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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2015

Academic Support: Partnerships for Pathways to Success
Fund Code: 594 (School Year)/624 (Summer)

Purpose:The goal of this new competitive state funding opportunity is to leverage well designed partnerships between public institutions of higher education and One Stop Career Centers to provide targeted students with pathways to success. The primary targets of this initiative are post-12th grade students from the classes of 2003-2014 who need further assistance to pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) in order to complete the state required Competency Determination for high school graduation. The services provided by this initiative should build on a region's existing opportunities for remediation services in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering, while also addressing the unique academic, work readiness and social/emotional needs of participating students. Outreach and services may additionally be offered to current juniors and seniors (classes of 2015 and 2016 students) who have scored at level 1 (Failing) on the MCAS tests once the eligible post-12th grade pool of students has been exhausted. These services are to supplement currently funded local, state, and federal programs. This new funding opportunity consolidates and replaces fund codes 627/626 and 598/593.
Priorities:The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) 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.

Academic Support funding opportunities serve to strengthen statewide capacity by supporting implementation of ESE's District Standards and Indicators Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document and ESE Priorities for increasing student achievement.

ESE's goal is to prepare all students for success after high school. To help us reach this goal, ESE has established four strategies:

  • Strengthening curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Improving educator effectiveness
  • Turning around the lowest performing districts and schools
  • Using data and technology to support student performance

Applicants for this funding opportunity should be deliberate in using these funds to support ESE's Standards and Priorities. In particular, this funding opportunity may support implementation of the following district Standards: Curriculum and Instruction (aligned, consistently delivered, and continuously improving curriculum; sufficient instructional time), Assessment, Human Resources, Professional Development, and Student Support.

Program Requirements

  1. One application must be submitted per partnership describing a strong collaboration between a public institution of higher education and a One Stop Career Center, mutually deciding which shall serve as the applicant. Each partner must be allocated at least 40% of program funds requested, with a maximum total request of $80,000 per partnership. The two partners must develop the project plan and budget collaboratively to support program goals.

  2. Proposed partnerships may only serve students in the classes of 2003-2016 who have not yet met their Competency Determination on the 10th grade MCAS tests or retests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and/or the high school level MCAS tests in Science and Technology/Engineering. Programs do not need to serve students in every subject.

  3. Priority should be given to students from the Classes of 2003-2014 who: completed the 12th grade without obtaining their Competency Determination; need to make significant progress in order to meet state and local graduation requirements; students with disabilities; English language learners; homeless students; and those with mental/behavioral health issues.

  4. Intake and Assessment Process: Proposed programs must provide an intake process to assess student eligibility based on MCAS performance and determine whether students have risk factors that could affect their participation. Applicants must also implement data management methods for monitoring student progress.

  5. Proposed programs must offer a significant number of service hours in order to provide small-group instruction that is engaging and effective and/or one-on-one tutoring that addresses identified gaps in students' knowledge in English language arts, mathematics, and/or science, technology and engineering aligned with the standards identified in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

  6. Programs must offer services that support students' work readiness and career preparation needs, e.g., job search, job training, career research, career awareness, exploration and immersion activities, and referrals to appropriate work-based learning opportunities.

  7. Programs must include the development of individual learning plans to help students map further education and career opportunities and provide a plan for further education and training for the students after the program ends.

  8. Applicants should articulate ways in which they will address the academic, workplace readiness, and personal/social needs of students, the three domains defined by ESE and the Department of Higher Education as necessary for students' college and career readiness.

Funding Priorities - Funding priority will be given to applicants that:

  • Present well articulated roles and responsibilities for the applicant, the lead partner and any other relevant partners supporting the delivery of services in a cost-efficient manner.

  • Serve districts with higher percentages of students who have not yet earned their Competency Determination.

  • Have successfully recruited, retained, and served students in previous academic support programs (i.e. fund codes 627/626 and 598/593) and have consistently submitted data and narrative evaluations to ESE).

  • Propose extensive marketing, innovative recruitment, and outreach to eligible post-12th grade students.

  • Collaborate with local businesses, community-based organizations, and/or departments/offices within a college such as enrollment services, college access programming, admissions, and other internal college organizations and programming.

  • Leverage related ESE initiatives such as the Academic Support Work and Learning funding opportunity.

  • Build connections to post-secondary opportunities in education and the workforce, and use ESE's Contextual Learning Portal.

  • Demonstrate staff experience with at-risk populations (examples of demonstrated experience may include participation in Connecting Activities, Workforce Investment Act older youth services, or other related older youth services).

Eligibility: Massachusetts public institutions of higher education and One Stop Career Centers working in collaboration with schools/districts, Local Workforce Investment Boards and other partners.

Applicants may request up to $80,000 combined for School Year programs (Fund Code: 594) and Summer programs (Fund Code: 624). Separate budgets must be submitted for the school year and summer.

