Nine public colleges and universities in nine western states will receive William and Flora Hewlett Foundation grants to fund programs to improve the quality of undergraduate education in engineering and to increase the number of engineering graduates.

These Engineering Schools of the West Initiative grants, ranging from $750,000 to $1.1 million, will support programs to increase retention and recruitment efforts, and to improve student learning through better undergraduate teaching.

The nine schools are: Boise State University, Colorado School of Mines, Montana State University, New Mexico State University, Northern Arizona University, Oregon State University, University of Nevada, Reno, University of Utah, and the University of Wyoming.

The three- to five-year grants will support programs ranging from summer projects that target high school students from traditionally underrepresented groups to the development of team-based collaborative learning courses that mirror how engineering is done in industry. Others will develop curricula to help engineering students understand the ethical issues and responsibilities of professional engineers.

The awards are being made in honor of William Hewlett, co-founder of the Hewlett Packard company.