Miami Dade College and Florida International University to Receive Combined $3 Million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Miami, July 7, 2020 Miami Dade College (MDC) and Florida International University (FIU) have been awarded grants totaling $3 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand support to humanities students at MDC who transfer to FIU, as well as strengthening faculty and staff collaborations between the two institutions.

The Making Diversity Meaningful in the Humanities: An MDC-FIU Pathway Partnership was first established in 2017 with grants totaling $2.5 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The new grant, titled The Humanities Edge: An MDC-FIU Pathway Partnership will enhance support structures for students on the MDC-to-FIU path, attract more students to humanities fields through direct workforce preparation and career opportunities, foster additional collaboration and professional development between MDC and FIU faculty, and reinforce the importance of diverse humanities scholarship and application to safeguard democratic values.

This continued partnership adds several new areas of focus. New components include the creation of an MDC cohort of humanities majors mentored throughout the academic year up through the Summer Bridge Program hosted at FIU; both institutions implementing Peer Writing Mentorship programs; Collaborative Academic Student Exchanges; Career Development curriculum around ethnographies of work at FIU; Faculty Development Seminars on best practices in humanities pedagogy and research; Undergraduate Research Conferences; career fairs; and the development of a digital archive as a repository for the Humanities Edge work. The new grant will once again facilitate two residential summer bridge programs that provide students with intensive exposure to humanities research and writing; faculty-led curriculum alignment across MDC and FIU; academic and job skill experience through paid research fellowships with MDC and FIU faculty; and internship opportunities at campus departments, museums, and archives.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s mission is to “strengthen, promote, and defend the centrality of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse, fair, and democratic societies.”  As the nation’s largest funder in the humanities, the Foundation’s award of $1.4 million to MDC and $1.6 to FIU, under the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities program, is part of a special initiatives area for Community College-University Partnerships.

About MDC
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 174 nations and 69 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others. MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences. It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs. MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception. The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system. MDC has admitted more than 2,000,000 students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. More than 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit  

About FIU
Florida International University is Miami’s public research university, focused on student success. According to U.S. News and World Report, FIU has 44 top-50 rankings in the nation among public universities. FIU is a top U.S. research university (R1), with more than $200 million in annual expenditures. FIU ranks 15th in the nation among public universities for patent production, which drives innovation, and is one of the institutions that helps make Florida the top state for higher education. The Next Horizon fundraising campaign is furthering FIU’s commitment to providing students Worlds Ahead opportunities. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers, and supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA, with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. The university has awarded more than 330,000 degrees to many leaders in South Florida and beyond. For more information about FIU, visit

FIU Media contact: Morgan Hughes, 305-348-2716,