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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Program

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTI) Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.031X. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1840-0816.

DATES:

Applications Available: February 5, 2020.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 6, 2020.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 5, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Don Crews, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 268-42, Washington, DC 20202-4260. Telephone: (202) 453-7920. Email: Don.Crews@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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The NASNTI Program provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) to enable them to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native American students and low-income individuals. Institutions may use these grants to plan, develop, or implement activities that strengthen the institution.

Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference priorities. These priorities are from the Secretary's Notice of Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Supplemental Priorities).

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional five points to an application, depending on how well the application responds to one of the following priorities. Applicants should clearly identify which competitive preference priority, if any, they intend to address and will only receive points for addressing one of the following priorities.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens (up to 5 points)

Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science (up to 5 points)

Projects designed to improve student achievement or other educational outcomes in one or more of the following areas: Science, technology, engineering, math, or computer science (as defined in this notice). Projects that are designed to address increasing access to STEM coursework, including computer science (as defined in this notice), and hands-on learning opportunities, such as through expanded course offerings, dual-enrollment, high-quality online coursework, or other innovative delivery mechanisms.

Definitions: The definitions below are from 34 CFR part 77.1 and the Secretary's Notice of Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Supplemental Priorities).

Computer science means the study of computers and algorithmic processes and includes the study of computing principles and theories, computational thinking, computer hardware, software design, coding, analytics, and computer applications.

Computer science often includes computer programming or coding as a tool to create software, including applications, games, websites, and tools to manage or manipulate data; or development and management of computer hardware and the other electronics related to sharing, securing, and using digital information. In addition to coding, the expanding field of computer science emphasizes computational thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving to equip students with the skills and abilities necessary to apply computation in our digital world.

Computer science does not include using a computer for everyday activities, such as browsing the internet; use of tools like word processing, spreadsheets, or presentation software; or using computers in the study and exploration of unrelated subjects.

Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes.

Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes.

Note: In developing logic models, applicants may want to use resources such as the Regional Educational Laboratory Program's (REL Pacific) Education Logic Model Application, available at https://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​Start Printed Page 6538edlabs/​regions/​pacific/​elm.asp, to help design their logic models. Other sources include: https://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​edlabs/​regions/​pacific/​pdf/​REL_​2014025.pdf, https://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​edlabs/​regions/​pacific/​pdf/​REL_​2014007.pdf, and https://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​edlabs/​regions/​northeast/​pdf/​REL_​2015057.pdf.

Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers).

Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the specific goals of the program.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1059f (title III, part A, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA)).

Note:

In 2008, the HEA was amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), Public Law 110-315. Please note that the regulations in 34 CFR part 607 have not been updated to reflect these statutory changes.

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 Office of Management and Budget 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 as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 607. (e) The Supplemental Priorities.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants. Five-year Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants will be awarded in FY 2020.

Note:

A cooperative arrangement is an arrangement to carry out allowable grant activities between an institution eligible to receive a grant under this part and another eligible or ineligible IHE, under which the resources of the cooperating institutions are combined and shared to better achieve the purposes of this part and avoid costly duplication of effort.

Estimated Available Funds: $4,444,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2021 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Individual Development Grants:

Estimated Range of Awards: $200,000-$300,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $250,000 per year.

Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $300,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 12.

Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants:

Estimated Range of Awards: $300,000-$400,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $350,000 per year.

Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $400,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 4.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. a. Eligible Applicants:

This program is authorized by title III, part A, of the HEA. At the time of submission of their applications, applicants must certify their total undergraduate headcount enrollment and that 10 percent of the IHE's enrollment is Native American. An assurance form, which is included in the application materials for this competition, must be signed by an official for the applicant and submitted.

To qualify as an eligible institution under the NASNTI Program, an institution must—

(i) Be accredited or preaccredited 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) Be 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; and

(iii) Be designated as an “eligible institution,” as defined in 34 CFR 600.2, by demonstrating that it: (1) Has an enrollment of needy students as described in 34 CFR 607.3; and (2) has low average educational and general expenditures per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student as described in 34 CFR 607.4.

