SUBJECT: Minority College Relations Program Best Practices


The first Executive Order that advocated outreach and assistance to culturally diverse institutions of higher education (IHEs) was signed by the President in 1978. In 1986 the Congress passed the first legislation, and the President signed it into law, a Federal procurement law (10 USC 2323) crafted to ensure that a fair share of contract awards (similar to those afforded non-minority IHEs) were awarded by Federal agencies to these IHEs.

Since 1986, there have been several Executive Orders and Federal statutory requirements, which establish guidelines and procedures on how to stimulate, strengthen, and expand the capacity of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Servicing Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCUs) and other minority institutions (OMIs)—such as Asian Pacific Americans and Alaska Americans educational institutions. More specifically, the intent of these White House Initiatives on IHEs, charge Federal agencies to include military services to increase opportunities for HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and OMIs to participate in and benefit from federal programs; establish an annual goal for the amount of funds to be awarded to grants, contracts, or cooperative agreement; and assist the IHEs to access federally funded programs. Also, it requires that senior level executives of each agency have oversight in implementing the statutory requirements governing partnerships with IHEs. This includes facilitating the attainment of goal setting—plans to assist and the submission of performance reports.

Annual goal: Federal agencies set annual goals for the amount of funds to be awarded to culturally diverse institutions. Consistent with the funds available to the agency, the goal should be an amount above the actual amount of previous fiscal year and should represent a substantial effort to increase the amount available to culturally diverse IHEs for grants, contracts, and/or cooperative agreements.

Annual reports: Annual performance reports and intent to assist reports documenting the agency's effort to increase the ability of culturally diverse institutions to participate in Federally-sponsored programs are due annually to the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD). These reports should include annual performance indicators and appropriate measurable objectives, as well as address barriers impeding the access of IHEs to funding opportunities and participation in Federal programs.


The Outreach and Special Emphasis Program (O/SEP) office evaluated several DOD agencies' MCRP in an effort to highlight the best practices and identify any barriers; impeding the access of culturally diverse IHEs from gaining opportunities to participate in government funded programs and/or shortfall within each agencies program. The O/SEP office took a look at several organizations which include the following:

  • Military services:
    • Departments of the Army
  • Federal/Defense agencies:
    • Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence Program of the Director of National Intelligence

Overall, each of these organizations has made great strides to be in compliance with the White Initiatives on culturally diverse educational institutions and Federal statutory requirements. Each has cast a broader net to expand and increase the potential for minority students to come to work at their perspective agencies by partnering with HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and OMIs. Such partnerships have been made through sponsorship of the following employment programs, (i.e. fellowships, traineeships, internships, and recruitment.) Working in concert and collaborating with their respective organizations' Civilian Personnel offices has played a vital role in fortifying these organizations readiness to meet the challenges of the future, while strengthening and expanding their diverse pool of candidates and recruitment programs.

Moreover, each organizations has developed a strong working relations with the Small Disadvantaged and Utilization Business (SABU) office, in order to develop long term strategic partnerships with the HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and OMIs through technical assistance conferences and cluster and industry fora sponsored by the DOD, IHEs and OMIs.


For the most part, each of the organizations has experienced the same impediments. Below are the top 7 issues:

  1. Lack of support, involvement and buy-in of top and/or senior management;
  2. Lack of organizational guidelines to set aside seed money for R&D, products and services, which are critical to national security;
  3. Lack of marketing in order to educate and nurture long term partnerships with IHEs and clearly define goals and expectations;
  4. Lack of understanding of the capabilities and the strength in tapping into the resources of IHEs;
  5. Lack of including global coverage and academic inclusion as a vital necessity for specific goals and objectives within each organization;
  6. Lack of exploring technology exchanges that will lead to the enhancement of educational, research, and economic development ventures; and
  7. Lack of organization interactions and support through conferences, seminars, industry clusters, etc.



Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence Program
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

A. Overview of the Intelligence Community (IC) Best Practices:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Program was established to assist in meeting the nation's demand for a cadre of intelligence professionals with critical skills to carry out America's national security imperatives over the long-term. ODNI human capital initiatives include: (1) developing and implementing a coordinated, Community-wide college recruiting campaign that maximizes their ability to meet mission-critical skills requirements (including the need for more intelligence analysts and linguists), as well as and to implement a comprehensive strategy for ensuring that, to help advance the Nation's effectiveness in their vital work. Thus, ODNI reaches out to recruiting people of all backgrounds and experiences and providing equal opportunity hiring and advancement in the workplaces; (2) establishing methods, mechanisms, and incentives to ensure more "joint" assignments across the Community, at senior levels and as part of a Community-wide leadership development "pipeline;" (3) extending pay flexibilities afforded some members of the IC (like the FBI's authority to offer higher pay to attract and attain senior intelligence professionals) to the entire community; and (4) ensuring a consistent and equitable approach to enhancing and modernizing the IC's various civilian compensation systems that takes past and present efforts in DHS, DOD, and CIA into account-including their lessons learned. Therefore, over the past several years, the IC has pay close attention to recruiting personnel with the foreign language skills and abilities to work with people of varying ethnicities, religions, and social backgrounds in order to allow the IC to penetrate and analyze the cultures of critical intelligence targets.

On the training and education, the IC created a National Intelligence University (NIU) System to integrate training, education, and related research efforts across the Community. In addition to coordinating the work of training and education elements across the IC, have built a network of partnerships beyond the Community, with Federal education institutions and broader academic world. The University also leads the development of a Community "lessons learned" process, a key recommendation that Congress adopted after 9/11, and an unprecedented development for the IC.

Emphasis is on partnerships that build talent and feeder pools aligned with the IC core mission requirements during the 21st Century. Recognizing that accomplishing this goal requires a competitive, knowledgeable and ethnically diverse workforce, the IC CAE Program aims to increase the pool of eligible diverse applicants in core skills areas, specifically targeting women and racial/ethnic minorities with varied cultural backgrounds, regional and geographical expertise, skills, language proficiency, and related competencies. Grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements awarded under this program provides support, resources and grants to competitively selected universities and colleges to promote the institutionalization of the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence Program.

Achievement of 21st Century U.S. National Security Imperatives and Intelligence Community mission requirements to: (1) develop IC-wide systemic/integrated approaches that develop eligible talent by establishing long-term academic relationships/partnerships with accredited academic institutions to build curricula in disciplines that align with IC core skills and competencies; (2) institutionalize academic outreach, ensure coherence, joint-ness and continuity across IC agencies and components; (3) develop diverse feeder pools in critical/core functions with emphasis on women and ethnic/racial minorities who possess diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, skills, languages' proficiency and related expertise; and (4) institutionalize the DNI's focus on people that "builds a workforce prepared for 21st Century challenges."

The Intelligence Community is comprised of executive branch agencies and/or components of the federal government specifically focused on national security issues and policy including homeland security. The Intelligence Community comprises many such organizations including components in the Department of Defense. (Note: ODNI compromises of 17 Federal agencies to include the military intelligence commands.)

The IC CAE Program institutions develop critical skills and competencies that focus on three up to five of the areas and/or disciplines. Each participating college or university can select from this list and/or negotiate other disciplines to help meet the goals of the IC CAE Program mission. Participating institutions must sponsor pre-collegiate/high school outreach in its geographic locality. The emphasis is to market the IC as an employer of choice, build awareness about IC career choices and promote a positive image of public service. The IC CAE Program is focused on building long-term partnerships with academic institutions during the 21st Century in support of America's National Security Imperatives.

Primary Critical Skill Sets/Competencies

Information Technology Specialists
Project managers
Computer specialists
Systems research
Software applications
Software specialists
Electronic Data Optimization
Cyber Security
Political/Economic Specialists
Foreign/Regional Area specialists
Military specialists
Geospatial specialists
International business/finance/banking
Language Specialists
Middle Eastern
Far Eastern
World Languages
Threat Specialists
Counter Proliferation
Criminal Justice
Law Enforcement
Homeland Security
Risk Analysis
Scientific/Technical Specialists
Nuclear specialists
Technical weapons
Geospatial specialists
Imagery specialists
Information security

Specific General Competencies for Intelligence Professionals

Analytical Reasoning
Critical Thinking
Communications (oral and written)
Mathematical Reasoning
Project Management
Knowledge Management
Consequence Management
Time Management
Research, developing rational conclusions and alternative solutions from ambiguity and limited data sets
Political Strategy
Team Building/Team Work
Futuristic Focus/Strategy
Establishing Priorities
Government(s) Operations
People Skills

