34 CFR § 645.31 - What selection criteria does the Secretary use?
The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate an application for a grant:
(a)Need for the project (24 points). In determining need for an Upward Bound project, the Secretary reviews each type of project (Regular, Math and Science, or Veterans) using different need criteria. The criteria for each type of project contain the same maximum score of 24 points and read as follows:
(1) The Secretary evaluates the need for a Regular Upward Bound project in the proposed target area on the basis of information contained in the application which clearly demonstrates that -
(i) The income level of families in the target area is low;
(ii) The education attainment level of adults in the target area is low;
(iii) Target high school dropout rates are high;
(iv) College-going rates in target high schools are low;
(v) Student/counselor ratios in the target high schools are high; and
(vi) Unaddressed academic, social and economic conditions in the target area pose serious problems for low-income, potentially first-generation college students.
(2) The Secretary evaluates the need for an Upward Bound Math and Science Center in the proposed target area on the basis of -
(i) The extent to which student performance on standardized achievement and assessment tests in mathematics and science in the target area is lower than State or national norms.
(ii) The extent to which potential participants attend schools in the target area that lack the resources and coursework that would help prepare persons for entry into postsecondary programs in mathematics, science, or engineering;
(iii) The extent to which such indicators as attendance data, dropout rates, college-going rates and student/counselor ratios in the target area indicate the importance of having additional educational opportunities available to low-income, first-generation students; and
(iv) The extent to which there are eligible students in the target area who have demonstrated interest and capacity to pursue academic programs and careers in mathematics and science, and who could benefit from an Upward Bound Math and Science program.
(b)Objectives (9 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) For Regular Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Centers -
(i) (1 point) Academic performance (GPA);
(ii) (1 point) Academic performance (standardized test scores);
(iv) (1 point) Completion of rigorous secondary school program of study;
(v) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment; and
(vi) (1 point) Postsecondary completion.
(2) For Veterans Upward Bound -
(i) (2 points) Academic performance (standardized test scores);
(ii) (3 points) Education program retention and completion;
(iii) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment; and
(iv) (1 point) Postsecondary completion.
(c)Plan of operation (30 points). The Secretary determines the quality of the applicant's plan of operation by assessing the quality of -
(1) The plan to inform the faculty and staff at the applicant institution or agency and the interested individuals and organizations throughout the target area of the goals and objectives of the project;
(2) The plan for identifying, recruiting, and selecting participants to be served by the project;
(4) The plan for locating the project within the applicant's organizational structure;
(5) The curriculum, services and activities that are planned for participants in both the academic year and summer components;
(6) The planned timelines for accomplishing critical elements of the project;
(7) The plan to ensure effective and efficient administration of the project, including, but not limited to, financial management, student records management, and personnel management;
(8) The applicant's plan to use its resources and personnel to achieve project objectives and to coordinate the Upward Bound project with other projects for disadvantaged students;
(10) A follow-up plan for tracking graduates of Upward Bound as they enter and continue in postsecondary education.
(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 -
(1) The applicant is committed to supplementing the project with resources that enhance the project such as: space, furniture and equipment, supplies, and the time and effort of personnel other than those employed in the project.
(2) Resources secured through written commitments from community partners.
(ii) An applicant that is a secondary school must include in its commitments from institutions of higher education, community organizations, and, as appropriate, other secondary schools and the school district;
(iii) An applicant that is a community organization must include in its application commitments from the target schools and institutions of higher education.
(e)Quality of personnel (8 points). To determine the quality of personnel the applicant plans to use, the Secretary looks for information that shows -
(1) The qualifications required of the project director, including formal training or work experience in fields related to the objectives of the project and experience in designing, managing, or implementing similar projects;
(2) The qualifications required of each of the other personnel to be used in the project, including formal training or work experience in fields related to the objectives of the project;
(3) The quality of the applicant's plan for employing personnel who have succeeded in overcoming barriers similar to those confronting the project's target population.
(f)Budget and cost effectiveness (5 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which -
(1) The budget for the project is adequate to support planned project services and activities; and
(2) Costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives and scope of 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 and include both quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures; and
(2) Examine in specific and measurable ways the success of the project in making progress toward achieving its process and outcomes objectives.