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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2024: Early College Capacity Grant

Fund Code: 470


The primary purpose of this competitive grant is to expand staff to promote Early College Access and recruitment or to provide professional development to strengthen an institution's capacity to deliver high-quality MA Designated Early College Programs. We seek proposals from designated early college program partners, either an institution of higher education or K–12 public school, that are committed to advancing educational opportunities for underserved and underrepresented students to achieve their academic and career aspirations. These resources are intended for currently designated K–12 or IHEs to obtain additional Early College staff and/or provide professional development to support and contribute to the sustained growth and enhancement of Early College programs, focusing on increasing access and impact.


This competitive grant is aimed at focusing on, but not limited to, the following priorities in building institutional capacity in early college programming:

  • Expanding staff to promote Early College Access/Recruitment: Increase the reach of our Early College Programs to serve a larger and more diverse group of high school students, especially students underrepresented in higher education.

  • Professional Development:
    Provide training and support for high school educators and college instructors involved in the program to ensure high-quality instruction that seeks to target the following areas:

    • Supporting Enhance Curriculum: Providing professional development for faculty and staff to develop and enhance the curriculum to ensure alignment with college readiness standards and industry demands.

    • Student Support Services: Strengthen academic advising, mentoring, and support services to help students succeed in college-level coursework.

    • Evaluation and Assessment: Implement robust assessment mechanisms to measure the impact and effectiveness of our Early College Programs.

    • Partnerships and Collaboration: Provide resources that invest in supporting partnerships, between High Schools and Colleges, that allow capacity building between multiple designated partners.

Priority will be given to districts and schools where the majority of the school population represents populations underrepresented in higher education.


These competitive funds are available to current designated Early College programs seeking to increase staff capacity and/or to provide professional development opportunities.

Awardees will be required to send a minimum of five early college staff to a series of professional development trainings offered by DESE over the course of SY25 and/or SY26.

Awardees will be determined by the approval by DESE of their grant responses in Part III of this application.

Existing Early College positions are not eligible for the funding opportunity, only new positions that have not been previously or currently filled.

Current Early College Full School Impact, Early College Expansion, and Early College Incubator Grantees are excluded from eligibility.

Funding Type:

State 7009-6600


Approximately $800,000 is available through FY24 grant. K–12 or higher education institutions applying for this grant are eligible for approximately up to $100,000.

FY25   K–12 or higher education institutions will be eligible for approximately up to $60,000.

FY26   K–12 or higher education institutions will be eligible for approximately up to $30,000.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

This RFP is the governing document for these grant funds.

Fund Use:

The Capacity Funds for Early College involves a designated partnerships ability to deliver and sustain these programs effectively. Funding for building institutional capacity in Early College programs can be used for various purposes that contribute to program sustainability and improvement. Here are some ways in which funds can be utilized:

Faculty and Staff Professional Development: Invest in professional development opportunities for high school educators and college instructors involved in early college programs. This can include training in pedagogy, curriculum development, technology integration. Funds can be used for contracted services for professional development and/or to pay stipends to staff attending trainings.

Hiring Additional Staff: Funding can support the recruitment of additional faculty and support staff necessary to expand and support current early college program offerings.

Administrative Support: Enhance administrative capacity by investing in systems, processes, and personnel to manage the growing demands of early college programs.

It's essential to align the use of funds with clear goals and objectives in the grant proposal. Additionally, regular monitoring an evaluation should be conducted to assess the impact of investments and make necessary adjustments to continue building institutional capacity effectively.

This grant cannot be applied toward capital expenses or MTRS.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval* – 06/30/2024 and
FY25 Summer: 7/1/2024 – 8/31/2024

*Grant start date cannot be prior to DESE receiving a substantially approvable Application Submission as directed in this RFP's Submission Instructions. Goods and Services cannot be procured prior to Grants receiving and approving an application submission. Funds cannot exceed the project duration end date.

Funding may also continue in: Year 2 (Upon Approval – 6/30/2024 & 7/1/2024 – 8/31/2024), Year 3 (Upon Approval – 6/30/2025 & 7/1/2025 – 8/31/2025) pending state budget appropriation, submitting of all required documents and successful utilization of prior funding, and awarding of funds after a continuation grant process. In continuation years, only prior FC470— Building Early College Capacity grant recipients will be eligible for the continuation grant.

Program Unit:

The Office of Early College

Contact Person:

Cashay Grant-Woods , Fiscal Manager

Date Due:

Friday, December 15, 2023

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern on the date due via email to Cashay Grant-Woods .

All responses must be received by the due date listed above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Responses not received on time will not be reviewed. Applicants applying after the due date may be notified their application was received late and will not be reviewed. Applications must be submitted as directed in the Submissions Instructions below. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. If you need assistance with submitting your application, please reach out to the contact person listed on this funding opportunity.

Required Forms:
Submission Instructions:

Submit all required grant materials via email to Cashay Grant-Woods .

Once awarded, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

  • FY24 FC470 Building Early College Capacity Grant
    Applicant Name

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature as well as Schedule A form, if applicable to your district. The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides, Information and Trainings.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

Last Updated: December 7, 2023

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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