National Resource Center
In spring 2022, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections was awarded Comprehensive National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants by the U.S. Department of Education. The total award is $2,183,792 for the 2022–2026 cycle. The grant will be managed by LLILAS Director Adela Pineda Franco in the role of Project Director.
The funds will support outreach, program development, and fellowships in line with three central priorities mandated by the Department of Education’s Title VI.
The first priority is to encourage diverse perspectives and meet national needs for Latin American Studies regional and language expertise. NRC funds will support expansion of LLILAS public and scholarly programs for career training, professional school partnerships, and curricular development. They will also support less commonly taught language programs through targeted Benson Collection enrichment and ongoing online language instruction development focused on Portuguese, Quechua, K’iche’, and Nahuatl, including open-source materials. FLAS fellowships will be awarded each academic year and summer to BA, MA, and PhD students. The languages designated by Title VI as high priority for the 2022–2026 cycle include Portuguese, Quechua, Kaqchikel, Guaraní, and Haitian Creole.
The second Title VI priority, teacher training, is designed to bring Latin American Studies content into K–12 classrooms. LLILAS Benson’s initiatives in this area will feature collaborations with the UT College of Education, UTeach, and Hemispheres, UT’s consortium of National Resource Centers.
The third Title VI priority involves partnerships with minority-serving institutions and community colleges, and is designed to internationalize curriculum and elevate the study of Latin America and Latin American languages. NRC funds will support LLILAS Benson’s ongoing collaboration with Hemispheres, Huston-Tillotson University, and Austin Community College to strengthen global studies programs and develop faculty expertise in Latin America. Other key partners include Texas State University, University of Texas at El Paso, University of New Mexico, and University of Arizona.
LLILAS Benson’s grant from the U.S. Department of Education highlights The University of Texas at Austin’s status as home of one of the largest, most dynamic Latin American Studies programs in the country, as well as the Benson’s importance as the hemisphere’s premier academic research library focused on Latin America.