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Prospective Grantees

About

The Office of Adult Education Initiatives was established to provide support and leadership to the field of adult basic education in Colorado. To that end, AEI administers three funding opportunities: the federally funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant, the state funded Adult Education Literacy Act (AELA) grant of 2014 and the state Workforce Diploma Pilot Program (WDPP) of 2019.

Each grant provides funding and support to local agencies serving adult learners across Colorado. CDE is committed to understanding the needs of our adult learners in Colorado, analyzing needs for services, and determining if there are ways to help fill those gaps as we work with our partner agencies and organizations. We are in a challenging budget and economic situation in the state, so it will be even more important to understand the needs of adult learners given the impacted economy and workforce. As a partner in this work, CDE is committed to working with the entire field of adult education providers to support adult learners. To that end, the office maintains a list of other potential adult education funding sources.


Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Corrections Education (Open)

The federally funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act was reauthorized as Title ll of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July 2014. The federal program provides formula funding to state agencies that distribute funds as grants to local adult education programs. Allowable services include adult basic and secondary education and English language acquisition in many contexts: foundational literacy, high school equivalency, family literacy, integrated English literacy and civics education, workforce preparation, workplace education, and integrated education and training. 

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) is soliciting applications from eligible providers of Corrections Education (CE) within Colorado to develop, implement, and improve adult education and literacy activities within Colorado by establishing or operating programs that provide adult basic education, adult secondary education, or English language acquisition instruction for adult criminal offenders in correctional institutions, for adults in community-based rehabilitation facility or halfway house, or for adults in any other medical or special institution. As is allowable according to WIOA § 222(a)(1), AEI will set aside 20% (roughly $1.5 million) of the available AEFLA funds (not including available Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education funds) for corrections education to provide adult education and literacy services. 

CDE anticipates awarding grants for a four-year period. The first year of the corrections education grant is 9 months. The anticipated award period for this grant opportunity is October 2024 through June 2028. Funding in subsequent years for grantees is contingent upon continued federal appropriations and upon grantees meeting all grant, fiscal and reporting requirements.

Note: Applicants must demonstrate a match of 35% of the funds requested.

Unit: Adult Education Initiatives

Timeline

  • RFA Release Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024
  • Intent to Apply: July 15 to 26, 2024 at 12 p.m. MT
  • GAINS Technical Assistance Webinar: Wednesday, July 17, 2024, from 1 to 2 p.m. MT 
    • Recording available after webinar 
    • Presentation available after webinar
  • Demonstrated Effectiveness Application Open in GAINS: Monday, July 29, 2024
  • Demonstrated Effectiveness Application Due in GAINS: Friday, Aug. 9, 2024, by 12 p.m. MT
  • Demonstrated Effectiveness Notifications Sent: Monday, Aug. 12, 2024
  • Narrative Application Open in GAINS to Eligible Applicants: Monday, Aug. 12, 2024
  • Narrative Application Due in GAINS: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. MT
  • Application Review Period: Sept. 9 to 20, 2024
  • Notice of Preliminary Award Status: Monday, Sept. 30, 2024
  • Grant Application FAQ - Responses will be posted weekly on Thursdays by 6 p.m. MT

Application Submission Process

The AEFLA Corrections Education competition is being run through CDE’s Grant Administration Implementation and Navigation System (GAINS). The Intent to Apply form will be used to provide access to GAINS to complete the two-part online application.

  • Part One: GAINS Demonstrated Effectiveness Application (accessible to all applicants)
  • Part Two: GAINS AEFLA Corrections Education Narrative Application (accessible to eligible applicants only)

The Demonstrated Effectiveness application is used to confirm eligibility. Only applicants whose eligibility is confirmed will be eligible to proceed to part two and submit a Narrative Application that may be moved on for scoring consideration if the application is complete.

Full details of the review and scoring processes, funding decisions, and appeals process are available in the AEFLA CE RFA and Narrative Application Planning Document.

Application Planning Documents

The AEFLA CE competition will be run through GAINS. The documents provided are for planning and review purposes only and will not be submitted in GAINS. AEI suggests using the AEFLA CE Narrative Application Planning Document to prepare narrative responses in advance and then copy and paste them into GAINS. Please pay attention to word limits stated in the Narrative Planning Document.  

