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The 1890 Universities Foundation is collaborating with the Extension Foundation to implement the Extension Collaborative on Immunization, Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE). Specifically, the 1890 Universities Foundation is serving as a sub-contractor with the Extension Foundation to facilitate participation of 1890 universities in the EXCITE project, which is funded through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The EXCITE project is designed to: 


  1. Address barriers and concerns and increase acceptability about COVID-19, flu and other vaccinations among rural and medically underserved audiences.

  2. Increase connection and communication between targeted communities and health care systems. 

  3. Increase accessibility of local COVID-19, flu, and other adult vaccinations and vaccination clinics. 

  4. Inform CDC, USDA-NIFA, Cooperative Extension, and health partners to implement public health programs to reduce health disparities. 


Activity 1- Vaccinate with Confidence Campaign will provide immunization education to diverse target audiences focusing primarily on messaging for COVID-19 vaccinations and seek to reduce vaccination hesitancy. Activity 1 is non-competitive and open to Extension professionals at all land-grant universities (1862, 1890 and 1994). Seventeen 1890 universities were allocated $26,794 for a one-year project. 


Activity 2 - Immunization Education Pilots will support up to 20 pilots, selected through a competitive process to create and test innovative delivery methods to inform future immunization education methodologies of best practices. Immunization Education Pilots will develop and test messages and learn from the selected communities about how CES, CDC and local health professionals could work together to educate and reach diverse populations for improved adult immunization rates in general. Pilot projects will examine the scope, delivery cost and methods to meet a range of rural and other medically underserved at-risk areas and communities around COVID-19, flu, and other adult vaccinations. Five 1890 universities were selected to serve as project leads, each receiving $200,000 for a two-year project. 


For more information about EXCITE, visit

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