Updates & FAQs


Any updates to the Request for Applications (RFA) or grant process will be posted here.

  • 02/25/19 – Expenditure Guidelines (PDF) posted to grant website – See Reference
  • 02/28/19 – Letter of intent interactive form posted to grant website – See Reference
  • 03/06/19 – Initial FAQs posted to the grant website – See below
  • 03/08/19 – Posted March 6 webinar recording and slide deck to the site. View the Upcoming Events page for links.
  • 03/12/19 – Additional FAQ’s posted – See below
  • 03/22/19 – RFA update – See Reference
  • 03/22/19 – Several resources added to Reference area.
  • 03/22/19 – New events added for April – See Upcoming Events.
  • 03/27/19 – RFA update – See Reference
  • 04/03/19 – Posted April 2nd webinar and slide deck. View the Upcoming Events page for links.
  • 04/03/19 – Posted a sample reimbursement MOU. See Reference
  • 04/05/19 – Posted a Grant Application template. See Reference
  • 04/22/19 – Posted additional drop-in QA office hours. See Upcoming Events.


Questions about the Overall Grant Application Process

Will preference be given to colleges that are already part of the CVC-OEI Consortium?
The grant process will be competitive, but equitable. No preference will be given to CVC-OEI Consortium members.

Can more than one college in a multi-college district submit an application?
Yes. Example: Bakersfield College, Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College could submit three separate grant proposals, each for an amount up to $500,000, even though they are from the same district. As with all proposals (individual or joint), actual funding awards will be based on scoring of proposals as well as total funds available.

If colleges in a multi-college district collaborate, what is the maximum grant amount they could apply for?
Grant awards are up to $500,000 per college. Example: A three college district could submit a proposal for up to $1.5 million ($500,000 per college). As with all proposals (individual or joint), actual funding awards will be based on scoring of proposals as well as total funds available.

Can individual colleges apply for more than one grant?
Grant awards are up to $500,000 per college. Example: If a college’s proposal only requests $250,000, the college could submit another proposal for a separate project, keeping in mind the $500,000 cap per college. As with all proposals (individual or joint), actual funding awards will be based on scoring of proposals as well as total funds available.

Questions about Grant Goals, Areas of Emphasis & Outcomes

Does the state education budget say anything about whether Goal # 1 or Goal # 2 is a higher priority?
The budget language states that the criteria and guidelines [developed by the CVC-OEI for administering the grants] shall not grant preference to either option. Project selection should focus on what makes the most sense for each college/district’s local and regional stakeholders.

Do colleges need to specifically address Career Technical Education (CTE), or can project proposals relate to online ADT programs as well?
Project proposals should address online certificate programs, online credentials, and/or online certifications that are (a) valued by industry and/or (b) support pathways for California Online Community College students to continue completing an education for a career pathway.

The RFA identified 3 pathways being developed by the California Online Community College. Are these the only pathways that colleges should target in their application(s)?
If a college is pursuing Goal 2 (i.e., onramps for students who take courses at the California Online Community College to seek continued education), then colleges should target the three initial pathways the online college will support: Information Technologies, Medical Coding, and Management.

What is the definition of an “industry-valued” program and/or certificate?
These include programs and/or certificates that lead to greater employ-ability in the workforce. This is not meant to be restrictive, but instead serve as an opportunity to innovate and think about creating meaningful opportunities to improve students’ socio-economic status.

Will the grant metrics track CTE courses and programs (i.e., TOP codes)?
The overall intent of the grant is to drive innovation that supports economic opportunity and upward mobility for students. This could include innovations in how colleges support students in completing courses, such as giving credit for prior learning, but are not limited to CTE courses with TOP codes. There is a lot of flexibility to innovate in finding ways to serve students. The focus areas should help spur discussions to frame thought processes at each college or district.

Questions about Letters of Intent and/or Grant Applications

How detailed do the Letters of Intent need to be?
The Letters of Intent are structured to be brief (e.g., a 15-word limit for Project Title and a 500-word limit for the Project Summary). The Letters of intent are meant to give an idea of (a) the tracks where colleges are focusing their attention and (b) what innovations and ideas they are considering. It is understood that the grant planning process may cause a shift in thinking.

In the Letter of Intent, how long should the reply to the “level of certainty” be?
There is no word limit for the level of certainty – it is up to each college. However, the response should not be longer than the project summary. The response should give the an idea of how much thinking and planning has already taken place at the college.

Should a financial budget breakdown be included in the Letter of Intent?
Specifically for the Letter of Intent, just the range of budget is required.

