The Director shall establish a clearinghouse, in collaboration with 4-year institutions of higher education (including applicable graduate schools and academic departments), and industries and Federal agencies that employ science-trained personnel, to share program elements used in successful professional science master’s degree programs and other advanced degree programs related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Director shall make the clearinghouse of program elements developed under paragraph (1) available to institutions of higher education that are developing professional science master’s degree programs.
(1) Programs authorized
The Director shall award grants to 4-year institutions of higher education to facilitate the institutions’ creation or improvement of professional science master’s degree programs that may include linkages between institutions of higher education and industries that employ science-trained personnel, with an emphasis on practical training and preparation for the workforce in high-need fields.
A 4-year institution of higher education desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Director may require. The application shall include—
(A)a description of the professional science master’s degree program that the institution of higher education will implement;
(B)a description of how the professional science master’s degree program at the institution of higher education will produce individuals for the workforce in high-need fields;
(C)the amount of funding from non-Federal sources, including from private industries, that the institution of higher education shall use to support the professional science master’s degree program; and
(D)an assurance that the institution of higher education shall encourage students in the professional science master’s degree program to apply for all forms of Federal assistance available to such students, including applicable graduate fellowships and student financial assistance under titles IV and VII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq., 1133 et seq. [and 42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.]).
The Director shall give preference in making awards to 4-year institutions of higher education seeking Federal funding to create or improve professional science master’s degree programs, to those applicants—
(A)located in States with low percentages of citizens with graduate or professional degrees, as determined by the Bureau of the Census, that demonstrate success in meeting the unique needs of the corporate, non-profit, and government communities in the State, as evidenced by providing internships for professional science master’s degree students or similar partnership arrangements; or
(B)that secure more than two-thirds of the funding for such professional science master’s degree programs from sources other than the Federal Government.
(4) Number of grants; time period of grants
(A) Number of grants
Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Director shall award grants under paragraph (1) to a maximum of 200 4-year institutions of higher education.
(B) Time period of grants
Grants awarded under this section shall be for one 3-year term. Grants may be renewed only once for a maximum of 2 additional years.
(5) Evaluation and reports
(A) Development of performance benchmarks
Prior to the start of the grant program, the Director, in collaboration with 4-year institutions of higher education (including applicable graduate schools and academic departments), and industries and Federal agencies that employ science-trained personnel, shall develop performance benchmarks to evaluate the pilot programs assisted by grants under this section.
For each year of the grant period, the Director, in consultation with 4-year institutions of higher education (including applicable graduate schools and academic departments), and industries and Federal agencies that employ science-trained personnel, shall complete an evaluation of each program assisted by grants under this section. Any program that fails to satisfy the performance benchmarks developed under subparagraph (A) shall not be eligible for further funding.
Not later than 180 days after the completion of an evaluation described in subparagraph (B), the Director shall submit a report to Congress that includes—
(i)the results of the evaluation; and
(ii)recommendations for administrative and legislative action that could optimize the effectiveness of the pilot programs, as the Director determines to be appropriate.
The Higher Education Act of 1965, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(D), is Pub. L. 89–329, Nov. 8, 1965, 79 Stat. 1219. Title IV of the Act is classified generally to subchapter IV (§ 1070 et seq.) of chapter
28 of Title
20, Education, and part C (§ 2751 et seq.) of subchapter
I of chapter
34 of this title. Title VII of the Act is classified generally to subchapter VII (§ 1133 et seq.) of chapter
28 of Title
20. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section
1001 of Title
20 and Tables.
Section was enacted as part of the America COMPETES Act, also known as the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.
For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 7001 ofPub. L. 110–69, set out as a note under section
1862o of this title.
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