(a) Designating applicable agencies
The Secretary, in consultation with the Executive Director, shall—
(1) identify each Federal agency with which an HBCU—
(A) has entered into a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement; or
(B) is eligible to participate in the programs and initiatives under the jurisdiction of such Federal agency; and
(2) designate each Federal agency so identified as an applicable agency.
(b) Submitting agency plans
Not later than February 1 of each year, the head of each applicable agency shall submit to the Secretary, the Executive Director, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives, and the President's Board of Advisors an annual Agency Plan describing efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to participate or be eligible to participate in the programs and initiatives under the jurisdiction of such applicable agency as described in subsection (a)(1)(B).
(c) Further requirements for submission and accessibility
The Executive Director shall make all annual Agency Plan submissions publicly available online in a user-friendly format.
(d) Agency plan content
Where appropriate, each Agency Plan shall include—
(1) a description of how the applicable agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements;
(2) an identification of Federal programs and initiatives under the jurisdiction of the applicable agency in which HBCUs are underrepresented;
(3) an outline of proposed efforts to improve HBCUs' participation in such programs and initiatives;
(4) a description of any progress made towards advancing or achieving goals and efforts from previous Agency Plans submitted under this section by such applicable agency;
(5) a description of how the applicable agency plans to encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement to improve the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, and to participate in programs and initiatives under the jurisdiction of such agency;
(6) an identification of programs and initiatives not listed in a previous Agency Plan in which an HBCU may participate;
(7) any other information the applicable agency determines is relevant to promoting opportunities to fund, partner, contract, or otherwise interact with HBCUs; and
(8) any additional criteria established by the Secretary or the White House Initiative.
(e) Agency engagement
To help fulfill the objectives of the Agency Plans, the head of each applicable agency—
(1) shall provide, as appropriate, technical assistance and information to the Executive Director to enhance communication with HBCUs concerning the applicable agency's—
(A) programs and initiatives described in subsection (d)(2); and
(B) the preparation of applications or proposals for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements; and
(2) shall appoint a senior official to report directly to the agency head on the applicable agency's progress under this section.
This section was enacted as part of the HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act or the HBCU PARTNERS Act, and not as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 which comprises this chapter.
Findings and Purposes
Pub. L. 116–270, §2, Dec. 31, 2020, 134 Stat. 3325, provided that:
"(1) As many colleges and universities across the country kept their doors closed to African American applicants, historically Black colleges and universities (referred to in this section as 'HBCUs') played a central role in ensuring that African Americans could attain an excellent education.
"(2) Today, HBCUs continue to play a critical role in ensuring that African Americans, and those of all races, can access high-quality educational opportunities.
"(3) HBCUs enroll nearly 300,000 students, an estimated 70 percent of whom come from low-income backgrounds and 80 percent of whom are African American.
"(4) According to the National Association For Equal Opportunity In Higher Education (referred to in this section as 'NAFEO'), HBCUs make up just 3 percent of American institutions of higher education but serve more than a fifth of African American college students.
"(5) According to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (referred to in this section as 'TMCF'), approximately 9 percent of all African American college students attend HBCUs.
"(6) A March 2017 report from the Education Trust concluded that HBCUs have higher completion rates for African American students than other institutions serving similar student populations.
"(7) According to TMCF, 40 percent of African American Members of Congress, 50 percent of African American lawyers, and 80 percent of African American judges are graduates of HBCUs.
"(8) According to NAFEO, HBCUs graduate approximately 50 percent of African American public school teaching professionals.
"(9) According to the United Negro College Fund (referred to in this section as 'UNCF'), African American graduates of HBCUs are almost twice as likely as African Americans who graduated from other institutions to report that their university prepared them well for life.
"(10) According to a study commissioned by UNCF, in 2014, HBCUs generated a total direct economic impact of $14,800,000,000 and created more than 134,000 jobs.
"(11) According to a 2019 report produced by the American Council on Education and UNCF, despite efforts to counter a historical legacy of inequitable funding and notable investments by the Federal Government and many State governments, resource inequities continue to plague HBCUs.
"(1) to strengthen the capacity and competitiveness of HBCUs to fulfill their principal mission of equalizing educational opportunity, as described in section 301(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1051(b));
"(2) to align HBCUs with the educational and economic competitiveness priorities of the United States;
"(3) to provide students enrolled at HBCUs with the highest quality educational and economic opportunities;
"(4) to bolster and facilitate productive interactions between HBCUs and Federal agencies; and
"(5) to encourage HBCU participation in and benefit from Federal programs, grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements."
Pub. L. 116–270, §3, Dec. 31, 2020, 134 Stat. 3326, provided that: "In this Act [see Short Title of 2020 amendment note set out under section 1001 of this title]:
"(A) the Department of Agriculture;
"(B) the Department of Commerce;
"(C) the Department of Defense;
"(D) the Department of Education;
"(E) the Department of Energy;
"(F) the Department of Health and Human Services;
"(G) the Department of Homeland Security;
"(H) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
"(I) the Department of the Interior;
"(J) the Department of Justice;
"(K) the Department of Labor;
"(L) the Department of State;
"(M) the Department of Transportation;
"(N) the Department of Treasury;
"(O) the Department of Veterans Affairs;
"(P) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
"(Q) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
"(R) the National Science Foundation;
"(S) the Small Business Administration; and
"(T) any other Federal agency designated as an applicable agency under section 4 [enacting this section].
"(A) the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as designated by the President; or
"(B) if no such Executive Director is designated, such person as the President may designate to lead the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.