The Trust’s interests in the area of higher education extend to those projects that strengthen institutions and offer innovative learning opportunities to students enrolled in baccalaureate and graduate programs throughout the grant-making region of Iowa and parts of Illinois. Typically, funding is awarded to capital or programmatic initiatives that seek to substantively improve instruction or increase access to educational resources, with the goal of better preparing students for future academic and professional challenges. Projects incorporating interdisciplinary approaches and demonstrating the potential for lasting impact among a diverse range of students are especially encouraged.
A majority of awards in this category have centered on teaching and research in the natural sciences, an area of enduring interest to the Trust. In the belief that a strong background in the sciences is an essential component of a quality undergraduate education, the Trust has funded the development of new facilities and programs devoted to teaching and research in biology, chemistry and related disciplines at several institutions, many of which are making significant investments in this fundamental field of study. For example, a number of grants for the purchase of laboratory instrumentation were awarded to equip new science facilities at various private colleges and universities throughout the state. In addition, programmatic support has been extended to several institutions for the purpose of enhancing science instruction and opportunities for students enrolled in this curriculum.
The Trust also assists in projects designed to enhance the general learning environment for students in this region, often by encouraging the incorporation of educational technology into teaching and research. In addition, the Trust has made contributions to construction projects on a number of campuses, in order to increase or modernize classroom and instructional space, including support for technological and physical improvements at various academic libraries in the region, thereby furthering the Trust's commitment to these venerable campus facilities and the important services they provide to the higher education community.
Finally, with regard to student support, exceptional candidates at all levels of study may receive direct benefit from three funds established by the Carver Trust. Individuals enrolled in graduate programs in the College of Engineering at Mr. Carver’s alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, may apply for financial assistance through the Carver Endowed Fellowships in Engineering program, while another fund provides scholarships to selected undergraduates entering the honors program at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. In Iowa, students beginning their junior year of study at one of 22 private baccalaureate institutions or the state’s three public universities may be eligible for a Carver Scholars award, one of the Trust’s longest-running and most successful grant initiatives. For more information, please refer to the specific section on the Carver Statewide Scholarship Program.