ECMC Awards BHEF Grant to Launch a Faculty Innovation Fellowship


October 18, 2023; Washington DC — The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a generous grant from the ECMC Foundation. The grant, totaling $687,500, will support a faculty innovation fellowship that provides faculty with the tools, resources, and space to innovate and align programs and curricula with industry. 

This fellowship builds on a previous effort, supported by the ECMC Foundation, in which BHEF worked closely with faculty on partnering with industry to design a digital generalist program in Connecticut. 

As colleges and universities pursue stronger partnerships with industry, faculty must not only be responsive, but also agents of change on their campuses. BHEF's Faculty Innovation Fellows will be prepared to pursue new employer partnerships and design industry-informed curriculum and credentials. They will also gain the leadership and change management skills necessary to successfully implement innovative practices beyond their classroom. 

"This fellowship will leverage BHEF’s content and scaling expertise, as well as its business and higher education members and strategic partners," said Jennifer Thornton, vice president of programs at BHEF. "As colleges and universities seek more industry alignment and better outcomes for students, this grant will equip faculty to navigate institutional systems to advance institutional transformation and industry responsiveness." 

Full-time faculty from BHEF’s member and partner institutions will be eligible for the followship based on their interest in advancing innovative practices, desire for industry alignment within higher education, commitment to learning and sharing insights, and support from their leadership.  These institutions include community colleges, four-year public and four-year private institutions around the country. 

The ECMC Foundation is known for its work to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation, making their continued support particularly meaningful to BHEF. Their generosity will further BHEF’s ability to create pathways between higher education and the workforce. 

For more information about the fellowship and how to become a Faculty Innovation Fellow, contact Candace Williams, Director of Regional Initiatives, at

About the Business-Higher Education Forum
The Business-Higher Education Forum is a 45-year-old nonprofit membership organization that connects higher education institutes to business talent demand. Corporate CEOs and university presidents join BHEF to anticipate skill needs and improve pathways between higher education and workforce. For more information, visit

About ECMC Foundation
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments to remove barriers to postsecondary completion; build the capacity of organizations, institutions and systems; and transform the postsecondary ecosystem using a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to support both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation’s vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting and ECMC Group by visiting