34 CFR 425.21 - What selection criteria does the Secretary use?
The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate an application:
(a) Program factors. (10 points) The Secretary reviews each application to assess the quality of the proposed project, including -
(1) The extent to which the project involves creative or innovative methods for integrating vocational and academic learning; and
(2) The quality of the services that the project will provide to -
(i) Individuals who are members of special populations;
(ii) Vocational students in secondary schools and at postsecondary institutions;
(iii) Individuals enrolled in adult programs; or
(iv) Single parents, displaced homemakers, and single pregnant women.
(b) Educational significance. (10 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the applicant -
(1) Bases the proposed project on successful model vocational education programs that include components similar to the components required by this program, as evidenced by empirical data from those programs in such factors as -
(i) Student performance and achievement;
(ii) High school graduation;
(iii) Placement of students in jobs, including military service; and
(iv) Successful transfer of students to a variety of postsecondary education programs;
(2) Proposes project objectives that contribute to the improvement of education; and
(3) Proposes to use unique and innovative techniques that address the need to integrate vocational and academic learning, and produce benefits that are of national significance.
(c) Plan of operation. (15 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the plan of operation for the project, including -
(1) The quality of the project design, especially the establishment of measurable objectives for the project that are based on the project's overall goals;
(2) The extent to which the plan of management is effective and ensures proper and efficient administration of the project over the award period;
(3) How well the objectives of the project relate to the purpose of the program;
(4) The quality of the applicant's plan to use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective; and
(5) How the applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.
(d) Evaluation plan. (15 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the project's evaluation plan, including the extent to which the plan -
(1) Carries out the requirements in § 425.30;
(2) Is clearly explained and is appropriate to the project;
(3) To the extent possible, is objective and will produce data that are quantifiable;
(4) Includes quality measures to assess the effectiveness of the curricular developed by the project;
(5) Identifies expected outcomes of the participants and how those outcomes will be measured;
(6) Includes activities during the formative stages of the project to help guide and improve the project, as well as a summative evaluation that includes recommendations for replicating project activities and results;
(7) Will provide a comparison between intended and observed results, and lead to the demonstration of a clear link between the observed results and the specific treatment of project participants; and
(8) Will yield results that can be summarized and submitted to the Secretary for review by the Department's Program Effectiveness Panel as defined in 34 CFR 400.4(b).
(e) Demonstration and dissemination. (10 points) The Secretary reviews each application for information to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the plan for demonstrating and disseminating information about project activities and results throughout the project period, including -
(1) High quality in the design of the dissemination plan and procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of the dissemination plan;
(2) Identification of the audience to which the project activities will be disseminated and provisions for publicizing the project at the local, State, and national levels by conducting, or delivering presentations at, conferences, workshops, and other professional meetings and by preparing materials for journal articles, newsletters, and brochures;
(3) Provisions for demonstrating the methods and techniques used by the project to others interested in replicating these methods and techniques, such as by inviting them to observe project activities;
(4) A description of the types of materials the applicant plans to make available to help others replicate project activities and the methods for making the materials available; and
(5) Provisions for assisting others to adopt and successfully implement the methods, approaches, and techniques developed by the project.
(f) Key personnel. (10 points) (1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of key personnel the applicant plans to use on the project, including -
(i) The qualifications, in relation to project requirements, of the project director;
(ii) The qualifications, in relation to project requirements, of each of the other key personnel to be used in the project;
(iii) The appropriateness of the time that each person referred to in paragraphs (f)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section will commit to the project; and
(iv) How the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.
(2) To determine personnel qualifications under paragraphs (f)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section, the Secretary considers -
(i) The experience and training of key personnel in project management and in fields related to the objectives of the project; and
(ii) Any other qualifications of key personnel that pertain to the quality of the project.
(g) Budget and cost effectiveness. (10 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the budget -
(1) Is cost effective and adequate to support the project activities;
(2) Contains costs that are reasonable and necessary in relation to the objectives of the project; and
(3) Proposes using non-Federal resources available from appropriate employment, training, and education agencies in the State to provide project services and activities and to acquire project equipment and facilities, to ensure that funds awarded under this part are used to provide instructional services.
(h) Adequacy of resources and commitment. (5 points) (1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the applicant plans to devote adequate resources to the project. The Secretary considers the extent to which -
(i) The facilities that the applicant plans to use are adequate; and
(ii) The equipment and supplies that the applicant plans to use are adequate.
(2) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the commitment to the project including whether the -
(i) Uses of non-Federal resources are adequate to provide project services and activities, especially resources of community organizations and State and local educational agencies; and
(ii) Applicant has the capacity to continue, expand, and build upon the project when Federal assistance under this part ends.