B. Goals and Purpose of the ODNI IC CAE Program

The goals of the ODNI IC CAE Program are to:

  • Develop relationships at universities and colleges with Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence in support of national security imperatives; then institutionalize the IC CAE Program.
  • Provide support, resources and grants to competitively selected universities and colleges to promote the institutionalization of the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence Program.
  • Identify, coordinate and provide technical assistance in the design, revision, development and implementation of the IC CAE Program.
  • Perform oversight, implement evaluation measures and document results on the efficacy of the IC CAE Program.

The purpose of the ODNI IC CAE Program is to:

  • Achieve 21st Century United States Intelligence National Security Imperatives
  • Diversify workforce in core business areas
  • Build competitive talent and feeder pools over the long-term to counter trans-national, regional, languages/cultural, technological and global threats to America's interests
  • Institutionalize a systematic/integrated approach that promotes access to larger pools of eligible and diverse talent during the 21st Century
  • Unify approaches to build joint-ness and reinvigorate Intelligence Community (IC)-wide corporate efforts
  • Promote continuity of IC-wide human capital strategy in concert with the President's Strategic Management of Human Capital Agenda

C. Grants Awarded under the ODNI IC CAE Program

The purpose of this grant is to establish IC CAEs through the initiation of new programs and/or the support of existing programs at accredited institutions of higher learning across the United States. Through the grant, a partnership is forged between the ODNI, Intelligence Community, colleges and universities to incorporate curriculum and related initiatives. The primary focus of this effort is to: (1) increase the pipeline of competitive diverse applicants to attract, recruit and hire with an emphasis on women and racial/ethnic populations with critical skills in core mission and leadership areas; (2) support academic institutions in designing, re-tooling and developing disciplines aligned with IC core mission requirements and bring attention to potential research compatible with IC needs; (3) develop competitive talent with emphasis on cultural immersion, area studies and languages' proficiency; and (4) develop and implement pre-collegiate high school outreach to broaden awareness about the IC agencies and components, careers and scholarship opportunities.



Department of the Army (DA)

The Army's effort to provide global coverage for its soldiers and the warfighters are relevant in accomplishing its mission. In an effort to continue to exploit the Army as its world-wide status—as an Army that is "Relevant and Ready," and as the pioneers and innovator, the Army has boldly expanded the frontiers in the minority college relations arena. This was evident, when the Army's MCRP was recently recognized as the "best minority college relations program" in DOD for FY02 by the Small Disadvantage and Business Utilization Office.

The Historically Black Colleges/Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCUs/MIs) are a source of accomplishment and great pride for the African American community and the Nation. The Army initiated its HBCU/MI program in 1987 in response to Public Law 99-661, section 1207. This particular section outlined the 5% contract goal for minorities for contracts and subcontracts entered into with Small Business Concerns, HBCU and MI in Fiscal Years 1987, 1988 and 1989. The goal for contracting was applicable to funds obligated for procurement, research, development, test, evaluation, military construction and operation and maintenance. Since implementing the contracting goal the Army has successfully provided more than $176.7M in program support to HBCU/MI. The Army has worked diligently to strengthen the relationship between the Army Laboratories and Research Centers and the HBCU/MI community.

Thus, the objective of the Army's HBCU/MI is to address the projected shortfall of scientists and engineers among the diverse populations of the 21st century, leverage HBCU/MI technical capabilities to fulfill Army requirements, and expand the involvement of HBCU/MIs in ongoing research within the Army. The Army presently has education partnerships with six HBCU/MIs.

More importantly, the Army understands that science and technology have been and will remain the engines of economic growth and national security in the United States. In addition, the Army understands that excellence in discovery and innovation in science and engineering are the direct result of a well educated workforce. It is a workforce that is being challenged by two trends: the global competition for science and engineering talent that impacts the pool of available scientists and engineers (S&Es) available in the U.S.; and the declining number of native-born S&E graduates entering the workforce. The Army's outreach effort is poised to intervene and improve the success in educating S&E students from all demographic groups, especially those that have been historically underrepresented in S&E careers.

