$75,000 Grant Awarded to UNK Construction Management Program

Dr. Ken Larson
construction management coordinator, 308.865.8504

UNK- The University of Nebraska at Kearney is one of only four universities in the nation selected to receive a $75,000 National Housing Endowment (NHE) grant to enhance the construction management program.

UNK was one of 44 universities nationwide that applied for the grant last the fall. The UNK grant request was reviewed and considered a top proposal. After an in-depth review, UNK became one of the final four universities to receive a grant.

“Our application stood out, because dedication to students, not only in the classroom but also in the professional development of our graduates, has long been the philosophical base of the department,” said Dr. Ken Larson, UNK construction management coordinator. “Our ability to document 20 years of innovative curriculum and service to students with the ultimate placement of successful graduates was no doubt a major factor.”

“Without these additional resources, it would be difficult to continue the momentum of this successful program,” said Dr. Larson. Since 1990, when the construction management program was originally established at UNK, the program has grown from 10 to 130 students.

In addition to traditional classroom instruction, the program offers students multiple out-of-class learning opportunities.

“Student organizations, career fairs, internships and industry relations all take considerable time, but contribute to the overall university experience and ultimately to the success of our graduates,” he said.

“The grant money will be used to hire a part-time faculty member to assist with recruiting and program development, which includes increased contact with the construction industry to secure student scholarships and financial assistance,” Dr. Larson said

The grant proposal process included a visit to UNK by Bruce Silver, CEO and president of NHE. Silver conducted an overview of the construction management site by interviewing current students, faculty and administrators, as well as past graduates and industry supporters of the program. Dr. Larson then presented the final proposal to the NHE board in Washington, D.C. The UNK grant proposal was accepted, and the $75,000 grant was officially presented during the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

The H.E.L.P. (Housing Education Leadership Program) grant is designed to assist universities in achieving goals to prepare construction management professionals in the area of residential construction. The National Housing Endowment (NHE) is the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. NHE proposed the H.E.L.P. grant to universities offering bachelor’s degrees in construction management. In all, 11 universities have been awarded H.E.L.P. grants in recent years. This is the first NHE grant for UNK.