USHE Completion Grants

Background

The State Board of Regents and the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) support the aggressive goal set by the Governor and supported by the Legislature that by the year 2020, 66% of Utah’s adult population will have earned a post-secondary degree or certificate. Also known as 66by2020, this goal is a long-term strategic initiative to ensure Utah’s workforce receives the necessary training for the jobs of the future.

In July 2013 the Utah State Board of Regents, with the support of institution presidents, adopted a resolution encouraging the implementation of five proven strategies to improve college completion. Each institution has been working to implement these strategies and achieve their goal, the Utah System of Higher Education invites USHE institutions to apply for one-time Completion Grants.

Purpose

The purpose of these grants is to support and scale projects that have been developed and tested as a pilot at the institutions, specifically projects that are working to achieve the Board of Regents’ Completion Initiatives:

  1. Establish 15 credit hours per semester as the normal full-time course load for students.
  2. Stet plateau tuition levels with a focus on 12 to 15 credit hours to help students maximize their tuition dollars and time.
  3. Create semester-by-semester degree program maps with specific recommended courses each semester and make them available to current and potential students.
  4. For students who have not already met general education math requirements in high school, (1) encouraging students to enroll in an appropriate mathematics course in their first year of college, (2) encouraging institutions to adopt a strategy to transition students from developmental to credit-bearing math within three semesters; and (3) marketing Math 1050 as a preferred concurrent enrollment option for high school seniors.
  5. Explore the feasibility of implementing reverse transfer/stackable credentials.

As one-time monies, the grants are designed to enable and support the expansion of existing projects, and may be used for:

  • Infrastructure, including hardware, software and website development
  • Marketing materials
  • Consultants or site visits
  • Mentors or peers explicitly working to further one of the five initiatives
  • Other expenses incurred to expand pilot projects to full-scale, institution-wide implementation

Restrictions

Only USHE institutions are able to apply for the Completion grant. Each institution can apply for only one grant. Grants may not be used for personnel or for planning a new completion project. We thank you for working with us throughout the proposal process. The state Director of Completion Initiatives, Christie Fox, is available to provide assistance as you work on your proposal to ensure that your proposal meets guidelines.

Funding Level

Grants of up to $40,000 are available and require a one-to-one (100%) match. This match may come in the form of cash, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both. This may be in the form of salaries/benefits, travel, training, office supplies, materials, etc.

Funds may be used only for items submitted in the approved budget.

Please note that because of such short turn-around time and to ensure timely distribution of funds, applicants are to secure the payment process on their campus with their grants office, office of sponsored projects, and/or any other office deemed necessary, prior to submitting their application. Funds will be distributed according to how this is communicated on your cover page. It is the applicant’s responsibility to work with these offices at the institution to make sure all appropriate documentation is provided in the order needed to ensure seamless transferring of funds.

USHE Completion Grant Timeline

RFP released (official announcement)April 30, 2014
RFP due dateMay 30, 2014
RFP selection announcementJune 23, 2014
First disbursement of fundsAugust 1, 2014
First report dueDecember 1, 2014
Second disbursement of fundsJanuary 5, 2015
Written report on grant resultsFall 2015

Grantees will be required to share results of their grants with the Complete College Utah teams at the spring 2015 meeting. Initial sharing of the successful grant proposals may also occur in the fall 2014 meeting. Institutional presidents will present incremental and final reports to the Council of Presidents.

Proposals are due May 30, 2014.

Post-Award Changes

The grant recipient shall obtain prior written approval for any change to the scope or objectives of the approved project. This includes:

  1. Any changes resulting in additions or deletions of staff and consultants; i.e. to replace the project coordinator (or any other persons named and expressly identified as a key project person in the RFP) or to permit any such person to devote substantially less effort to the project than was anticipated when the grant was awarded.
  2. Budgetary changes of any kind; i.e. to move $1,000 of dedicated funds in the Materials & Supplies category to the Consultants category.
  3. If project activity dates change significantly after the application submission, you must submit a revised calendar of activity dates as well.

The grant recipient shall obtain prior written approval from the USHE Completion Director, preferably via email. If prior written approval is not obtained, the grant recipient/institution may be responsible for reimbursing any funding allocated to non-approved staff, consultants, materials and supplies, etc.

Grant application - Word document