The purpose of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Transition to College grant program (Transition Program) is to provide a foundation of services, free of charge, within Massachusetts colleges that enable adult learners to enroll, persist, and complete postsecondary education.
Self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal of Transition Program services. To that end, applicants may propose Transition to College services and College Support Services as described below.
Transition to College Services (required)
The following priorities have been established for Transition to College Services:
College Support Services (optional)
The College Support Services program is an optional service offering intended for colleges interested in providing services to Transition students after one academic year. It is DESE's expectation that these students have achieved some level of self-sufficiency and would not need the same level of intrusive advising they had in their first academic year. Applicants will need to describe the need for continued services and how they will provide a gradual release of responsibility in order for students to achieve full self-sufficiency.
The following priorities have been established for College Support Services:
Eligible applicants are Massachusetts colleges.
Approximately $3.5 million is available to fund Transition to College services. See the grant ranges below.
Transition to College grants:
College Support Services grants: up to $50,000 (optional)
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.
DESE will award funding to meritorious proposals based primarily upon the quality of the responses to this Request for Proposals and the score and rank of proposals as determined by proposal review teams. Though award amounts will vary, in general, proposals with higher scores will receive larger proportions of their requests for funding than proposals with lower scores. Exceptions, however, may exist.
Funds must be used in accordance with the FY 2024 – 2026 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Transition to College Programs. Programs should adhere to the community college's policies around student eligibility when determining the eligibility of prospective students.
Administrative costs (including indirect) may not exceed 15% of the total grant award.
Adult Education and Family Literacy Services is a restricted rate program that is subject to a statutory "supplement not supplant" restriction. For this competition, applicants may include indirect cost rates to recover certain business-related expenses necessary to support the proposed services.
Upon approval through June 30, 2024; conditionally renewable for up to additional two years.
Renewals are subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation. Total grant award duration will not exceed three years (initial year plus renewals).
Adult and Community Learning Services
All inquiries must be submitted in writing to Transitions RFP Question Submission Form. Q&A with answers to inquiries will be posted to ACLS Funding Opportunities on the ACLS website. Requests for assistance with submitting inquiries or locating the Q&A may be directed to the ACLS receptionist at (781) 338-3850.
The deadline for applicant submission of questions is Friday, February 17, 2023.
It is the responsibility of applicants to remain up to date with the posted questions and answers. Any RFP updates or revisions contained in the Q&A will supersede previous versions of the same.
Friday, February 24, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern*
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the date due.
*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.
Prospective applicants are invited to a Virtual Bidders' Conference to be held on:
Thursday, January 5, 2023, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.Join Zoom Meeting
Friday, January 6, 2023, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.Join Zoom Meeting
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Part II — Budget Workbook for Transition to College and College Support Services
Complete and upload the Budget Workbook. Complete all tabs as appropriate. Refer to Budget Workbook instructions . Important: Proposed expenditures must be necessary, allocable, allowable and reasonable to achieve the goals of the proposal and adhere to the budget requirements outlined in FY24–FY28 Massachusetts Policies for Effective in Transition to College Programs.
Part III — Required Information: Narrative for Transition to College Services
Part IV — Required Information: Narrative for applicants proposing College Support Services (if applicable)
Appendix A — Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with partnering agencies — See FY24–FY28 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Transition to College Programs, Appendix A.
Appendix B — GEPA Statement
Appendix C — Fiscal Overview
Appendix D — Statement of Assurances
Appendix E — Resumes and Job Descriptions
It is the responsibility of the applicant to return to this Request for Proposals and the Q&A page for updates and amendments. All updates and amendments supersede previous versions.
State Director's Letter
Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS website)
FY24–FY26 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Transition to College Programs
Indicators of Program Quality
Adult Education Glossary
Grants Essential Information
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the RFP submission portal.
Applicants will create an account and be able to enter the portal for the RFP. Once you have created a user account and entered the portal, you will be asked to:
Enter basic information
Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required. You will not be able to submit your grant unless you include data or uploads in all required fields.
Please note that you are presented with two choices at the bottom of the submission webpage: <Save Draft> and <Submit>. Once you choose Submit, you are no longer able to make edits or change the files you wish to upload. Save Draft should be used routinely until you have completed the entire process and are certain you are ready to send your materials submission to us.
Also, please note that the Part II — Budget Workbook is an Excel for PC document. Please do not work on this document in Excel for Mac, as it will not render properly, even if you subsequently save the document in a PC environment.
If problems occur while using the portal anytime, or if you encounter technical difficulties with the Part II — Budget Workbook after February 10, 2023 contact Paula Jurigian .
Submit a response to all narrative prompts as applicable. (Note: The Part III narrative response application may not exceed 20 pages for Transition to College services and five pages for College Support Services). Pages that exceed the above page limits will not be reviewed and scored.
Applicants are required to provide page numbers on every page of the narrative response. All narrative responses must be in a font no smaller than Arial 10 font, with 1" margins on all sides.
Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. All required forms must be attached in EdGrants in addition to the following based on applicant type:
FY2023: ISA Crosswalk Federal & State — State Colleges and Universities
Additional Information for Colleges / State AgenciesThe information below is intended for state entities that require ISAs as part of their grant award process. Not intended for private organizations.
ISA process timeline
MA Expenditure Classification Handbook
MA Comptroller's Office Fringe Information
ISA and EdGrants Amendment Requirements
Process for waiving indirect costs (state agencies only)
Indirect Waiver Request form (state agencies only)
Section 5D: Indirect and fringe benefit costs expended from the General Fund: recovery by the comptroller (state agencies only)
Note: DESE reserves the right to conduct a site visit prior to award.
Last Updated: February 15, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.