UPS Foundation Awards Diversity Grant to CIC to Support State Council Initiatives

CIC received a $100,000 grant from the UPS Foundation in July to support collaborative, state-based programs that enhance access to and success in college by first-generation, low-income, and minority students at CIC State Council member institutions. The funding will support First Opportunity Partners projects by the State Councils in Illinois, Minnesota, and North Carolina. The State Councils have six months to raise matching funds for the CIC grants and an additional 12 months to complete their proposed projects.

Eduardo Martinez, president of the UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS, said “The UPS Foundation is honored to continue to support CIC’s efforts to fund diversity programs at private colleges and universities. Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”

The 2018–2019 First Opportunity Partners grants will support three projects:

Associated College of Illinois (ACI) will launch a “Skills for Work, Skills for Life” boot camp that will provide intensive training to underserved students to help with their campus-to-career transition. The camp will include workshops on résumé writing, interviewing, financial literacy, and technology.

Minnesota Private College Fund (MPCF) will expand a program to retain and graduate African American men. Following a proven model that includes intensive mentoring, same-race peers, civic and campus engagement opportunities, and employment training, the program’s first cohort resulted in a 100 percent four-year graduation rate. The CIC grant will allow MPCF to double the size of the program to serve 60–70 students.

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) will increase the number of community college students who complete a bachelor’s degree at North Carolina independent colleges and universities through a reverse transfer initiative that will assess past coursework and award associate degrees to qualified students who transferred before completion of their two-year degree. The project will result in an online portal that will verify data from NCICU, North Carolina Community College System, and National Student Clearinghouse.

Since the inception of the First Opportunity Partners program in 2005, more than $1.5 million has been awarded to fund 48 grant programs. With the anticipated matching funds that grant recipients will raise through 2018–2019, the total economic impact of the First Opportunity Partners grant program will likely surpass $3.3 million.

For more information about CIC’s State Councils grant programs, contact Carol Schuler, vice president for State Council programs, at or view the website.