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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information:

Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program.

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2017.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.031S.

Dates:

Applications Available: February 23, 2017.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 24, 2017.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 23, 2017.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The DHSI Program provides grants to assist Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. DHSI Program grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, faculty quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and help large numbers of Hispanic students and low-income individuals complete postsecondary degrees.

Background: Hispanic students are enrolling in postsecondary institutions at higher rates than ever before; however, we continue to lose a substantial number of Hispanic students prior to degree completion.[1] Additionally, while Hispanic students have very high enrollments at 2-year institutions, the transfer rate to 4-year institutions, as well as the rate of certificate and associate degree completion, continues to be low.[2] This is unacceptable especially considering the evidence showing how essential postsecondary education, including certification programs, is to full participation in today's competitive workforce. Given the growth of the Hispanic population, it is imperative that we ensure educational success for our youngest and fastest growing population. As a nation, we cannot afford to have such a large portion of our population undereducated and therefore underrepresented in competitive careers in a global economy. Progress toward higher rates of Hispanics with postsecondary degrees requires intentional and on-going support throughout every level of the educational pipeline.

To this end, in this competition, the Department is inviting applicants to focus on the various aspects of the teacher preparation pipeline. Currently, Hispanic teachers make up about 7.8 percent of the teacher workforce, yet Hispanic students make up over 24 percent of the public school system's elementary and secondary student Start Printed Page 11442body.[3] HSIs are in a position to enhance and develop programs that improve the preparation, support, and retention of Hispanic teachers. Investing in teacher preparation programs can provide benefits that lead to academic improvement of pre-kindergarten, elementary, and secondary students. A recent report by the Department, “The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce,” cited the social and academic gains for students of color when they are taught by teachers of color.[4] These gains have the potential to contribute to positive academic outcomes for this targeted population. To increase the number of Hispanic teachers, we will need to ensure postsecondary success for this population. This means we must also further efforts to facilitate transfer programs between 2-year and 4-year institutions. In this competition, we also include a transfer model priority for 2-year HSIs to partner with 4-year institutions. This, we believe, is a comprehensive approach to support multiple levels of the educational pipeline leading to educational success.

Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference priorities and one invitational priority. The competitive preference priorities are from the authorized activities for the DHSI Program in section 503(b) of the HEA.

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2017 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an application up to 10 additional points for each priority, depending on how well the application meets one of these priorities. Applicants may only respond to one of the priorities, for a total of up to 10 additional points.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1 (up to 10 additional points).

Projects that establish or enhance a program of teacher education designed to qualify teacher candidates to teach in public elementary schools and secondary schools.

Competitive Preference Priority 2 (up to 10 additional points).

Projects that develop or enhance articulation agreements and/or student support programs designed to facilitate the transfer from 2-year to 4-year institutions.

Invitational Priority: For FY 2017 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets the invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Promoting the Teacher Profession for Hispanic Students.

Projects that develop or enhance partnerships that:

(1) Are designed to increase the number of effective teachers with linguistic and cultural competency serving in high-need schools (as defined in section 200(11) of the HEA);

(2) Combine strong content knowledge with robust practical experience to meet the instructional needs of the local school district(s);

(3) Develop strong teacher pipelines that support the preparation, placement, and retention of effective teachers;

(4) Use outcome data of their recent graduates reported by their State, or otherwise obtained, to facilitate continuous improvement; and

(5) Share best practices and other information on implementation with other institutions.

Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014, (79 FR 73425) (Supplemental Priorities) and the DHSI Program regulations 34 CFR 606.7 and apply to the priorities and selection criteria in this notice:

Cooperative arrangement means an arrangement to carry out allowable grant activities between an institution eligible to receive a grant under the DHSI Program and another eligible or ineligible institution of higher education, under which the resources of the cooperating institutions are combined and shared to better achieve the purposes of the DHSI program and avoid costly duplication of effort.

Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.

Note:

In developing logic models, applicants may want to use resources such as the Pacific Education Laboratory's Education Logic Model Application (www.relpacific.mcrel.org/​PERR.html or http://files.eric.ed.gov/​fulltext/​ED544779.pdf) to help design their logic models.

Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1101-1101d; 1103-1103g.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 606. (e) The Supplemental Priorities.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants—Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Grants. Planning grants will not be awarded in FY 2017.

Note:

For cooperative arrangement grants, under 34 CFR 606.12(a)(2) the application must include the names of participating institutions, the role of each institution, and the rational for each eligible participating institution's decision to request grant funds as part of a cooperative arrangement rather than as an individual grantee.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $107,795,000 for awards for the DHSI program for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an estimated $11,500,000 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2018 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$750,000.

Maximum Awards:

Individual Development Grants: $550,000.

Cooperative Arrangement Grants: $750,000.

We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding these maximum amounts for a single budget Start Printed Page 11443period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 20.

Note:

The number of estimated awards is for total number of awards without distinction as an individual or cooperative arrangement grant.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (a) Institutions of higher education (IHEs) that qualify as eligible HSIs are eligible to apply for new Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Grants under the DHSI Program. To be an eligible HSI, an IHE must—

(i) Have an enrollment of needy students, as defined in section 502(b) of the HEA (section 502(a)(2)(A)(i) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(i));

(ii) Have, except as provided in section 522(b) of the HEA, average educational and general expenditures that are low, per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student, in comparison with the average educational and general expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction (section 502(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(ii));

Note:

To demonstrate an enrollment of needy students and low average educational and general expenditures per FTE undergraduate student, an IHE must be designated as an “eligible institution” in accordance with 34 CFR 606.3 through 606.5 and the notice inviting applications for designation as an eligible institution for the fiscal year for which the grant competition is being conducted.

Note:

The notice announcing the FY 2017 process for designation of eligible institutions, and inviting applications for waiver of eligibility requirements, was published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2016 (81 FR 85210). Only institutions that the Department determines are eligible, or are granted a waiver, may apply for a grant in this program.

(iii) Be 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, or making reasonable progress toward accreditation, according to such an agency or association (section 502(a)(2)(A)(iv) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(iv));

(iv) Be legally authorized to provide, and provide within the State, an educational program for which the institution awards a bachelor's degree (section 502(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the HEA), or be a junior or community college (20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(iii));

(v) Have an enrollment of undergraduate FTE students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application (section 502(a)(5)(B) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(5)(B)); and

(vi) Provide, as an attachment to the application, the documentation the IHE relied upon in determining that at least 25 percent of the IHE's undergraduate FTE students are Hispanic. The 25 percent requirement applies only to undergraduate Hispanic students and is calculated based upon FTE students as defined in section 502(a)(4) of the HEA. Instructions for formatting and submitting the verification documentation to Grants.gov are in the application package for this competition.

(b) For this program, the “end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application” refers to the end of the fiscal year prior to the application due date. For purposes of this competition, the data that we will use to determine percent enrollment is Fall 2015 enrollment.

(c) In considering applications for grants under this program, the Department will compare the data and documentation the institution relied on in its application with data reported to the Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the IHE's State-reported enrollment data, and the institutional annual report. If different percentages or data are reported in these various sources, the institution must, as part of the 25 percent assurance verification, explain the reason for the differences. If the IPEDS data show that less than 25 percent of the institution's undergraduate FTE students are Hispanic, the burden is on the institution to show that the IPEDS data are inaccurate. If the IPEDS data indicate that the institution has an undergraduate FTE less than 25 percent, and the institution fails to demonstrate that the IPEDS data are inaccurate, the institution will be considered ineligible.

(d) A grantee under the DHSI Program, which is authorized by title V of the HEA, may not receive a grant under any HEA, title III, part A or part B program (section 505 of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101D). The title III, part A programs include: The Strengthening Institutions Program; the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program; the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Programs; the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program; and the Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program. Furthermore, a current DHSI Program grantee may not give up its HSI grant in order to receive a grant under any title III, part A program (§ 606.2(c)(1)).

(e) An eligible HSI may only submit one application as an Individual Development Grant applicant and/or one under a Cooperative Arrangement Grant applicant.

(f) An eligible HSI that submits a Cooperative Arrangement Grant with a partnering branch campus that is a part of the same institution will not be awarded a grant (34 CFR 606.7(b)).

