Kickstarter Program for Community College Hispanic Serving Institutions
Improving recruitment and retention of Hispanic students at Community College Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in STEM-related fields by enhancing their participation in NSF-funded initiatives
Email Interest to Participate (required):
June 2, 2016 – Closed
Full Application Due Date:
June 23, 2016; 5pm PDT – Closed
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) issued this Call for Applications to Community College HSIs from California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida to participate in an intensive, comprehensive technical assistance program designed for this 3-year grant period to prepare and position them to compete successfully for federal funds focused on student recruitment and retention in STEM fields.
Call for Applications
Who Can Apply?
- Applicants must be designated (with at least 25% Hispanic student enrollment) Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) within California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or Florida.
- The HSI must be a Community College.
- Applicants must have active or recent Title-‐V funding and the awarded Title V project must be focused on: (a) recruiting and retaining students in STEM, (b) updating and streamlining STEM courses and degree/certification attainment and/or (c) expanding federal funding competitiveness.
- Applicants must have previously submitted proposal(s) in the last 5 years to NSF, or other government agency, and been declined.
- Institutions are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply if they are, or have been, the lead institution of an NSF grant within the past 5 years. (Exception is NSF S-STEM/STEP awards before 2015).
WHAT'S THE COHORT #2 TIMELINE?
The KickStarter Program, led by SFAz, is a technical assistance program that prepares and positions Community College HSI’s to compete successfully for federal funds with focus on student recruitment and retention in STEM fields. The program begins immediately with the Kickstarter application process that includes NSF principles to guide and support college participants on their paths to developing competitive proposals to NSF. For STEM planning purposes, the program uses the SFAz STEM Pathways Model and Guide (refer to STEM Pathways Guide) to assist community colleges in developing their strategies to increase recruitment and retention of students in STEM career and transfer pathway programs. The SFAz STEM Pathways Model is a strategic framework that provides community colleges with an easy-to-use roadmap for researching, planning and implementing STEM Pathway programs. Proposals to NSF that are built upon college-wide STEM plans designed to improve recruitment and retention are more likely to show greater potential for sustainability, suggesting a wiser investment of NSF funding, and therefore are more likely to be competitive and potentially funded. Assistance is provided to develop these NSF proposals. This program is made possible with support from National Science Foundation (NSF). Please refer to Award Abstract #1450661.
To improve the federal funding participation and competitiveness of participating institutions in NSF-funded STEM initiatives by providing a wide range of technical assistance services.
To address the needs of each participating institution in a customized fashion, involving administration, faculty and staff, and community partners: feeder schools, regional universities, workforce employers, researchers, and other investigators who have been previously funded in similar studies. SFAz’s Technical Assistance Team will assist the institution to utilize the STEM Pathways Model and Resource Guide to develop their pathways strategies, identify areas in their pathways plan that need attention, and prioritize the programs that are most ready for funding. The SFAz Technical Assistance Team will assist the institution in developing proposals to federal agencies whose funding objectives can be met by these programs. Proposal requests for funding to support the priorities of a strategic STEM Pathways plan will demonstrate a quality investment for the funder and compete more favorably with the review panels.
- Objective 1: Increase the number of Community College HSIs who compete successfully as lead grantees on NSF projects
SFAz’s External Review Panel will evaluate KickStarter applications and select the institutions to participate with the SFAz Technical Assistance Team based on the extent to which they meet the selection criteria. Selected institutions agree to work with KickStarter to produce a minimum of two competitive proposals to NSF (per college) during the award period, of which KickStarter’s goal is that at least one be awarded per college.
- Objective 2: Strengthen the institution’s STEM infrastructure (i.e., their capacity to increase recruitment and retention success rates among Latino students)
Many organizations that fail to receive or effectively implement federal funded projects do so because they have not built an internal infrastructure (i.e., capacity) to plan and/or carry-out the proposed project. Following their Readiness Framework and guided by their KickStarter Field Representatives, institutions will engage in activities such as, for example: STEM program identification, facilitation, evaluation and technical support; data improvements; extended partnership building; and industry-supported internships for students and/or teachers.
- Objective 3: Engage institutions with a broader range of partners in K-12, industry, four-year institutions, and researchers to help sustain STEM programs and improve community college HSIs’ federal program competitiveness
The project will leverage SFAz’s existing, robust networks to develop a collection of KickStarter networks. These associations will serve to jump-start KickStarter institutions and can become idea factories for future projects and proposals. As institutions move through the KickStarter project, they will help each other become grounded in and grow these networked platforms. The Arizona STEM Network, led by SFAz, is an online collaboration between businesses, educators, government and philanthropy and will be used as a networking platform for community college HSIs (http://stem.sfaz.org)
KickStarter Program FAQ's
We were a subgrantee on a Title V program. Does that disqualify us? Do we need to have had our own award?
You are eligible to apply for the KickStarter program having benefited from a Title V sub-grant. However, the Title V grant must “be focused on (a) recruiting and retaining students in STEM, (b) updating and streamlining STEM courses and degree/certification attainment and/or (c) expanding federal funding competitiveness.
What are the budget conditions of the application? Are there any matching requirements, and what can the participating schools expect in the way of financial support?
Budget conditions of the application do not include any matching requirements. Since this is not a monetary grant per se, there will be no transaction of funds. However we will provide the following:
- Technical expertise of our Community College Field Representatives to assist and guide the college in a self-analysis of its STEM Pathway programs and strategies, develop a STEM Pathways strategic plan, and create a proposal strategy that will be paired with our Grant Writing experts.
- Grant Writing experts who will follow up to assist with the proposal development, preparation, and submission process. The KickStarter goal is to assist colleges in preparing at least two and winning at least one NSF award so the financial support from that prospective award should be considered in your decision.
- We will also pay the travel/hotel/per diem costs for two members of your Internal Team to attend the Kickoff meeting in Washington DC during the week of September 14-18 (either Sep 14-16 or 16-18 including travel days).
Despite repeated attempts at NSF funding, we have secured only one, which is the S-STEM scholarship one. Does receiving this one disqualify us?
You are eligible to apply for the KickStarter program if you are the prime recipient of a scholarship grant, such as the NSF-funded S-STEM grant which replaced STEP grants a few years back.