In order to effectively address the science, mathematics, and engineering (SME) challenges facing our nation, the Army and others in the technical and academic arena have identified several prevailing national SME issues and concerns:

  • There is a lack of interest by students nationwide in SME at all grade levels.
  • Many teachers have poor qualifications and little interest in teaching science and math subjects.
  • There is a high dropout rate from students in S&E disciplines during their freshman year of college.
  • The future workforce and military are unprepared for a world filled with science, math, engineering, and technology.
  • Finally, a technical edge is required for our nation to remain globally competitive in the future.

In addition to the issues and concerns above, the Department of Defense (DoD) faces significant recruiting challenges:

  • DoD needs to hire more than 14,000 scientists and engineers over the next few years.
  • The pool of qualified candidates for DoD science and technology positions is shrinking.
  • More than half of science and engineering graduates from American universities are foreign nationals and are largely ineligible for employment by federal agencies.
  • Fewer American students are entering science and technology fields than in previous years.
  • DoD must compete with the private sector and other agencies for eligible talent.

With these national concerns and challenges in mind, the Army has made a corporate commitment to help develop the next generation of Army scientists and engineers by establishing a strategic outreach program (OP) with the key Army's offices. The OP was expressly designed to address the projected shortfall of scientists and engineers among diverse populations of the 21st Century, to leverage technical capabilities of academia (including HBCU/MIs) to fulfill the Army requirements, and to expand the involvement of HBCU/MIs in ongoing research at ARL. The objective of the Army's OP is to develop and execute programs that provide learning and teaching aids, incentives, and rewards for students and teachers while ensuring opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged students.

The Army recognizes that the pool of available talent is diverse. To accomplish our mission, the Army takes pride in attracting the finest from all corners of the world, while providing cutting edge education and research opportunities to highly accomplished U.S. ethnic minorities in science and engineering academic programs. The Army's OP is a cohesive and comprehensive group of initiatives expressly designed to introduce the nation's youth to science, mathematics, and engineering through Army led technical activities, engagement of students and faculty in research through a lab based research experience, and expose students to technical career opportunities within Army laboratories.

Furthermore, the Army has long recognized that a scientifically and technologically literate citizenry is our nation's best hope for a secure, rewarding, and successful future. For over 50 years, the Army has supported a wide range of educational opportunities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology for our youth and their teachers.

Our nation's economy has greatly benefited from the technological achievements of the last century and is destined for greater achievements throughout the 21st century. Science, mathematics, engineering, and technology will continue to play a dominant role in all aspects of everyday life. For this reason, the Army has created the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), which greatly expands and integrates an array of Army educational opportunities for the future generations of America's workforce and their teachers.

The AEOP is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. From kindergarten through graduate school, students of all proficiency levels, interests, and ethnic, economic, and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in real world experiences involving these important disciplines. Programs and events involve interactive activities and knowledgeable mentors; school visits; neighborhood activities; and community science fairs. Engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and technology experts act as mentors and guides to introduce students to various levels of research and engineering and provide advice on career opportunities and training.

In AEOP, high school students can choose from a wide range of educational challenges such as the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. For those in grades 6-9 who prefer cyberspace, eCYBERMISSION is an inclusive Web-based science, mathematics, and technology competition with significant monetary awards for small teams of students who are interested in open-ended challenges that are relevant and linked to their community. Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS), The Science and Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP), the Uninitiates' Introduction to Engineering (UNITE), and the Research and Engineering Apprentice Program (REAP) provide hands-on internships to pre-college students, each program tailored to a different age and interest. Materials World Modules enables students and teachers from middle to high school to experience science through the process of self-discovery. AEOP programs are also available for college undergraduate and graduate students that include extensive scholarship opportunities available at numerous institutions across the country. Taking advantage of these numerous educational opportunities available in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology will ensure that America will continue to maintain its technological leadership in a globally competitive world.

