§ 644.21What selection criteria does the Secretary use?
The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate an application for a new grant:
(a)Need for the project (24 points). The Secretary evaluates the need for an Educational Opportunity Centers project in the proposed target area on the basis of the extent to which the application contains clear evidence of—
(1) A high number or percentage, or both, of low-income families residing in the target area;
(2) A high number or percentage, or both, of individuals residing in the target area with education completion levels below the baccalaureate level;
(3) A high need on the part of residents of the target area for further education and training from programs of postsecondary education in order to meet changing employment trends; and
(4) Other indicators of need for an Educational Opportunity Centers project, including the presence of unaddressed educational or socioeconomic problems of adult residents in the target area.
(b)Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, budget, and other resources:
(1) (2 points) Secondary school diploma or equivalent.
(2) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment.
(3) (1.5 points) Financial aid applications.
(4) (1.5 points) College admission applications.
(c)Plan of operation (30 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the applicant's plan of operation on the basis of the following:
(1) (4 points) The plan to inform the residents, schools, and community organizations in the target area of the goals, objectives, and services of the project and the eligibility requirements for participation in the project;
(2) (4 points) The plan to identify and select eligible participants and ensure their participation without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, or disability;
(3) (2 points) The plan to assess each participant's need for services provided by the project;
(4) (12 points) The plan to provide services that meet participants' needs and achieve the objectives of the project; and
(5) (8 points) The management plan to ensure the proper and efficient administration of the project including, but not limited to, the project's organizational structure, the time committed to the project by the project director and other personnel, and, where appropriate, its coordination with other projects for disadvantaged students.
(d)Applicant and community support (16 points). The Secretary evaluates the applicant and community support for the proposed project on the basis of the extent to which the applicant has made provision for resources to supplement the grant and enhance the project's services, including—
(1) (8 points) Facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, and other resources committed by the applicant; and
(2) (8 points) Resources secured through written commitments from schools, community organizations, and others.
(e)Quality of personnel (9 points). (1) The Secretary evaluates the quality of the personnel the applicant plans to use in the project on the basis of the following:
(i) The qualifications required of the project director.
(ii) The qualifications required of each of the other personnel to be used in the project.
(iii) The plan to employ personnel who have succeeded in overcoming the disadvantages or circumstances like those of the population of the target area.
(2) In evaluating the qualifications of a person, the Secretary considers his or her experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project.
(f)Budget (5 points). The Secretary evaluates the extent to which the project budget is reasonable, cost-effective, and adequate to support the project.
(g)Evaluation plan (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the evaluation plan for the project on the basis of the extent to which the applicant's methods of evaluation—
(1) Are appropriate to the project's objectives;
(2) Provide for the applicant to determine, using specific and quantifiable measures, the success of the project in—
(i) Making progress toward achieving its objectives (a formative evaluation); and
(ii) Achieving its objectives at the end of the project period (a summative evaluation); and
(3) Provide for the disclosure of unanticipated project outcomes, using quantifiable measures if appropriate.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-NEW3)