UNA Selected to Receive the IIE American Passport Grant
Apr. 20, 2023
FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama has been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive the IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable up to 25 UNA students to obtain a U.S. passport and support their study abroad journeys. In this third year of the program, IIE awarded 48 institutions in the IIENetwork for this opportunity, which will help up to 1,200 Pell-eligible, U.S. students obtain their U.S. passports and start their study abroad journey.
“A passport is the first thing that opens up their world to the possibility of study abroad,” said Courtney Temple, IIE Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.
As a key initiative under IIE’s newly launched Center for Access and Equity, the IIE American Passport Project represents IIE’s commitment to create access to international education opportunities and enable equity. For this program, IIE is removing an initial financial barrier for many – the cost of a U.S. passport; thereby, helping to increase diversity and inclusion of students studying abroad. Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE aims to empower 10,000 U.S. students with their passports by the end of the decade.
“Receiving this grant helps UNA strengthen our culture of global learning by removing a financial barrier for students who wish to participate in international education programs,” said Dr. Butler Cain, Assistant Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of Global Learning. “Passports are pathways to exploration, inspiration, and understanding, and these UNA students will now have a world full of opportunities to pursue.”
Additionally, the grant is intended to support the IIENetwork, IIE’s global membership organization, in assisting students from their respective campuses to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education. The program prioritizes first-year students with limited financial means, for whom this may be their first passport and makes global learning abroad a greater possibility with an earlier start. The awarded institutions will couple the grant funding with their engagement and outreach, advising, programming, and additional support for the students they have identified for this program.
Cain said the UNA Office of International Affairs will begin identifying program-eligible students through the What Will Your Influence Be? Presidential Mentors Academy and will work with campus partners to identify other students, as well. Students will participate in a passport preparation event where they will receive application packets, passport photos, and application instructions.
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/