A. Overview of the Army's Best Practices

Realigned the MCRP goals to conform to the Secretary of the Army strategic priorities. The Army goals relate to developing science, technology, and engineer capabilities that support the Global War on Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Transformation to include Force Manning. This was accomplished by: matching minority institutions of higher education (IHEs) research capabilities with Army program requirements. This goal relates to the Army emphasis on research and development and transformation; improving the participation rate of Army key components "senior leadership" attending the MCRP technical assistance workshop as well as Army key component implementing MCRPs; increasing the number of minority institutions participating in the Army's research programs, especially the smaller institutions; encouraging greater minority institutions participation in Army funded programs through technical assistance workshops, campus visits and other outreach activities; championing the Army as a model employer for scientists and engineers; increasing utilization of minority IHEs set-aside and subcontracting opportunities to enhance the participation of minority colleges and universities in key Army programs focusing on math, science, and engineering activities; and maintaining a positive and productive relationship with affinity groups and organizations.

B. Research and Development – Awards/Grants

  • Instituted five (5) HBCUs Battlefield Capability Enhancement Centers of Excellence. The Centers are: Intelligence Sensor Fusion, located at Tennessee State University (TSU); Environmentally Stable Flexible, located at North Carolina A&T University (NC A&T); Flexible Extremities Protection, located at Tuskegee University (TU); Human Centric C2 and Decision Making, located in NC A&T University; and Digital Battlefield Communication; located in Prairie View A&M University. (Note: These Centers are: (1) executed via cooperative agreement; (2) HBCU/MI led with TRADOC battle lab collaboration; (3) focused on rapid transition of basic research; (4) 5-year duration; (5) $500K/year efforts; and (6) three out of four of the universities attend at least two MCRP workshops):
  • DA received Congressional funded for breast and prostate cancer research program. This was the "first time ever" that a military service received Congressional funding for a Congressional directed medical research project. This program has enhanced the DOD through investment in military research infrastructure, improved quality of life for military personnel and their family members, and positive public relations for the DOD;
  • Awarded contract to Institute of American Indian Arts for development of a logo for the Army EEO/CR office;
  • Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL). Awarded a contract to design and implement a multi-purpose geographic information system (GIS) – a partnership to benefit Army COE and the Caddo Indian Nation Binger Oklahoma. The GIS contract assisted the Caddo Nation's characterization of aboriginal homeland including Ft. Polk, Louisiana; and
  • Awarded contract to Salish Kootenai College, Montana for performing archeological and records management services;
  • Awarded a contract to North Carolina A&T University for environmental services;
  • Awarded a contract to University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, for software development; and
  • Awarded a contract to New Mexico State University for analyzing water flows at Tooele Army Depot, a JMC installation located in Utah.

C. Training/Recruitment:

  • Conducting Lean Six Sigma Training at colleges and universities for the Army ROTCs;
  • Assisted TCUs in developing and implementing four-year degree programs in engineering and science. This initiative will affect over 1,000 students at the TCUs. This was accomplished through White House Iniatitive Office of TCUs.
  • Army Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps (JROTC) Program. Established an educational and professional opportunities that directly supports American Indiana in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. Within the Army JROTC program, there are a total of 10 programs throughout Dakotas and Montana. Of those programs, four service the American Indian population with an approximated cadet enrollment of 160;
  • Under the Summer Faculty and Student Program, the Army hired 10 faculty members and a host of college students from various culturally diverse IHEs to work on special projects during the summer break. A number of faculty and students has benefit from this program. The Army Joint Munitions Command reported that as of 2002, more than 140 students from 34 different colleges and universities have participate in this program, working at twelve different sites stretching from New York to California.
  • At the Army's Headquarters level, the Army has invested a large amount of resources in the HBCUs business and industry clusters. The DA partnership with the HBCUs business and industry cluster is a collaboration of progressive educators and astute business persons to provide quality programs and experiences to student, faculty, colleges and universities Presidents and Chancellors. These partnerships resulted in a number of gains for the colleges and universities, as well as the DA. Such as: (1) provided access to students, faculty and staff for the purpose of fulfilling company training, employment and research goals and initiatives; (2) develops effective lines of communication and networking with appropriate programs and personnel; (3) find effective means for fulfilling its commitment to higher education; (4) gain support for academic programs and student develop; (5) access to industry's expertise and resources; (6) enhance the colleges and universities capabilities for providing students with practical experience and first hand knowledge regarding the expectations of the workplace; and (7) gain tremendous assistance in maintaining its status as an institution that is on the cutting edge of progressive ideas and innovative initiatives.