  •  AEFLA CE RFA and Narrative Application Planning Document (Word) Updated 7-10-23 
    • This document will not be submitted as the application. All applications will be completed in GAINS.
  • PY 24-25 AEFLA Budget Worksheet (Excel, updated 07/02/24 to reflect 35% match)
    • Budgets will be completed in GAINS.
  • AEFLA Assurances
    • Review each assurance before applying for the grant to ensure you will be able to meet all grant requirements. Assurances are required unless otherwise stated. If funded, applicants will be required to complete and sign each assurance via DocuSign.

Resources

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Closed)

The federally funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act was reauthorized as Title ll of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July 2014. The federal program provides formula funding to state agencies that distribute funds as grants to local adult education programs. Allowable services include adult basic and secondary education and English language acquisition in many contexts: foundational literacy, high school equivalency, family literacy, integrated English literacy and civics education, workforce preparation, workplace education, and integrated education and training. AEFLA is currently operating under continuation funding for 2023-24.

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) solicited applications from eligible providers within Colorado to develop, implement, and improve adult education and literacy activities within Colorado by establishing or operating programs that provide a comprehensive service model for adult education and literacy services and instruction, including programs that provide such activities concurrently.

Approximately $7.7 million is estimated to be available for adult education and literacy services under AEFLA (WIOA § 222(a)(1)) for the 2024-2025 fiscal year (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025), with funding contingent on federal appropriations. As is allowable according to WIOA § 222(a)(1), AEI will set aside 20% (roughly $1.5 million) of the available AEFLA funds (not including available Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education funds) for corrections education to provide adult education and literacy services, leaving approximately $5.1 million general AEFLA funds available for awards through the competitive grant application process in the 2024-2025 fiscal year (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025). Of this $5.1 million, approximately $1.1 million is estimated to be available specifically for Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) services for the 2024-2025 fiscal year (WIOA §243(a)).

CDE anticipates awarding grants for a four-year period. Funding in subsequent years for grantees is contingent upon continued federal appropriations and upon grantees meeting all grant, fiscal and reporting requirements.

Note: Applicants must demonstrate a match of 35% of the funds requested.

Unit: Adult Education Initiatives

Timeline

  • RFA Release Date: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024
  • Intent to Apply: February 22 to March 7, 2024 at 12 p.m. MT
  • GAINS Technical Assistance Webinar: Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. MT 
  • Demonstrated Effectiveness Application Open in GAINS: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024
  • Demonstrated Effectiveness Application Due in GAINS: Thursday, March 14, 2024, by 12 p.m. MT (updated 02-22-24)
  • Demonstrated Effectiveness Notifications Sent: Monday, March 18, 2024 (updated 02-22-24)
  • Narrative Application Open in GAINS to Eligible Applicants: Monday, March 18, 2024 (updated 02-22-24)
  • Narrative Application Due in GAINS: Wednesday, May 1, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. MT (updated 04-30-24)
  • Application Review Period: May 6 to May 31, 2024
  • Notice of Preliminary Award Status: Monday, June 3, 2024
  • Grant Application FAQ

Application Submission Process

The AEFLA competition is being run through CDE’s Grant Administration Implementation and Navigation System (GAINS). The Intent to Apply form will be used to provide access to GAINS to complete the two-part online application.

  • Part One: GAINS Demonstrated Effectiveness Application (accessible to all applicants)
  • Part Two: GAINS AEFLA Narrative Application (accessible to eligible applicants only)

The Demonstrated Effectiveness application is used to confirm eligibility. Only applicants whose eligibility is confirmed in the relevant proposed service type(s) will be eligible to proceed to part two and submit a Narrative Application that may be moved on for scoring consideration if the application is complete.

Full details of the review and scoring processes, funding decisions, and appeals process are available in the AEFLA RFA and Narrative Application Planning Document (linked below).

Application Planning Documents

The AEFLA competition will be run through GAINS. The documents linked below are for planning and review purposes only and will not be submitted in GAINS. AEI suggests using the AEFLA Narrative Application Planning Document to prepare narrative responses in advance and then copy and paste them into GAINS.

