A small grants program has funded such projects as a series of “Great Conversations” aimed at preserving the history of black Tuscaloosans in the civil rights struggle; a program that involves teachers and students in preserving the monarch butterfly; an experimental method of teaching algebra at the college level; a computer system designed to study species distribution in Alabama waterways; and an early-detection program designed to reduce the incidence of breast cancer among low-income women living in Tuscaloosa.

Grant proposals must include participants from at least two of the participating institutions. Eligible projects may include curriculum development, research, public service, and educational or cultural activities. Priority will be given to projects that will have a demonstrable positive impact on the Tuscaloosa community and/or promote cooperation among consortium members.

In addition to the grants program, the participants have engaged in joint curriculum development designed to enhance program availability for all students. Joint honors courses for Stillman and UA students, a collaborative RN/BSN program between Shelton State and UA, and collaborative summer study-abroad programs are a few examples of these highly successful joint ventures.

We believe this partnership of a public flagship research university, an historically black college, and a community college — all in a single community — is truly unique.

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The three institutions that make up the Consortium for Higher Education are The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College and Stillman College