Missouri State received a $4 million grant — the largest collaborative grant in its history — to expand and improve computer science education programs in rural schools near Springfield.

The university was one of more than 1,000 applicants, but only 20 were selected by the U.S. Department of Education.

The five-year grant will begin with a 2021 Summer Launch for Teachers.

Initially, the university will partner with the following school districts: Ava, Bradleyville, Crane, Logan-Rogersville, Mansfield, Marshfield, Nixa, Osceola, Skyline, Springfield, Warsaw and West Plains. In Springfield, Delaware Elementary will be served.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, is chair of the appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies, which pushed for $65 million for science, technology, engineering and math or STEM programs with an emphasis on increasing access for rural schools.