Resources


Adult Education and Literacy Act (Closed)

AELA Request for Applications

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) is soliciting additional applications from eligible adult education providers that provide adult basic education, including digital literacy instruction, adult education leading to a high school equivalency credential, English as a second language instruction, or skills training as part of a workforce development partnership or education attainment partnership. This grant cohort will be funded through both state adult education funds authorized in SB 23-007 as well as federal State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to specifically serve adults disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

SB23-007 makes available approximately $1,819,288 for the remainder of the 2023-24 fiscal year as well as an additional $1,852,124 for 2024-25. Because of the timing of the release of these funds, CDE anticipates awarding grants of approximately $3,671,412 for the remainder of the 2023-24 fiscal year and through the 2024-25 fiscal year. This award will have a grant period of January 1, 2024-June 30, 2025. Grant funds cannot be obligated nor spent prior to CDE’s approval of the grantee’s 18-month budget. Funding in subsequent years for grantees is contingent upon funding appropriations and grantees meeting all grant, fiscal and reporting requirements.

Timeline

  • Release Date: Monday, Oct. 23, 2023
  • Technical Assistance Webinar: Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. MT (Join the RFA webinar)
  • Grant Application Q&A
  • Application Due: Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. MT
  • Applications Reviewed: Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 - Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 
  • Anticipated Notification of Preliminary Award Status: Monday, Dec. 4, 2023
  • Anticipated State Board of Education Vote: Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024

Application Submission Process

  • Submit completed applications through the online application form by Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. MT
  • Within the online application, applicants will complete Part I with their applicant information (listed as Part A below) and upload attachments as described in the Required Elements section of the RFA.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. If you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt of your submission from the application system within 24 hours after the deadline, e-mail CompetitiveGrants@cde.state.co.us.
  • Current AELA grantees will have an opportunity to request supplemental AELA funding once the competition closes in mid-November. At that time, AEI will let current AELA grantees know the amount of funding remaining and provide instructions for budget revision steps to request from those remaining funds. AELA grantees requesting funds in this way will not need to complete the grant application. However, there is no guarantee that additional funds will be available after the completion of the competition. Current AELA grantees interested in applying for funding through the full competition may do so but will need to complete the entire application, competing against other, non-current AELA grantees also competing for those funds. 

Application Required Elements

 

The state Adult Education and Literacy Act (AELA) was originally passed in 2014 and revised in 2020. This grant program provides adult education programs funding for adult basic education, adult education leading to a high school equivalency credential, English as a second language instruction, or integrated basic education and skills training as part of a workforce development partnership or education attainment partnership. CDE conducted an AELA grant application process from March – June 2021, and the current AELA grant cycle is from July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2025. HB21-1264, the Funds Workforce Development Increase Worker Skills bill, funded through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, passed in June 2021 gave a one-time additional $5 million in federal American Recovery Plan Act funding to the AELA grant to provide next-level education and training to Colorado unemployed adults disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency for better employment outcomes. CDE used a portion of the SLFRF funds to supplement existing AELA-funded programs and ran a competition for the remainder of the SLFRF funds between January and March 2022. 

The following organizations are current AELA grantees:

  • Asian Pacific Development Center
  • Colorado Mountain College
  • Community College of Aurora
  • Community College of Denver
  • Durango Adult Education Center
  • Emily Griffith Technical College
  • Harrison School District 2
  • Mesa County Libraries Adult Learning Center

  • Metropolitan State University Family Literacy Program
  • Mile High Youth Corps
  • Montrose Adult Education Center
  • Morgan Community College
  • School District 11 Adult & Family Education
  • Spring Institute
  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Higher Education


Colorado Adult High School Program (Closed)

The Colorado Adult High School Grant Program was created under SB 23-003 and provides state funds to create a pathway for Coloradans who are 21 years of age or older and do not have a high school diploma to attend high school and earn a diploma at no cost. Students may also earn industry-recognized certificates, career and technical education certificates, or college credits at no cost through the program. The act requires CDE to award a grant to a Colorado community-based nonprofit organization to operate the program as an education provider. The education provider is required to meet requirements outlined in the act when offering the Adult High School Program.

CDE will be conducting a grant application process for this award between September - November 2023. Key dates within that timeline are listed below as well as application materials.

Information about the release of Request for Applications will be shared through the CLICK Listserv. To subscribe, please email AEI@cde.state.co.us.