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Summary: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education--Comprehensive Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

Publication Date: March 21, 2008
FRPart:

Page Numbers: 15147-15150

Summary: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education--Comprehensive Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

Posted on 03-21-2008


[Federal Register: March 21, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 56)]
[Notices]               
[Page 15147-15150]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21mr08-56]                         

=======================================================================


DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Fund for 
the Improvement of Postsecondary Education--Comprehensive Program; 
Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.116B.

DATES: Applications Available: March 21, 2008.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 5, 2008.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 7, 2008.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Comprehensive Program supports innovative 
grants and cooperative agreements to improve postsecondary education. 
It supports reforms, innovations, and significant improvements of 
postsecondary education that respond to problems of national 
significance and serve as national models.
    Priorities: Under this competition, we are particularly interested 
in applications that meet the following invitational priorities.
    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2008 these priorities are 
invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.
    These priorities are:
    Invitational Priority 1.
    Under this priority we are particularly interested in projects that 
have demonstrated promising results in earlier evaluations and that 
will yield greater impact on a larger scale, using more rigorous 
evaluation methodologies (at least quasi-experimental). It is expected 
that the educational activities and interventions that are the subject 
of proposals will have demonstrated successful outcomes, but not 
necessarily with methods that meet the rigor of an experimental or 
quasi-experimental design. Less rigorous methodologies, such as pre- 
and post-tests and descriptive or attitudinal studies, were appropriate 
for use in generating the hypotheses that will now be tested on a 
larger scale, using more rigorous methodologies and reducing or 
eliminating biases that are common in smaller, anecdotal studies. 
Applicants are encouraged to consult the report by the Secretary's 
Academic Competitiveness Council (http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/competitiveness/acc-mathscience/index.html) for a more detailed 
explanation about appropriate evaluation methodologies for rigorous 
evaluations, defined as being at least at the quasi-experimental level.
    We are particularly interested in proposals for projects that can 
be expanded, scaled up, and evaluated rigorously to achieve one or more 
of the following goals:
    (1) To encourage higher levels of access, persistence, and 
completion of graduation requirements for higher education students.
    (2) To align curriculum on a State or multi-state level between 
high schools and colleges, and between two-year and four-year 
postsecondary programs, to ensure continuing academic progress and 
transferability of credits.
    (3) To improve the mathematics and science proficiency of 
postsecondary students, including pre-service mathematics and science 
teachers.
    (4) To enable postsecondary students, including pre-service 
teachers, to achieve proficiency in or advanced proficiency or 
postsecondary institutions to develop programs in one or more critical 
need languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, and 
languages in the Indic, Iranian, and Turkic language families.
    Invitational Priority 2.
    Under this priority we are particularly interested in projects that 
are designed to establish, improve, or expand Professional Science 
Master's degree programs, which combine traditional academic training 
with specialized knowledge and skills needed for work in science and 
technology research, product development, manufacturing, or related 
areas. Projects should include industry partners to ensure that 
education and training in the Professional Science Master's degree 
program align with the expectations and needs of business and industry.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants or cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $2,584,000. The Secretary expects that 
grantees will receive funding in FY 2008 for the full project period.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $400,000-$600,000 for a four-year 
project period.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $500,000 for a four-year project 
period.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $600,000 for a four-year project period. The Assistant 
Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount 
through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 5-7.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs, other public and private nonprofit 
institutions and agencies, and combinations of these institutions and 
agencies.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following 
address: www.Grants.gov. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or 
call the following: Education Publications Center, PO Box 1398, Jessup, 
MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. Fax: (301) 470-
1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, 
toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.116B.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package

[[Page 15148]]

in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or 
computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Alternative Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this program.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is the section in which the applicant addresses most of the selection 
criteria that reviewers use to evaluate the application. The 
application narrative must be limited to no more than 20 pages, using 
the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, 
figures, and graphs in the application narrative may be single spaced 
and will count toward the page limit.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 point 
font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman and Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
     The page limit does not apply to Part I, the title page; 
Part II, the budget summary form (ED Form 524); Part IV, assurances, 
certifications, and the response to section 427 of the Department of 
Education's General Education Provisions Act (GEPA); the table of 
contents; the project abstract; or the appendix. The appendix may only 
include the project evaluation chart, summaries of the qualifications 
of key personnel, letters of support, and references. If you include 
any attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these items 
will be counted as part of the program narrative (Part III) for 
purposes of the page limit requirement.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit; or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: March 21, 2008.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 5, 2008.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission 
Requirements in this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 7, 2008.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under the 
Comprehensive Program must be submitted electronically unless you 
qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Comprehensive Program, CFDA 
number 84.116B must be submitted electronically using the 
Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through 
this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application 
package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your 
application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the 
Comprehensive Program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the 
downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. 
Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., 
search for 84.116, not 84.116B).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application 
if it is date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we 
retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are 
rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the 
Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this program to ensure that you 
submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. 
You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to 
Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/help/GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
     To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must 
complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process

[[Page 15149]]

(see http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp). These steps 
include (1) registering your organization, a multi-part process that 
includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) 
registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative 
(AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. 
Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step 
Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/section910/Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your 
application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please 
note that the registration process may take five or more business days 
to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to 
allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In 
addition you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual 
basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications. Please note that two of these forms--the SF 424 and the 
Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424--have 
replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
     You must attach any narrative sections of your application 
as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable 
Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file 
types specified in this paragraph or submit a password-protected file, 
we will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice and 
provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with 
Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will 
accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem 
occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your 
ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after 
a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system;
    and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Levenia Ishmell, 
Comprehensive Program Assistant, Fund for the Improvement of 
Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, 
NW., Room 6147, Washington, DC 20006-8544. Fax: (202) 502-7877.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable 
following address:
    By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.116B), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260; or
    By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, 
Application Control Center, Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.116B), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.
    Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing 
consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.

[[Page 15150]]

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.116B), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, 
Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section in this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a 
final performance report, including financial information, as directed 
by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an 
annual performance report that provides the most current performance 
and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary in 
34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to: http://www.Grants.gov.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the following measures will be used by the 
Department in assessing the performance of the Fund for the Improvement 
of Postsecondary Education's Comprehensive Program:
    (1) The percentage of FIPSE grantees reporting project 
dissemination to others; and
    (2) The percentage of FIPSE projects reporting institutionalization 
on their home campuses.
    If funded, you will be asked to collect and report data on these 
measures in your project's annual performance report (EDGAR, 34 CFR 
75.590). Applicants are also advised to consider these two measures in 
conceptualizing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the 
proposed project because of their importance in the application review 
process. Collection of data on these measures should be a part of the 
project evaluation plan, along with measures of progress on goals and 
objectives that are specific to your project.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Levenia Ishmell, Fund for the 
Improvement of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 
1990 K Street, NW., Room 6147, Washington, DC 20006-8544. Telephone: 
(202) 502-7668 or by e-mail: Levenia.Ishmell@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an alternative format 
(e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov 
Dated: March 18, 2008. Diane Auer Jones, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. E8-5782 Filed 3-20-08; 8:45 am]
[BILLING CODE 4000-01-P]

Last Modified: 03/20/2008