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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative
Fund Code: 105

Purpose: The purpose of this competitive grant program is to provide start-up support to districts to create a comprehensive approach to college and career readiness through the creation and integration of activities that mutually support both academic and workplace readiness goals. The program offers two years of funding, with up to a year to create a plan, and then an implementation phase upon completion of the plan, so that participating districts can launch their plans. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) intends the awardees to serve as demonstration sites, knowing that effective practices are needed in all districts to scale up efforts to prepare all students for success after high school.

In January 2012 the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) convened the state's Task Force for Integrating College and Career Readiness (ICCR). The Task Force was charged with finding actionable, scalable steps that the Department could take to better prepare students for successful careers. In conversations with the state's leading educators, employers, and academic and labor experts, the Task Force affirmed the need for the Commonwealth to bring a renewed focus on career readiness education and to fully understand both college and career readiness as essential components of preparation for postsecondary success. In the meetings, the Task Force identified strategic and targeted changes that the Department can implement to improve the delivery of career readiness education in Massachusetts, all of which build on and complement our existing policy and program delivery infrastructure. The recommendations made by the Task Force are focused on promoting what works, and on partnering with integral stakeholders to produce a career ready workforce that will drive Massachusetts's economy for decades to come.

The ICCR Task Force Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document recommendations "stem from the core knowledge that students who are able to gain experience and exposure to the world of work while in high school are better prepared to persist in and complete a postsecondary education and success in pursuing livable wage careers." The Task Force also concluded that offering students the knowledge and skills of careers and the workplace lend essential context and relevancy to their education experiences.

This Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative grant program is specifically focused on the ICCR Task Force recommendation to "incentivize schools to create and demonstrate comprehensive career readiness strategies." The grant program will support school districts to implement the ICCR recommendations at the local level and demonstrate to educators and the general public what a fully integrated approach to college and career readiness looks like. The grant supports school districts' implementation of the core principles of the ICCR report:
  • Increase college and career planning
  • Improve the utilization of school counselors
  • Adopt an expanded MassCore framework to include career readiness activities
  • Implement career-readiness standards assessments
  • Identify and expand employer partnerships


One of the purposes of this grant is to support and weave together a number of state initiatives, including but not limited to: Race to the Top (in particular MassCore expansion and the use of the Mass Model for School Counseling), the Gateway Cities Career Academies grant, the Pathways to Prosperity project, the MassGrad Initiative (High School Graduation Initiative), and the Connecting Activities grant.

This grant opportunity is intended to support districts to be more "student-centered" in their approach, including opportunities for students to: develop a postsecondary plan, have authentic learning experiences outside the traditional classroom environment, and play a leadership role in the development of an integrated academic and career readiness system. The overarching goal of the grant program is to use this student-centered approach to fuel districts' in their work to simultaneously promote student engagement, enhance academic achievement, support social-emotional development, and provide workplace readiness skills that will lead to more students graduating from high school that are ready for postsecondary success.
Priorities: The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) is to strengthen the Commonwealth's public education system so that every student is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, compete in the global economy, and understand the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, and in so doing, to close all proficiency gaps.

The Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative grant program serves to address the Department's priority to strengthen curriculum, instruction, and assessment and the overall Department goal of ensuring all students are prepared for success after high school.

The Department's ability to achieve this mission depends crucially on the quality of our public school districts and partners, which educate the children of the Commonwealth. The Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative grant program serves to strengthen capacity by supporting implementation of the Department's District Standards and Indicators Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  (in particular, the District Standard of Curriculum and Instruction).

This grant program also serves to strengthen capacity by supporting implementation of the Department's Conditions for School Effectiveness Download PDF document  Download MS WORD document   - in particular the conditions of "Aligned curriculum" and "Effective instruction."

This grant covers two phases of work: a planning phase and an implementation phase. All applicants must propose activities for each phase. The planning phase must be complete by June 30, 2014; however the exact length of the planning phase is the discretion of the applicant. At the end of the Planning Phase participating districts will submit a complete plan for the Implementation Phase, including the activities, timeline, and budget.