Subject to state budget appropriation, final funding will be based on: 1) the quality of proposed programs; 2) the number of students served; 3) the need in particular service delivery areas; 4) cost-effectiveness; and 5) prior experience achieving positive student outcomes through Academic Support Programming. Funds requested and budget detail pages must clearly align with program activities.

For this grant cycle, ESE is establishing a two year funding opportunity contingent on state appropriation and will determine eligibility for continuation grants to grantees for the second year in FY2016 given the recipient: 1) serves the number of students targeted; and 2) meets or makes strong progress towards the performance measures indicated in the application.

Fund Use: Funds may be used for:
  1. Salaries/stipends for qualified instructors of English language arts, mathematics, science, and technology/engineering, program staff, staffing for direct services.

  2. consultant and contract fees to provide program-related professional development or costs for supplementary tutoring/mentoring programs or services;

  3. program administration and indirect costs (stipends for a program administration, stipends for data entry or other administrative assistance, indirect costs, etc.), not to exceed 20 percent of the budget;

  4. program supplies, including but not limited to any licenses for computer software, not to exceed 15 percent of the total budget (note: licenses for computer software should generally be listed in budget line 8 "Other Costs: Memberships/Subscriptions");

  5. costs related to removing barriers to participation and learning, including incentives for students as well as services that address logistical and/or behavioral health issues; not to include stipends, gift cards, or other direct compensation for students;

  6. necessary student transportation; and

  7. counseling programs and services to educate families and high school students on college and career readiness, obtaining employment and employment training and post-12th grade remediation options.

Note: Funds used to provide services to students who do not meet the eligibility requirements of this grant constitute grounds for a request of return of funds for those students. Additionally, those applicants enrolling significantly fewer students than proposed may be requested to return unused funds for redistribution.

Project Duration: Fund Code 594 (School Year Program): Upon Approval - 6/30/2015
Fund Code 624 (Summer Program): 7/1/2015 - 8/31/2015

Contingent on state appropriation, an opportunity for a second year of continuation funding may be available.

Program Unit:College and Career Readiness
Contact: Nyal Fuentes or
Shailah Stewart
Phone Number:(781) 338-3593 or (781) 338-3904
Date Due: Thursday July 10, 2014 for Fund Code: 594 (School Year Program) and Fund Code: 624 (Summer Program) proposals.

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part I: Fund Code: 594 for School Year Programs - Program Unit Signature Page (Part I - General: Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Required to be submitted with all School Year program applications.

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part I: Fund Code: 624 for Summer Programs - Program Unit Signature Page (Part I - General: Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Required to be submitted with all Summer program applications.

Download MS EXCEL Document
Part II Workbook - Budget (II-A) and Budget Narrative (II-B)*
(Print and mail with the application all four budget and budget narrative pages. See important opening instructions below.)
Required to be submitted with all applications.

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part III: Required Program Information - Partnerships for Pathways to Success Application for FY2015:
Required to be submitted with all applications.

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Addendum A - Pathways Initiative FY2015 Collaboration Agreement Between Higher Education Institutions, One Stop Career Centers, and other Partners
Required to be submitted with all applications.

*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:
  1. Narrative Evaluations
    Funded programs are required to submit a narrative report on the overall effectiveness of the program, using the ESE's Narrative Evaluation Guidelines, which will be provided to all grant recipients and posted to the Fund Code: 594/624 webpages. Reports are due July 31, 2015, for School Year programs and September 30, 2015, for summer programs.

  2. Required Student Data Submissions
    Individual Student Data Information is required to be submitted through the ESE's Security Portal. Details and dates will be provided to all grant recipients and will be posted to the Academic Support Data Collection webpage. Grants will not be awarded to programs that have not submitted their data and narrative evaluations from FY2013 and FY2014 academic support programs, where applicable.

  3. Professional Development/Technical Assistance Sessions
    Grantees are expected to have personnel (coordinators, data entry staff, instructors, etc.) attend appropriate Academic Support technical assistance workshops.

  4. Pathways Narrative Evaluation Guidelines and Pathways Activity Data Report
    Program coordinators must use the Pathways Narrative Evaluation Guidelines to report on the overall effectiveness of the program and the Pathways Activity Data Report generated through the Massachusetts One Stop Employment System (MOSES). The Narrative Report and Pathways Activity Data Reports are due on January 31, 2015 and July 31, 2015, for School Year programs and on September 30, 2015, for summer programs.

  5. Scoring Rubrics
    Available upon request. (See Contact information above.)

Submission Instructions: Submit three (3) sets of all required information. (See Required Forms.) Each set should have an original signature of the College President/Executive Director.

Mail to:
Carrie Harrington
College and Career Readiness
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: June 20, 2014
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