Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program (TAACCCT)
B - Could fund technology as a primary component of the budget, if the agency receiving the grant chooses to use it for that purpose.
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
The TAACCCT program provides capacity-building grants to drive innovation and the development of model training programs at America’s community colleges and universities. TAACCCT-funded programs will prepare participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations by using innovative and sophisticated teaching and learning strategies that reach large numbers of unemployed or under-employed adults. Further, the program will work to increase the number of workers who attain certificates, degrees, and other industry-recognized credentials, helping meet President Obama’s college graduation goal of increasing the percentage of adults with a post-secondary credential by 2020.
The overarching goals of the TAACCCT program are to:
- Increase attainment of degrees, certifications, certificates, diplomas, and other industry-recognized credentials that match the skills needed by employers to better prepare TAA-eligible workers and other adults for high-wage, high-skill employment or re-employment in growth industry sectors;
- Introduce or replicate innovative and effective methods for designing and delivering instruction that address specific industry needs and lead to improved learning, completion, and other outcomes for TAA-eligible workers and other adults; and
- Demonstrate improved employment outcomes.
One of the key goals of the TAACCCT Round 3 solicitation is to support the design and delivery of employer sponsored work-based training models. Work-based learning models come in a variety of forms, but all typically involve some learning of skills in a classroom type setting and some opportunity to apply these skills in a practical employment setting. This combination of methods ensures that workers not only learn academic skills, but other elements that employers often seek such as teamwork, professional communication, problem solving and other workplace skills. Some forms of work-based learning, such as apprenticeship, offer the learner the opportunity to earn money while gaining a credential, easing the economic barrier to success for many low-income students. Other forms of work-based learning, such as integrating a for-credit internship into the curriculum, may not provide students with income, but provide valuable practical education opportunities. Because work-based learning models can address a fuller range of employment competencies, graduates of these programs may be better prepared to be productive on the job, improving employers’ competitiveness.
With TAACCCT, the Department is interested in leveraging advanced training technologies that go beyond traditional online education and accelerate learning and credential attainment through a variety of means. This includes skillful use of technology-enabled new, emergent models of online education and workforce training, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs); prior learning assessments; and online and blended learning environments that allow larger numbers of workers to participate. Applicants are encouraged to develop online programs that build on current advances in science and technology and are scalable to large numbers of TAA-eligible workers and other adults. This will, in some cases, require collaborations between community colleges, employers, and research-intensive universities. Examples of promising practices in the online education arena include, but are not limited, to:
- Using cognitive task analysis and concept-based inventories to better design courses;
- Developing digital tutors that increase the effectiveness of learning;
- Creating effective educational software that provides competency-based instruction; and
- Using analytics to drive learning and continuous improvement of courses.
History of Funding
Details of previous grants awards from Round one (FY 2011) and Round two (FY 2012) can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct/grantawards.cfm
All applicants must propose projects that address all of these core elements.
- Core Element 1: Evidence-Based Design: The TAACCCT grant program is one of several Federal grant programs in which grantor agencies fund projects that seek to use evidence to design program strategies. TAACCCT funds the development of new strategies or the replication of existing evidence-based strategies and awards grants to eligible institutions that are committed to using data for continuous improvement of programs that provide workers with the education and skills to succeed in high-wage, high-skill occupations. The Department is committed to funding programs that are likely to improve education and employment outcomes for program participants. Grantees must share information about the effectiveness of new approaches to instruction with key stakeholders.
- Core Element 2: Stacked and Latticed Credentials: The Department is interested in providing more opportunities for TAA-eligible workers and other adults to earn a variety of post-secondary credentials that have labor market value. To that end, applicants must incorporate a variety of credentials, including certificates, certifications, diplomas, and degrees, into the proposed program design. Some of these credentials should be competency-based and attest to the mastery of specific skills and knowledge learned by students, and valued by employers. For certifications, applicants should actively engage employers and/or industry associations to identify any certifications that are either necessary for employment in the field of study or are widely used by employers for hiring and promotion purposes.
- Core Element 3: Transferability and Articulation of Credit: The Department is interested in the transferability and articulation of academic credit that will create career pathways for TAA-eligible workers and other adults to further their education. TAACCCT programs may accomplish this through increased cooperation among institutions within and across state lines, as well as through linkages with programs, such as postsecondary career and technical education, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and other programs that lead to credit-bearing coursework and employment. In the case of awarding credit for completion of apprenticeship programs, applicants are encouraged to work with the Registered Apprenticeship Community College Consortium to develop credit recommendations and articulation agreements.
- Core Element 4: Advanced Online and Technology-Enabled Learning: Applicants must incorporate online and/or technology-enabled learning strategies into their program design. Online and technology-enabled (including hybrid, or a blend of online and classroom instruction) learning strategies provide adults an opportunity to balance the competing demands of work and family with acquiring new knowledge and skills at a time, place, and/or pace that are convenient for them. Applicants should consider using technology to enable rolling and open enrollment processes, modularize content delivery, simulate assessments and training, and accelerate course delivery strategies.
- Core Element 5: Strategic Alignment: Applicants must demonstrate that they performed outreach to, and gathered information on, relevant entities in the communities to be served by the project, including entities that can provide data on the characteristics and skill needs of workers receiving TAA benefits and services in the community. For purposes of the TAACCCT program, a “community” is a city, county, or other political subdivision of a State or a group of political subdivisions of a State.
- Core Element 6: Alignment with Previously-Funded TAACCCT Projects: All applicants must research educational institutions that received funding through TAACCCT Round 1 and/or Round 2 to help decrease duplication and to strengthen the geographic reach of their projects, and should coordinate efforts where possible. Applicants must consider connecting with TAACCCT grantees that are developing and delivering content within the same targeted occupation or industry, or that have designed a technology infrastructure which enhances the teaching and learning experience. This connection could include sharing information, lessons learned, and program content; sharing technological innovations; developing transferability and articulation agreements; and working together to standardize credentials. Applicants must consider the development of new programs that complement those already operating to build a network of programming across the state, region or country. To promote better coordination, the Department encourages applicants to share widely their intent to apply for TAACCCT funds by notifying their state higher education associations and/or governing boards.
Eligible institutions are institutions of higher education as defined in Section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002) which offer programs that can be completed in not more than two years. They include public, proprietary, or other nonprofit educational institutions. Generally, such institutions of higher education include two-year and four-year colleges and universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving Institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving Institutions.
In 2014, this program will accept applications from two types of applicants:
- Single Institution Applicant - Eligible single institution applicants are eligible institutions of higher education.
- Consortium Applicant (Single-State Consortium and Multi-State Consortium Applicants) - Eligible consortium applicants are consortia of three or more eligible institutions of higher education.
The deadline for Single Institution Applicants was June 18, 2013. The deadline for Consortium Applicants was July 3, 2013. Similar deadlines are anticipated annually.
Funding for all applicants will be provided in the form of a grant. Approximately $474 million is available, which the Department intends to award to single and consortium applicants:
- Award Amount for Single Institution Applicants (Single Institution Applicants) Under this SGA, DOL intends to make grant awards to eligible institutions ranging from $2,372,500 to $2.75 million, up to a total of $150 million, to single institution applicants.
- Award Amount for Consortium Applicants (Single-State Consortium and Multi-State Consortium Applicants) DOL intends to make 15 to 20 grant awards of up to $25 million each to consortia of eligible institutions, up to a total of approximately $324 million in grant awards to consortium applicants.
The period of performance is 48 months, with an anticipated start date of October 1, 2013. Cost sharing or matching funds are not required for this program. Applications that include any form of cost sharing or match will not receive additional consideration under the review.
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