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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2019: Adult Education: Distance Learning Instructional Hub

Fund Code: 669


The purpose of this competitive grant program is to establish and support Distance Learning (DL) instructional Hubs in order to increase access to and the intensity of educational services for eligible adult learners in order to strengthen their technology skills in preparation for college and careers.


The priority is to support programs and/or collaborations that:

  1. Demonstrate past effectiveness in providing distance learning instruction for ABE or ESOL students;

  2. Engage in data-based continuous improvement planning to enhance the quality of the services provided and meet performance outcomes;

  3. Provide online instruction through collaboration and implementation of DL services with Community Adult Learning Centers (CALC)

  4. Provide online instruction and implementation of DL services to students in participating CALCs based on the best practices derived from the most rigorous research available and appropriate, including scientifically valid research and effective educational practice;

  5. Increase access to services for individuals on a CALC wait list;

  6. Submit a minimum of 14 Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) that articulates the roles and responsibilities of the participating Hub and CALC to jointly support DL services to students. The HUB must serve and maintain an enrollment of 100 active students monthly;

  7. Help students become college and career ready in order to reach one or more next steps, including transitioning into post-secondary education, becoming job ready, obtaining employment, and accessing occupational training

  8. Provide evidence of alignment with local plans in the Workforce Development areas where the CALCs are located.


Eligible applicants are organizations that have demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities through distance learning. These organizations may include, but are not limited to: (a) A local educational agency; (b) A community-based organization or faith-based organization; (c) A volunteer literacy organization; (d) An institution of higher education; (e) A public or private nonprofit agency; (f) A library; (g) A public housing authority; (h) A nonprofit institution that is not listed above in (a) through (g) of this section and has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals; (i) A consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described in any of paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section; and (j) A partnership between an employer and an entity described in any of paragraphs (a) through (i) of this section

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.002


Approximately $200,000 in federal funding, to support one ABE Hub and one ESOL Hub ($100,000 each) or a single Hub serving both ABE and ESOL ($200,000) is available. All allocations are subject to state and federal appropriations.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Program Plan

Adult and Community Learning Services

Fund Use:

Funds must be used in accordance with the Massachusetts Guidelines for Distance Learning in Adult Education and the 2019 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions.

Funds must be used to establish or operate a DL Instructional Hub program that provides adult education1 instruction and other services in one or more of the following categories:

  • Adult education at GLE 6.0 through skills expected of a high school student, and/or
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services from SPL 2.0 and higher.

Eligible students are individuals who:

  • have attained 16 years of age, and
  • are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, and in need of services.

Agencies with an approved federal indirect cost rate shall not receive more than an 8% indirect rate for adult education programs. Agencies with an ESE-approved indirect cost rate (IDC) shall not receive more than a 5% indirect rate for adult education programs. The total of direct and indirect costs may not exceed the total grant award. In lieu of charging for indirect costs, grantees that provide an appropriate and detailed allocation of agency wide costs to their grant programs may receive DESE approval to include them as direct costs.

Project Duration:

Upon approval through 8/31/2019 (federally funded); conditionally renewable for up to an additional one year for a total of two (2) years.

Grant awards for DL Instructional Hubs are subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation.

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)


All inquiries must be submitted in writing to; all answers will be posted to the Adult and Community Services webpage.

Phone Number:

Telephone inquiries for assistance utilizing the RFP mailbox and/or the ACLS webpage may be directed to the ACLS receptionist at (781) 338-3850.

Bidders Conference:

A Bidders' Conference for the DL Hub grant program will be held 9/20/2017 at the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, Worcester, MA. For more information, see information posted to the ACLS webpage.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Budget Pages (Include both pages.)
Budget Narrative (designed by applicant; see instructions in Part III, Section III)
Match Narrative (designed by applicant; see instructions in Part III, Section III)
Download Excel Document
Schedule B - Cost Sharing or Matching Schedule
Download Word Document
Part III - Required Program Information
Download Word Document
FY 2019 Statement of Assurances for Adult Education Instructional Grants

All required forms must be submitted electronically.

Required Appendices:
Download Word Document
Appendix A: Memorandum of Agreement
Download Word Document
Appendix B: Professional Staff Qualifications Chart
Appendix C: Audit Report — a copy of the applying agency's latest completed audit report, issued by an independent certified public accountant. If an audit report has been included with FY19 CALC proposal please state here (a duplicate submission is not required).


Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, As Amended, is a pre-requisite to receipt of a grant award.

Applicants are required to provide an auditable matching share of 20% of the total amount of the requested grant award. Currently funded grantees must provide a matching share that is not less than their FY 2017 matching share (maintenance of effort amount) or 20% of the requested amount, whichever is greater.

The availability of existing computer hardware, telecommunications networks, video technology, and elements of a successful distance-learning program through a matching contribution is preferred; however, these costs are also allowable as expenses to be charged to the grant. Applicants must itemize their matching contribution on Schedule B and include a match narrative.

Recipients of DL Instructional Hubs grants will be required to participate in data collection for an evaluation of the ABE Distance Learning Program.

Additional Information:
View HTML Page
Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Distance Learning in Adult Education Programs (July 2107)
View External Link
IDEAL Distance Education and Blended Learning Handbook, fifth edition
View External Link
Who's Online Where Index
View External Link
New Models for Distance Classes in Adult Education
View External Link
College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education
Download Word Document
Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Curriculum Framework for English for Speakers of Other Languages
View HTML Page
ACLS assessment policies
Download Word Document
ESOL Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL Students
View HTML Page
Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions

Proposal Review Process:

  1. Reader teams consisting of staff from ACLS and the relevant Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) will review proposals.
    1. Review teams will score using the posted rubric
    2. The teams will determine awards based on scoring, need, capacity, and geography.
  2. WIOA requires that LWDBs review all applications submitted by eligible providers or alignment with local plan packages.

A copy of the DL/RFP scorecard can be found under FY19 RFP Resources and Information at ACLS: Other Related Links / Resources.

Download Word Document
Local Plan Package Alignment Form

It is the responsibility of the applicant to return to this Request for Proposals and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for updates and amendments. All updates and amendments supersede previous versions.

Letter of Intent
to Apply Due:

A Letter of Intent to Apply must be received at the Department by 3:00 p.m. on October 6, 2017. The letter of intent is not mandatory but will used for planning purposes. Applicants will not be disqualified if this letter is not received.

Email Letter of Intent to:


Proposals must be delivered in PDF format to the Department via email at the following email address: on December 22, 2017 by 3:00 pm.

Application Packages must be submitted with required elements labeled as follows:

  1. Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2. Part II - Budget Documents:
    1. Project Expenditures Budget Detail Pages (Include both pages)
    2. Budget Narrative
    3. Match Narrative
    4. Schedule B
  3. Part III - Required Program Information
    1. Past Performance Table (not included in 10 page narrative response)
  4. Statement of Assurances
  5. Required Appendices
    1. Appendix A: Memorandum of Agreement
    2. Appendix B: Professional Staff Qualifications Chart
    3. Appendix C: Audit Report (as requested, if applicable)

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Pagination Directions:

Narrative responses may not exceed 10 pages, Arial font size 10 with 1" page margins. Responses to Section IV (Budget) are not included in the page limit. Likewise, required attachments and appendices do not count toward the page limit. Additional, non-required appendices and narrative pages that exceed 10 pages will not be read.

1 The term "adult basic education" refers to instructional services below the post-secondary level for adults in basic reading, writing and numeracy, pre-adult secondary (Pre-ASE), and adult secondary (ASE) education, and English for speakers of other languages.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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