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Deadline: June 8, 2015

U.S. Department of Education: Strengthening Institutions Program

The Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) to help them become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.

Funds may be used for planning, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management and the development and improvement of academic programs also are supported. Other projects include joint use of instructional facilities, construction and maintenance, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative, customized, instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion, which may include remedial education and English language instruction. Other examples of funding are available at the Department of Education website.

The RFP contains one competitive preference priority that is worth up to three points: Supporting Strategies for which there is Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness. This priority is for projects that propose a process, product, strategy, or practice supported by moderate evidence of effectiveness. To qualify as moderate evidence of effectiveness, among other things, a study’s evaluation design must meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Evidence Standards (for more information see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/reference_resources/wwc_pe_protocol_v3.0.pdf).

Amount: There is an estimated $18,197,309 available for two types of awards:

  • Individual Development grants: Awards will range from $400,000-$425,000 per year, with approximately 36 awards to be made.
  • Cooperative Arrangement grants: Awards will range from $600,000-$650,000 per year, with approximately 3 awards to be made.

Eligibility: An institution must be:

  • (i) Accredited or pre-accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association that the Secretary has determined to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training offered.
  • (ii) Legally authorized by the State in which it is located to be a junior or community college or to provide an educational program for which it awards a bachelor’s degree.
  • (iii) Designated as an “eligible institution” by demonstrating that it has: (A) an enrollment of needy students as described in 34 CFR 607.3; and (B) low average educational and general expenditures per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student as described in 34 CFR 607.4. Institutions must have responded to the notice inviting applications for eligibility designation for FY 2015 (due on December 22, 2014).

An eligible Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) that is not a current grantee under the HSI Program may apply for a FY 2015 grant under all title III, part A programs for which it is eligible (including this one), as well as receive consideration for a grant under the HSI Program. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant.

See a list of eligible institutions here: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/t3t5-eligibles-2015.pdf

Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-23/pdf/2015-09492.pdf

Note: There will be two informational webinars on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 and Thursday, April 30, 2015. Register online.


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