K16 Collaborative Regional Grant FAQ

We are happy to announce that the Orange County Department of Education/OC Pathways has been awarded funding as part of the Regional K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program. Below you will find an FAQ that is curated for the Orange County region.

Please refer to the Regional K-16 Education Collaborative Grant Program FAQ for specific questions answered by the state for:

– Budget and Allowable Costs
– Collaborative Partners and Considerations
– Grant Application and Scoring Criteria
– Program Requirements
– Reporting Requirements

Project Guidelines and Submissions

What is the goal of this collaborative?

OC Pathways Purpose

  • Recruit and retain underserved students (D/F student list) through inclusive supports.
  • The heart of your project is to serve underserved students. 
    • Example:  60% of recruitment needs to be from D/F student list from your high school partners.

What is the timeline to submit projects and receive funding?

How long is the grant project period?

The grant project period is September 30, 2022 through June 30, 2026.

Who should submit a project?

The project lead for each project will submit the final project proposal in Qualtrics.  A lead can be from:

  • California State – Fullerton

  • University of California – Irvine

  • A Community College

However, in the short timeline between now and July 22nd, you may not have time to meet with each potential partner and combine visions.  We will accept independent final submissions to ensure that every interested partner has an opportunity to share with us their vision / interest to be included in specific sector projects.

All projects need to include:

  • Business/Industry Partners

  • UCI or CSFU (at least one or both)

  • Community College(s) (at least one, but as many as possible)

  • K-12 High School(s) (at least one, but as many as possible)

 

The project guidelines (Google Docs) will be filled out collaboratively with all stakeholders involved in the project. Only one project proposal needs to be submitted per project.

Who can be a project lead?

  • University of California – Irvine

  • California State University – Fullerton

  • An Orange County Community College

What does it mean to be a project lead?

As a project lead, you will be the institution that will be alerted about the funding and award of your project.  The project proposal will be a collaborative effort of all stakeholders involved.

The project lead will oversee the project and be the main contact.

What critical partners does each project need to include?

  • Business/Industry Partners

  • UCI or CSFU (at least one or both)

  • Community College(s) (at least one, but as many as possible)

  • K-12 High School(s) (at least one, but as many as possible)

 

These critical partners are imperative to each project submitted.

Does a UC Extension partner fulfill the requirement to include at least one UC campus?

Yes.

Could K12 CTE Joint Powers Authorities, which are comprised of school districts, fulfill the K12 district requirement in the collaborative?

No. A Joint Powers Authority itself is not eligible to fulfill the K12 District requirement, however, the K12 district(s) that are part of the JPA could serve to meet that requirement

What if I don't have business/industry partners?

Please reach out to our strategic partners if you need industry/business partners.

I don't have a project title but would like to add my idea to the Project Idea Hub. Can I add my idea or do I need to wait for it to be formalized?

No matter where you are in your project planning, please add your ideas to the Project Idea Hub.  If you don’t have a title, add a little about your project,  such as majors, programs, etc. to help others understand where your project is headed.

  • You may add to more than one sector.

  • If you are a partner that can offer services within a sector, please note that information in the “project title”.

From this information, we hope to:

  • Merge our regional entities to enhance further collaboration. (there is an extra space in front of merge)

  • Understand that we all have different systems and vocabulary, but finding common ground and outcomes is imperative to the success of this grant. 

Who might want to partner on a project with my organization?

  • Many stakeholders may be planning to submit a Project Proposal. Do not hesitate to reach out to an organization to inquire or express interest.

  • Check our Project Idea Hub to access a contact list of organizations that have project ideas that might be of interest to you!

Should I wait to join a project?

Many stakeholders may be planning to submit a Project Proposal. Do not hesitate to reach out to an organization to inquire or express interest.

With the 4 categories of work-based learning, are you looking for distinct projects across each of the categories?

You are not required to provide all four categories of work-based learning experiences. Conversely, there may be additional experiences you can offer that might not have been listed.

Link to Work-Based Learning Continuum

Is there expectation that all projects will include CCGI (California Career Guidance Initiative).

Yes, each K-12 district that has high schools participating in a Regional K-16 Collaborative project must have an MOU with CaliforniaColleges.edu (the organization that houses the CCGI platform).

Here’s some additional information:

How can I ensure that I am recruiting underserved students?

  • Recruit and retain underserved students (D/F student list) through inclusive supports.
  • The heart of your project is to serve underserved students. 
    • Example:  60% of recruitment needs to be from D/F student list from your high school partners.

Do I have to fill out two applications: one in Google and the other in Qualtrics?

Think of the Google document: Project Guidelines as a sandbox for your project and collaboration. We are trying to create a virtual collaboration space where you can work with your partners asynchronously.

The ultimate application will be in Qualtrics, where you can copy and paste your Google Document(s) in to serve as the final application.

OC Pathways/OCDE will only review projects that are submitted in Qualtrics.

Is there an expectation that all projects end with a degree from California State - Fullerton or University of California - Irvine?

No, the measurable outcomes for the grant are about work-based learning, so the project does not have to have any correlation to any degree or degree attainment. However, it would be a great data point if you’re able to write that in.

We are focusing on work-based learning opportunities that lead to job placement.

Should projects incorporate a planning period before implementation?