Funding priority will be given to districts that:
  • Provide a thorough self-assessment of current activities (Note: The Department expects to select applicants with a range of "starting places" with this work.)
  • Describe a robust planning phase (length of which will be determined by the application, to take place during at least part of 2013-14 school year) that will lead to the launch of an implementation phase during the grant period that includes the practices described below
  • Provide thoughtful and appropriate goals, objectives, and self-assessment activities related to the grant implementation
  • Have a timeline and budget that are appropriate and aligned with the planned activities
District and school practices to be expanded or started during the grant's implementation phase:
  • Working towards all students (including English language learners, students with disabilities, and students at-risk for dropping out):
    • Participate in career readiness activities starting at Grade 7 (see the Career Readiness Continuum document under "Additional Resources" for more information) in order to promote student engagement, enhance academic achievement, and provide workplace readiness skills
    • Use the MA Work-Based Learning Plan when participating in workplace experiences to set goals and assess learning
    • Participate in the development of an "Individual Learning Plan" (ILP) for all students, including the use of YourPlanForTheFuture, Massachusetts' no-cost, one-stop online shop for students, parents, and educators designed to help Massachusetts students manage their educational and career pathways
    • Have the opportunity to complete MassCore, the Massachusetts recommended high school program of studies, that also integrates career readiness activities to promote student engagement, enhance academic achievement, and provide workplace readiness skills
    • Play an active leadership role in the development and evaluation of an integrated academic and career readiness system
  • Develop/expand and maintain partnerships with employers and local workforce development agencies to enhance college and career readiness programming
  • Implement the Massachusetts School Counseling Model (Mass Model) at the high school level at a minimum
  • Create/expand and maintain collaborative team time for teachers to work on the integration of academic and career-related curricula
Grants will be provided to school districts that can demonstrate a commitment to implementing a comprehensive approach to college and career readiness strategies for grades 7-12, as outlined above. A diversity of school districts will be funded (e.g., geographic diversity, range of district sizes, districts that are different "starting points").

Recipients of this grant will receive technical assistance and professional development support from the Department and appropriate partners. The Department will collect, document, and share best practices and challenges from the awarded school districts in order to inform and support other Massachusetts districts.
Eligibility: All Massachusetts public school districts that have at least one high school are eligible to apply.
Funding: Districts may apply for up to $50,000 to be spread over two years, with up to $10,000 allocated for the planning phase and the remainder to be used in the implementation phase. A total of approximately $250,000 will likely be available. The exact number of grant recipients will depend on the availability of funds and the grant amounts requested. Availability of funds are contingent on the appropriation of this grant initiative.
Fund Use: Funds may be used for:
  • Program coordination
  • Staff stipends (out of contract hours)
  • Consultant and contract fees to provide program-related professional development and support partnership activities
  • Supplies
  • Incentives for students that remove barriers for participation
  • Necessary student transportation
No more than 20 percent of the total amount of the grant may be budgeted for supplies. Funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, existing programs and activities. Funds may not be used for direct stipends to students.
Project Duration: Upon approval - June 30, 2014
Program Unit: Office of College and Career Readiness
Contact: Shailah Stewart email address: sstewart@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3904
Date Due: Friday, June 28, 2013
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
  1. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2. Download MS EXCEL document  Part II Workbook - Budget (II-A) and Budget Narrative (II-B)*
    (Print and mail with the proposal all four budget and budget narrative pages. See important opening instructions at the bottom of this section.)*
  3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information
  4. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part IV - Project Participation Assurances
  5. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Schedule C - Statement of Participation and Support (if appropriate)

*Note: The Budget and Budget Narrative Workbook is a Microsoft Excel file which includes macros that enable the workbook to compute totals and summary tables.

  1. For Microsoft Office 2000/2003, you may need to change the security setting in Excel before opening the file. In Excel, click 'Tools', 'Macro', and then 'Security'. When the dialog box appears, change the security setting to 'Medium' and then click 'OK'. You can now open the budget file.

  2. For Microsoft Office 2007, you must save the workbook as an earlier version of Excel (.xls not .xlsx).

Additional Information: A bidders conference webinar for all interested schools and districts will take place on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Register for the webinar.
  • Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document  ICCR Task Force Report
Submission Instructions:
  1. Submit 1 electronic copy of all materials, except the original signature page to: Shailah Stewart
  2. Submit 3 sets, each with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director. Mail to:

    Shailah Stewart
    Office of College and Career Readiness
    Massachusetts Department of
    Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street
    Malden, MA 02148-4906


Last Updated: May 24, 2013
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