse teacher workforce prepared to teach in our Nation’s low performing elementary and secondary schools and close achievement gaps. This program focuses on the various aspects of the teacher preparation pipeline, including the recruitment, preparation, support, placement, and retention of teachers in high-need local education agencies (LEAs) to support underserved students. Through this program, the Secretary seeks to fund applicants that propose to incorporate evidence-based components and practices into their teacher preparation program.

Types of Projects

Grant(s) awarded under this program is for a period of up to four years. Required grant activities include:

  • (a) Examine the sources of inequity and inadequacy in resources and opportunity and implement pedagogical practices in teacher preparation programs that are inclusive with regard to race, ethnicity, culture, language, and disability status and that prepare teachers to create inclusive, supportive, equitable, unbiased, and identity-safe learning environments for their students;

  • (b) Prepare teacher candidates to integrate rigorous academic content, including through the effective use of technology, instructional techniques, and strategies consistent with universal design for learning principles in pedagogical practices and classroom features to improve student achievement;

  • (c) Prepare teacher candidates to design and deliver instruction in ways that are engaging and provide their students with opportunities to think critically and solve complex problems, apply learning in authentic and real-world settings, communicate and collaborate effectively, and develop academic mindsets, including through project-based, work-based, or other experiential learning opportunities;

  • (d) Prepare teacher candidates to build meaningful and trusting relationships with their students’ families to support in-home, community-based, and in-school learning; and

  • (e) Provide sustained and high-quality preservice clinical experiences, including teaching assistant initiatives that facilitate the pathway to the teaching credential for those with paraprofessional experience; and provide mentoring of teacher candidates by exemplary teachers, which substantially increases interaction between the institution’s faculty and new teachers and school site and district administrators in high-need LEAs or hard-to-staff schools to support and retain teachers.

Last Modified: 08/03/2022