Yes. Projects should incorporate a planning period. However, it is not required. 

How do I decide which high school(s) will participate in the project?

You need to select high school(s) that already has a pathway established within the sector/pathway of the project to be eligible. The project can be at multiple high schools.

If you’re looking to add a high school where the pathway is new, please make sure you can have measurable work-based learning outcomes for reporting purposes.

What if I have additional questions?

If you have additional questions, please use the chat feature on the website (bottom right corner). Someone will answer your question(s) as soon as possible.

Budget 

What are eligible expenditures for the grant?

Eligible Expenditures

  • Additional or new staffing costs directly associated with scope of work of grant

    • For positions partially supported by grant, a pro-rate methodology will be used. An actual time sheet may be used to document time allocated to the project

  • Material Costs

  • Advertising and Marketing costs

  • Costs associated with establishment or updating of a website to promote grant project

  • Non-student travel expenses 

  • Activities of an academic nature (field trips, special lectures, and symposiums, that are aligned with the grant’s objectives)

  • Professional Development

  • Training materials, software and curriculum

Can we include Adult Education programs in our projects and budget?

Yes. Adult Education programs can be included as long as they are supporting a collaborative’s pathways and moving students through education and into the workforce.

Will student supports be an allowable expense (i.e. food, field trips, transportation, technology)?

Yes. However, applicants should clearly explain how these costs align with the goals of the project and provide a plan for sustainability to continue these supports after the grant period ends.

Can funding be used for paid student internships?

Yes, if the student internships are connected to a career pathway and linked to workforce development. Funding should not be used for student interns as personnel for the project. Applicants should clearly explain how these costs align with the goals of the project and provide a plan for sustainability to continue these supports after the grant period ends.

Please think about leveraging other funding, whenever possible, for internships, pre-apprenticeships, and apprenticeships as there are a lot of state and local initiatives that support these activities.

Can funds be used to hire support staff or for teachers to help support students through pathways?

Yes. Staffing costs can be supported by the grant. However, applicants should provide a plan for sustainability for these costs for after the grant period ends.

Can funding be used for facilities upgrades? Can funds be used for equipment and/or building space rental?

Yes. However, the proposal must be very specific about what this helps to achieve; how the facilities upgrade contributes to the overall project goals; and how ongoing costs, such as utilities or maintenance, will be sustained after the grant period ends. Note that this grant program is not intended to be used as another funding source for general facilities funding.

Project Grids 

Does my grid have to be filled out 100% correctly with all elements?

The grid is used as a conversation piece around your project. The goal would be to leverage collaboration, understand each others’ systems and vocabulary and give you a starting point to begin formalizing your ideas.

The grids provide you with a map to start navigating how our systems are already aligned and how your institution can enhance pathway activities to support student success.

How do I fill out the job titles on the grids?

You can use the list from the EDD or work with your business partner(s).

Reporting Requirements

What are the main reporting requirements?

Collaboratives will be expected to submit quarterly reports to track progress towards their goals and outcomes as identified in their grant application and grant agreement and also to track expenditures.

Data Reporting Due Dates (Quarterly)

  • August 31, December 31, March 31, and June 30

Data Reporting will include:

  • Cumulative report of all collaborative expenditures to date

    • Detailed listing of expenditures organized by fund source

Object code level of accounting detail

  • Warrant Date

  • Warrant Amount

  • Payees

  • Description of expenditures

  • Supporting Documentation such as:

    • General leger reports

    • Contracts

    • Invoices

    • Purchase orders

    • timesheets/duty statements

  • Narrative describing progress towards project goals and milestones including:

    • Info related to meetings

    • Participation by collaborative partners

    • Accomplishments to dates

    • Highlight lessons learned

    • Progress towards participations in Data Collection and Outcome Sharing Plan

    • Identify challenges and steps taken to overcome challenges

    • If not on track for completion by required deadline, provide:

      • Written explanation describing how collaborative will resolve these issues & make appropriate course corrections

What are the major milestones that each project needs to accomplish?

By June 30, 2024:

    • Implement (2) Recovery with Equity (RWE)

      1. Cultivate inclusive, engaging, and equity-oriented learning environments

      2. Recruit and retain underserved students (D/F student list) through inclusive supports (required)

      3. Provide high-tech, high-touch advising

      4. Support college preparation and early credit

    • Demonstrate progress toward (2) remaining RWE

    • Fully Establish (1) Pathway* (Pathway means industry sector in the local or regional economy)

By June 30, 2026

    • Fully implement both pathways and all (4) RWE

In CA, educational agencies lack the ability to easily track employment outcomes for students/trainees/participants. Some states (e.g. North Carolina) do a decent job of this. If we want to be able to report employment outcomes, we need to be able to track them. What system improvements are being planned in California to address this need?

Collaboratives will be expected to identify employment outcomes, both qualitative and quantitative, that they can track and that support overall project goals. This could include the number of certificates and degrees completed in each pathway, the number of internships or other work-based learning opportunities completed in each pathway, and successful entry into the workforce in each pathway. Collaboratives should work with their local employer partners to track these outcomes.

How many occupational pathways must collaboratives have?

Collaboratives must have one occupational pathway by June 30, 2024, and the second occupational pathway by June 30, 2026.