2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching unless the grantee uses a portion of its grant for establishing or improving an endowment fund. If a grantee uses a portion of its grant for endowment fund purposes, it must match those grant funds with non-Federal funds (section 503(c)(2) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101b(c)(2)).

b. Supplement-Not Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. Grant funds shall be used so that they supplement and, to the extent practical, increase the funds that would otherwise be available for the activities to be carried out under the grant and in no case supplant those funds. (34 CFR 606.30(b).)

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package: Njeri Clark, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 4C137, Washington, DC 20202-0001. Telephone: (202) 453-6224 or by email: Njeri.clark@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content and form of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria, the competitive Start Printed Page 11444preference priority and the invitational priority that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We have established mandatory page limits. You must limit the application narrative that addresses the selection criteria and the priorities (if applicable) to no more than 55 pages. How the pages are allocated within the 55 page limit is up to the applicant.

Accordingly, under no circumstances may the application narrative exceed 55 pages.

Please include a separate heading for the competitive preference priority that you address.

For the purpose of determining compliance with the page limits, each page on which there are words will be counted as one full page. Applicants must use the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and an identifier may be within the 1″ margins.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, captions and all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. These items may be single-spaced. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application narrative 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, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The page limit applies to all of the application narrative section which is your complete response to the selection criteria, the invitational priority (if applicable), and your response to one of the competitive preference priorities (if applicable). However, the page limit does not apply to the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424); the Department of Education Supplemental Information form (SF 424); Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524); the assurances and certifications; or the one-page project abstract, program profile form, program activity budget detail form and supporting budget narrative. If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested in the application package, these items will be counted as part of your application narrative for purposes of the page-limit requirement.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: February 23, 2017.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 24, 2017.

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 Other Submission Requirements in section IV of 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 of 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: June 23, 2017.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition 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 competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. This program does not allow indirect costs.

(b) Applicability of Executive Order 13202. Applicants that apply for construction funds under the DHSI Program must comply with Executive Order 13202, as amended. This Executive order provides that recipients of Federal construction funds may not “require or prohibit bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or other construction project(s)” or “otherwise discriminate against bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors for becoming or refusing to become or remain signatories or otherwise to adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or other related construction project(s).” Projects funded under this program that include construction activity will be provided a copy of this Executive order and will be asked to certify that they will adhere to it.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days. If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

Note:

Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov. If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, Start Printed Page 11445we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​sam-faqs.html.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​register.html.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition 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 DHSI Program, CFDA number 84.031S, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 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 email 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 DHSI Program at 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 84.031, not 84.031S).

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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. 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 4:30:00 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 competition 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 under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​applicants/​apply-for-grants.html.
  • 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: The 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.
  • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the application narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.
  • 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. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

  • 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 Start Printed Page 11446obtain 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine 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 prevents 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: Beatriz Ceja, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C133, Washington, DC 20202-0001. FAX: (202) 401-8466.

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 following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.031S), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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.

(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.

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.

We will not consider applications postmarked after the deadline date.

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 84.031S), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 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

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 606.22 and 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:

(a) Quality of the applicant's comprehensive development plan. (Up to 20 points).

The extent to which—

(1) The strengths, weaknesses, and significant problems of the institution's academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability are clearly and comprehensively analyzed and result from a process that involved major constituencies of the institution; (up to 5 points)

(2) The goals for the institution's academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability are realistic and based on comprehensive analysis; (up to 5 points)

(3) The objectives stated in the plan are measurable, related to institutional goals, and, if achieved, will contribute to the growth and self-sufficiency of the institution; and (up to 5 points)

(4) The plan clearly and comprehensively describes the methods and resources the institution will use to institutionalize practice and improvements developed under the proposed project, including, in particular, how operational costs for personnel, maintenance, and upgrades of equipment will be paid with institutional resources. (Up to 5 points)

(b) Quality of the project design. (up to 5 points)

The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the Start Printed Page 11447proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice).

