Heritage University awarded five-year $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to expand university’s BSN program and upgrade science labs


Heritage University awarded five-year $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to expand university’s BSN program and upgrade science labs


Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions (DHSI) branch to expand its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and make upgrades to campus science laboratories.

HU Associate Professor Melvin Simoyi, Ph.D. says an expanded BSN program will create a path that allows current working registered nurses to go back to school and earn their four-year degree in nursing. “As hospitals and other healthcare institutions start requiring their nurses to earn a bachelor’s as a condition for employment, this grant will allow Heritage to help the local community and beyond meet a dire need for healthcare professionals, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities locally and globally,” said Dr. Simoyi.

Heritage University President Andrew Sund, Ph.D. is proud of the Heritage faculty that wrote such a thoughtful and comprehensive grant application. “The faculty at Heritage have worked very hard to establish a world-class BSN program at Heritage. This award by the Department of Education to expand the program validates their accomplishments. The grant will allow for a significant expansion of the program resulting in even more highly qualified nurses ready to serve the people of the Valley,” said Dr. Sund.

In addition to the RN to BSN degree pathway development, Heritage University’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) offerings will expand with new laboratories for environmental, health and physical sciences. The existing biology, chemistry and physics laboratories at Heritage will be redesigned and equipped to meet the rigorous demands for effective STEM degree programs instruction.

Dr. Simoyi says the grant will allow Heritage to continue delivering high-quality education to even more students. “Technology doesn’t stand still. Updates and improvements are always required, and we at Heritage have the desire to always keep up with the times to ensure we are delivering the best education possible to our students. We are very grateful to the Dept. of Education for its support to help us build on our successes.”

This new grant will also be used to upgrade the university’s information technology services and enable Heritage to improve institutional data collection and analysis by hiring an institutional research report writer and eventually establishing an Institutional Research Office. This project will also develop a financial literacy course with the goal of establishing the course as a General University Course Requirement (GUCR). Finally, this Title V “SHIRE-FIT” project will provide $1,000 stipends to 10 students every year to participate in research internships as work-based learning experiences.

This $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education which started October 1, 2021, is the second multi-million-dollar award recently announced by Heritage University. Earlier this month, Heritage received a $4.5 million grant, also from the Dept. of Education, to expand STEM studies in the Yakima Valley. For more information, contact Davidson Mance at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu.


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