Breakthrough Models in Education Grants

NGLC's third and fourth grant competitions support educators and innovators who have a vision for highly engaging, technology-enabled learning pathways that a) span secondary school through postsecondary completion and b) prepare students for economic, social, and civic success.

The third grant competition is now closed, but the fourth competition, Wave IV: Breakthrough School Models for College Readiness, is accepting submissions until December 2, 2013 for Launch grants and January 13, 2014 for Planning grants.

These waves have sought approaches that could help all students—but especially low-income students and students of color—develop the skills and knowledge they need to lead successful lives. Models that have a clear, sustainable expansion or adoption plan to meet the need have risen to the top of our list.

WAVE III A: Breakthrough Models for College Readiness (K-12) launched in October 2011 and awarded grant funding to twenty school operators developing new, personalized, competency-based, blended learning whole school models. More information about this grant competition can be found here. Read the Wave IIIa Request for Proposals here (now closed). Learn more about each grantee here and at the Knowledge Center on this NGLC website.

WAVE III B: Breakthrough Models for College Completion (postsecondary) also launched in October 2011 and awarded grant funding to ten postsecondary institutions developing new, personalized, learning science-based, blended learning degree programs. More information about these investments can be found here. Read the Wave IIIb Request for Proposals here (now closed).

WAVE IV: Breakthrough School Models for College Readiness was announced in February 2013 to extend the goals of Wave IIIa by supporting more personalized, competency-based, blended learning whole school models and encouraging a more diverse portfolio of schools and school developers. This grant competition involves two types of grants—Launch and Planning grants. More information about these investments can be found here. Read the Wave IV Grant Announcement here, which provides all of the information necessary to apply for one of these secondary school model grants (deadline December 2, 2013).
 

Application Process:

Applicants have been asked to submit the following in lieu of traditional application materials:

  • Two minute video introducing the team, the application or the school model (Wave III only)
  • 12 slide PowerPoint presentation deck with voiceover
  • 5-7 page narrative (Wave IV only)
  • Financial model using provided template
  • Brief online form based application

The presentation decks for Wave IV applications focus specifically on the school’s academic model. The presentation decks for Wave III (available for viewing here) served as summary business plans and addressed the following subjects:

  1. Mission
  2. Founding, planning and management team
  3. What is the problem and need that your school model will address?
  4. How does your model’s design differ from, contribute to or complement related work in the field? Where does it sit in the broader landscape?
  5. Academic model - how does your model personalize learning for all students and prepare them for college and career readiness?
  6. Assessment of primary risks and mitigation strategies
  7. What is the status of work to date?
  8. Organization structure and capacity to implement and administer the proposed work
  9. Start-up strategy
  10. Cost efficiency and sustainability of model
  11. Growth plan and development roadmap

Those selected as finalists were asked to respond to questions posed by reviewers after reviewing initial application materials. Finalists submitted:

  • Revised narrated presentation deck
  • Narrative explicitly responding to specific reviewer questions and general questions around personalization, competency framework and scheduling
  • Extended financial model and description of financial assumptions using templates provided