As college teams work on the Letter of Intent and/or Application, what resources exist to help identifying the most pressing regional workforce that need to be addressed?
Colleges/districts are invited to refer to the following resources: (a) CCCCO Launchboard, (b) CCCCO Labor Market Information Library, and (c) Public Policy Institute of California.

If two colleges want to submit a partnership proposal, should they submit one joint Letter of Intent?
Yes, a joint Letter of Intent should be submitted, indicating appropriate contacts and approval at both colleges. Partnerships must choose one PI to have overall responsibility for the administration of the award and interactions with the CVC-OEI. The PI is the individual who has the authority and responsibility for the project, including the appropriate use of grant funds and the submission of required progress reports. This person should be identified on the application as the Project Director/Principal Investigator. All other PIs should be listed as Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs).

For a collaborative proposal between multiple colleges, should the Project Summary section be used to briefly describe respective roles and responsibilities?
If it is possible to describe respective roles briefly within the Project Summary’s 500-word limit, then yes. However, there will be an opportunity to go into more depth on the Grant Application itself.

Will the Grant Application be available as a fillable PDF?
The CVC-OEI team is currently finalizing a fillable PDF for the Grant Application – as soon as it is ready, the team will post it for download and announce it to all potential applicants.

Can a proposed project(s) fall under more than one of the three tracks in the RFA?
Colleges should aim to identify the one track that best matches the project’s primary goal, but may select up to three areas of alignment or emphasis to further outlines what colleges propose to do. The Grant Application will provide colleges with the ability to expand on any larger scale proposals that do not clearly fall into a single track.

Must projects select multiple areas of alignment or emphasis in the Application?
The areas of alignment or emphasis are meant to guide the colleges in project planning and innovation. Ultimately, it is a local decision how many areas to pursue as part of the project.

Questions about Announcements and Notifications

Will CVC-OEI broadcast submission reminders as announcements of some kind? If so, when and how will they be released? Can colleges subscribe to receive notifications?
Submission reminders will be noted on the Improving Online CTE Pathways grant website as well as the CVC-OEI twitter – colleges/districts are encouraged to subscribe. Reminders and/or additional communications may also be released via CCC system listservs. Reminders for the Letter of Intent as well as the Grant Application will be broadcast in the two weeks prior to the submission deadline.

When/how will colleges receive a Notification of Receipt of Letters of Intent?
A member of the CVC-OEI team will acknowledge receipt of each Letter of Intent via email to the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and Project Director/Principal Investigator (PI) within three (3) business days of submission. If the CVC-OEI team does not have any follow-up questions based on the submission, college teams will be invited to begin working on the Grant Application.

Questions about Expenditures, Invoices & Payments

What is the purpose of the the Planning & Development Reimbursements?
Planning and Development Reimbursements (up to $15,000) are designed to fund one or more faculty and/or staff members to prepare an Grant Application. This could include funding release time, providing a stipend, and/or hiring external assistance (e.g., grant writer).

When will applicants receive the Planning & Development Reimbursement?
The reimbursement funds (up to $15,000) will be processed upon submission of the final Grant Application and appropriate invoicing. Deadline for submission is May 01, 2019.

Will additional guidance be provided for Planning & Development Reimbursements?
Applicants will be provided with an invoice template as well as template task tracking sheet (e.g., hourly log). All documents will be posted to the Improving Online CTE Pathways website.

What are considered allowable and non-allowable expenditures for the grant?
Applicants should refer to the Improving Online CTE Pathways Expenditure Guidelines. The CVC-OEI will not provide an exhaustive list of allowable and non-allowable expenditures, as decisions for each expenditure must be made locally according to program objectives and activities, in addition to the “reasonable and justifiable” criteria.

Per the Expenditure Guidelines, what is considered Capital Outlay?
Capital Outlay includes expenditures that result in the acquisition of fixed assets, existing buildings, improvements to sites, construction of buildings, construction of additions to buildings, and initial and additional equipment and furnishings for educational facilities. Capital Outlay also includes equipment having a useful life of one year or more as well as tools, implements, and instruments used continuously without material change in physical condition and value.

Can the Grant Implementation Period be extended past the June 30, 2020 deadline?
Due to grant reporting and other statewide budget requirements, funds awarded to the colleges must be spent by June 30, 2020. Additional information, updates, and/or changes to spending requirements will be communicated out to the grant awardees.

Can administrative (indirect costs) be factored into the proposed project budget?
Colleges and/or districts should only budget for direct costs associated with the proposed project(s) – administrative costs (e.g. % indirect) are not to be included in the grant application and/or subsequent invoices. This applies to both the Planning & Development Reimbursement (up to $15,000) and actual Improving Online CTE Pathways grant funding.