Note:

The notice announcing the FY 2020 process for designation of eligible institutions, and inviting applications for waiver of eligibility requirements, was published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2019 (84 FR 68434). Only institutions that the Department determines are eligible, or which are granted a waiver under the process described in that notice, may apply for a grant in this program.

b. Relationship between the Title III, Part A Programs and the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program:

A grantee under the HSI Program, which is authorized under title V of the HEA, may not receive a grant under any HEA, title III, part A program. The title III, part A programs are: The Strengthening Institutions Program; the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program; the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program; the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Program; and the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Pprogram. Furthermore, a current HSI Program grantee may not give up its HSI Program grant in order to be eligible to receive a grant under the NASNTI Program or any title III, part A program as described in 34 CFR 607.2(g)(1).

An eligible HSI that is not a current grantee under the HSI Program may apply for a FY 2020 grant under all title III, part A programs for which it is eligible, as well as receive consideration for a grant under the HSI Pprogram. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant as described in 34 CFR 607.2(g)(1).

An eligible IHE that submits applications for an Individual Development Grant and a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant in this competition may be awarded both in the same fiscal year. However, we will not award a second Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant to an otherwise eligible IHE for an award year for which the IHE already has a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant award under the NASNTI Program. A grantee with an Individual Development Grant or a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant may be a subgrantee in one or more Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants. The lead institution in a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant must be an eligible institution. Partners or subgrantees are not required to be eligible institutions.

2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. Grant funds must be used so that they supplement and, to the extent practical, Start Printed Page 6539increase 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 607.30 (b)).

3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.

2. 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.

3. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 607.10(c). We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 50 pages for Individual Development Grants and no more than 65 pages for Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants and (2) 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.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, and no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract and the bibliography. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

Note:

The Budget Information-Non-Construction Programs Form (ED 524) Sections A-C are not the same as the narrative response to the Budget section of the selection criteria.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The following selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210. Applicants should address each of the following selection criteria separately for each proposed activity. The selection criteria are worth a total of 100 points; the maximum score for each criterion is noted in parentheses.

a. (a) Need for project. (Maximum 20 points) The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(1) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project. (10 points)

(2) The extent to which the proposed project will focus on serving or otherwise addressing the needs of disadvantaged individuals. (5 points)

(3) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses. (5 points)

(b) Quality of the project design. (Maximum 25 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:

(1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. (10 points)

(2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs. (5 points)

(3) The extent to which the proposed project demonstrates a rationale (as defined in this notice). (10 points)

(c) Quality of project services. (Maximum 10 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (5 points)

(2) In addition, the Secretary considers:

(i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services. (3 points)

(ii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. (2 points)

(d) Quality of project personnel. (Maximum 10 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (4 points)

(2) In addition, the Secretary considers:

(i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator. (3 points)

(ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel. (3 points)

(e) Adequacy of resources. (Maximum 5 points) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(1) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project. (3 points)

(2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. (2 points)

(f) Quality of the management plan. (Maximum 15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (5 points)

(2) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project. (5 points)Start Printed Page 6540

(3) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products and services from the proposed project. (5 points)

(g) Quality of the project evaluation. (Maximum 15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers:

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project. (10 points)

(2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible. (5 points)

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 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 (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

A panel of two non-Federal reviewers will review and score each application in accordance with the selection criteria. A rank order funding slate will be made from this review. Awards will be made in rank order according to the average score received from the peer review and from the competitive preference priority addressed by the applicant.

In tie-breaking situations for development grants, under 34 CFR 607.23(b) we award one additional point to an application from an IHE that 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 type institutions that offer similar instruction. We award one additional point to an application from an IHE that has expenditures for library materials per FTE enrolled student that are less than the average expenditure for library materials per FTE enrolled student at similar type institutions. We also add one additional point to an application from an IHE that proposes to carry out one or more of the following activities:—

(1) Faculty development;

(2) Funds and administrative management;

(3) Development and improvement of academic programs;

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

(5) Joint use of facilities; and

(6) Student services.

For the purpose of these funding considerations, we use 2018-2019 data.

If a tie remains after applying the tie-breaker mechanism above, priority will be given to applicants that have the lowest endowment values per FTE enrolled student.

3. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific 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 $250,000), 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 the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a 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. Representative 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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20.

4. 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 Start Printed Page 6541report, 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.

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

(a). The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students at four-year NASNTIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same NASNTI;

(b). The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students at two-year NASNTIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same NASNTI;

(c). The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at four-year NASNTIs who graduate within six years of enrollment; and

(d). The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at two-year NASNTIs who graduate within three years of enrollment.

6. 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. 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.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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

Robert L. King,

Assistant Secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-02215 Filed 2-4-20; 8:45 am]

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