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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

FY21-23 Adult Education Transition to Community College RFP Questions and Answers (Q&A)

Questions as of January 17, 2020

  1. Is a letter of intent required or suggested for the transitions RFP?
    Answer: No, the RFP does not ask for a letter of intent.

  2. Is Quincy College eligible to apply for this grant
    Answer: Yes, Quincy College is eligible to apply for this grant.

Questions from the January 21, 2020 Bidders' Conference

  1. Do applicants have to run two cohorts?
    Answer: No, only one cohort of 15 students (at least 12 from ESE-funded adult education programs) is required. Priority will be given to applicants who propose two cohorts or serve 30 or more students.

  2. Will students from correctional institutions count towards the 12 minimum requirement from ESE-funded programs?
    Answer: Yes, students from an ESE-funded correctional programs count as DESE-funded students. Please consult our directory of adult education programs for more information.

  3. Does the higher number of credit bearing courses mean higher score?
    Answer: The number of credit bearing courses proposed will be taken into consideration during review and scoring. Under the priority section of the RFP it is stated "provide students access to credit-bearing courses at no cost through participation in the program; priority funding will be given to proposals that propose high numbers of credit-bearing courses above the required minimum"

  4. Does "no costs to students" include course materials?
    Answer: Yes. Students should not have to pay for materials while enrolled in the Transition program.

  5. If students want to enroll in classes not in the applicant's Transition program design, does the applicant have to pay for those courses?
    Answer: No. Applicants are only responsible for courses within the program design.

  6. Some students may not need a basic skills computer class. Can the grant pay for an advanced computer skills class for these students?
    Answer: Yes.

  7. What colleges are eligible for this funding opportunity?
    Answer: The 15 Massachusetts public community colleges and the state's municipal community college (Quincy College).

  8. If an applicant offers two cohorts, should both finish in the same academic year?
    Answer: In general, yes, one cohort for the fall and one for the spring. However, students may need additional time to complete. For example, a student in a spring cohort may need to return the following fall to complete the Transition program. This is allowable.

  9. Do the six credits need to be earned in one academic year?
    Answer: No. Students can start earning credits in one academic year and finish in another academic year.

  10. Does the Administrative Cost Justification Form need to be submitted for approval prior to February 28, 2020?
    Answer: No. The Administrative Cost Justification Form, if needed, should be submitted with the other required forms.

  11. Does the indirect costs count as an administrative costs?
    Answer: Yes. Indirect Costs count toward the 5% administrative cost maximum percentage.

  12. Can you give examples of Line 1 - Administrator costs?
    Answer: Examples could include supervision, classroom observations, and participation in partner meetings.

  13. Is it true that community colleges will not be going through MMARS in FY 2021?
    Answer: That is correct.

  14. Does travel to the National College Transitions Network count as administrative travel?
    Answer: Yes. Please see the FY20 Changes for Certain Expenditures for Federal and State AE Grant Funds for guidance on what types of travel and professional development count toward administrative costs.

  15. The scoring summary in Part III - Required Program Information states that the Student Progress section is worth 15 points. However, later it is stated that the Student Progress section is worth 20 points.
    Answer: The number in the scoring summary section is wrong. The Student Progress section is worth 20 points. The total points possible for Part III is 130 points, not 125.

  16. What advising beyond the Transitions program is required?
    Answer: Follow-up on student outcomes after the Transitions program is required.

  17. Part III - Required Program Information, Student Progress sections asks for three years of data. What if an applicant does not have three years of data?
    Answer: In this case, applicants should provide what data they have.

  18. Can you please clarify for Carry-In column in the Student Progress outcome chart?
    Answer: This will be clarified in the revised Part III - Required Program Information document that will be posted soon.

  19. What if an applicant offers courses that do not carry certificate/degree or institutional credit? How should those be recorded in the Program Design?
    Answer: In this case, the applicant would just list the course. There would not be any number in parentheses next to the course.

  20. Is dual enrollment allowable?
    Answer: Yes. Please review ACLS's dual enrollment policy in the FY 2021 - FY 2023 Massachusetts Guidelines and Policies for Effective Transition to Community College Programs for more information.

  21. A question about the required organizational chart-is that for the Transition program or the entire college?
    Answer: The entire college.

  22. Do students referred from HiSET and GED Testing Centers count as ESE-funded students?
    Answer: No, but these students can still be enrolled in the Transition program.

  23. Does there need to be a page number on each document of the submission?
    Answer: Yes

  24. When is the deadline for submitting questions?
    Answer: This was not specified in the RFP, so we will specify it here. The deadline to submit questions to the Q&A is Friday, February 21, 2020.

  25. When will we be notified if we are funded?
    Answer: ACLS is aiming to announce the awards in late April 2020.

Questions as of February 5, 2020

  1. Could you please clarify how to enter groups of teachers into the Budget Workbook. The FY21 Budget Workbook Instructions states: "Large programs can enter groups of teachers with similar responsibilities provided they have the same fringe rate." If an applicant does this, how would the other information such as Degrees and Years of Experience be filled-in?
    Answer: ACLS has removed the Degree, License/Certification, Yrs of Relevant Experience, and Subject columns and a revised version of the FY 2021 Budget Workbook will be posted soon.

  2. Could the FY21 Budget Workbook be unprotected to make adjustments to it? Or are we to email our workbooks to the program officer for specific adjustments?
    Answer: The Budget Workbook cannot be unprotected. Please see the FY 21 Workbook Instructions for entering groups of teachers on Line #2.

Questions as of February 12, 2020

  1. Can indirect costs be included as direct costs to the program?
    Answer: No.Costs included in determining the indirect cost rate cannot be included as direct costs to the program. Guidelines for the restricted indirect cost rate can be found in EDGAR 34 CFR 76.562 through 569.

  2. Can unrecovered indirect costs be used as matching costs?
    Answer: No. Unrecovered indirect costs cannot be used as matching costs. Guidelines for the restricted indirect cost rate can be found in EDGAR 34 CFR 76.562 through 569.

  3. Is the program obligated to pay costs for books beyond the required cohort classes but which are paid using the college match?
    Answer: Yes. There can be no costs to students for classes that are part of the Transition program.

  4. The Budget Narrative "Cover" worksheet fund code drop down list does not include a 668 option. Will a 668 option be added?
    Answer: We think you may be looking at the wrong Budget Narrative workbook. The Transition to Community College Budget Narrative "Cover" worksheet does not ask for a fund code. Please make sure you are using this Budget Narrative workbook found on this page: http://www.doe.mass.edu/grants/2021/668/.

Questions as of February 19, 2020

  1. At the Bidder's Conference, we were told to put tuition and fees under Line 6 - Contractual Services. This section of the Workbook asks for Hours and Rate, but this is very difficult to establish since tuition and fees vary depending on the number of credits and type of course. Could the Workbook be adjusted to just enter a "Total Cost" on Line 6 or could Tuition and Fees be moved to Line 7?
    Answer: No, Tuition and Fees should not go on Line #7. If an applicant is having difficulty establishing the hours for Tuition and Fees, enter 1 for the Hour and then the total amount for the Rate. For example, if Tuition and Fees cost $20,000, an applicant would enter 1 in the Hour field and then $20,000 in the Rate field.

 
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