(c) Quality of activity objectives. (Up to 15 points)

The extent to which the objectives for each activity are—

(1) Realistic and defined in terms of measurable results; (up to 5 points) and

(2) Directly related to the problems to be solved and to the goals of the comprehensive development plan. (up to 10 points)

(d) Quality of implementation strategy. (Up to 15 points)

The extent to which—

(1) The implementation strategy for each activity is comprehensive; (up to 5 points)

(2) The rationale for the implementation strategy for each activity is clearly described and is supported by the results of relevant studies or projects; (up to 5 points) and

(3) The timetable for each activity is realistic and likely to be attained. (up to 5 points)

(e) Quality of project management plan. (Up to 10 points)

The extent to which—

(1) Procedures for managing the project are likely to ensure efficient and effective project implementation; (up to 5 points) and

(2) The project coordinator and activity directors have sufficient authority to conduct the project effectively, including access to the president or chief executive officer. (up to 5 points)

(f) Quality of key personnel. (Up to 5 points)

The extent to which—

(1) The past experience and training of key professional personnel are directly related to the stated activity objectives; (up to 2 points) and

(2) The time commitment of key personnel is realistic. (up to 3 points)

(g) Quality of evaluation plan. (Up to 15 points)

The extent to which—

(1) The data elements and the data collection procedures are clearly described and appropriate to measure the attainment of activity objectives and to measure the success of the project in achieving the goals of the comprehensive development plan; (up to 5 points)

(2) The data analysis procedures are clearly described and are likely to produce formative and summative results on attaining activity objectives and measuring the success of the project on achieving the goals of the comprehensive development plan; (up to 5 points) and

(3) The evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings. (up to 5 points)

(h) Budget. (up to 5 points)

The extent to which the proposed costs are necessary and reasonable in relation to the project's objectives and scope.

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

Tiebreaker: In tie-breaking situations for development grants described in 34 CFR 606.23(b), the DHSI Program regulations require that we award one additional point to an application from an IHE that:

(1) Has an endowment fund of which the current market value, per FTE enrolled student, is less than the average current market value of the endowment funds, per FTE enrolled student, at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction;

(2) Has expenditures for library materials per FTE enrolled student that are less than the average expenditures for library materials per FTE enrolled student at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction; or

(3) Proposes to carry out one or more of the following activities—

(i) Faculty development;

(ii) Funds and administrative management;

(iii) Development and improvement of academic programs;

(iv) Acquisition of equipment for use in strengthening management and academic programs;

(v) Joint use of facilities; or

(vi) Student services.

For the purpose of these funding considerations, we use 2014-2015 data.

If a tie remains after applying the tiebreaker mechanism above, priority will be given in the case of applicants for (a) Individual Development Grants, to applicants that addressed the statutory priority found in section 521(d) of the HEA; and (b) Cooperative Arrangement Grants, to applicants in accordance with section 524(b) of the HEA, under which the Secretary determines that the cooperative arrangement is geographically and economically sound or will benefit the applicant HSI.

If a tie still remains after applying the additional point(s) and the relevant statutory priority, we will determine the ranking of applicants based on the lowest endowment values per FTE enrolled student.

3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program, the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), accessible through SAM. You may review and comment on any information yourself that Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Start Printed Page 11448Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or, we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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 of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of 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: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) 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 multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 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 www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

(c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the DHSI Program:

a. The annual rate of degree or certificate completion for all students, and specifically for Hispanic students, at DHSI grantee institutions.

b. The annual persistence rate at DHSI grantee institutions for all students, and for Hispanic students in particular, from one year to the next.

c. The percent of all students, and of Hispanic students in particular, that transfer from a 2-year HSI to a 4-year institution.

d. The annual percent change in the number of Hispanic students completing a teacher preparation program.

e. The number of all students, and the number of Hispanic students in particular, served by any direct student service supported by the grant.

f. Federal cost per undergraduate and graduate degree at institutions in the DHSI program.

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Njeri Clark, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C137, Washington, DC 20202-0001. Telephone: (202) 453-6224 or by email: Njeri.clark@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Applicants should periodically check the DHSI Program Web site for further information. The address is: www.ed.gov/​programs/​idueshsi/​index.html.

VIII. Other Information

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/​fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Start Signature

Dated: February 17, 2017.

Linda Byrd-Johnson,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Higher Education Programs, and Senior Director, Student Service.

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Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2017-03540 Filed 2-22-17; 8:45 am]

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