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Strengthening Institutions Program

Grant: Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP)
Agency: U.S. Department of Education (DOE)
Division: Office of Postsecondary Education
Deadline: The deadline was June 3, 2013.

Description: The Strengthening Institution Program (SIP) works to help institutions of higher education become self-sufficient, and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.

In Fiscal Year 2013, the SIP grant competition will have two application options for applicants. The first includes an absolute priority that must be followed by applicants, and the second offers two competitive preference priorities which if addressed will add additional points to one's proposal.

  • Option One: Absolute Priority - Here, applicants must address the absolute priority Supporting Programs, Practices, or Strategies for which there is Strong or Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness requiring proposed projects be supported by strong or moderate evidence.
  • Option Two: Competitive Preference Priority - Here, applicants may choose to address any or all of the competitive preference priorities. Though not required, applicants who address these competitive preference priorities may receive additional points on their final applicant. These priorities include:
    • Increasing Post Secondary Success: College Completion - projects designed to increase the number and proportion of high-need students who persist in and complete college or other postsecondary education and training.
    • Improving Productivity - projects designed to significantly increase efficiency in the use of time, staff, money or other resources while improving student learning.

Fit for Public Broadcasting: University licensees are encouraged to partner with eligible institutions for this program. The improving productivity priority and focus on technology are an especially good fit for public broadcasters calling for faculty to use technology and digital tools to improve instruction, including the use of open educational resources.

In 2011, Oklahoma State University of Oklahoma City received $399,969 to expand its access to high demand STEM program by building a multi-faceted framework. The University proposed to convert STEM courses to an online and/or hybrid delivery, develop online student services and establish a faculty resource center where teachers will receive training on these new distance learning technologies and best practices. Read more on this project.

Eligibility: Stations are not eligible to apply for this program alone, but are encouraged to partner with an eligible educational institution. Eligible entities include those accredited by a nationally recognized agency or association; legally authorized by the state to provide a bachelor’s degree educational program; and cater to a needy student enrollment population.

Anticipated Funding: Funding varies depending on the solicitation to which you apply. Under the absolute priority option, DOE anticipates making a total of $10 million across five awards. Grants will range from $1 million - $2 million, with a project period of up to 60 months. Under the competitive preference priority option, DOE anticipates making a total of $9,787,998 across 21 awards. Grants will range from $300,000 - $450,000 with a project period of up to 60 months.

How to Apply: Applications must be submitted electronically using Online submission requires registration, a process that usually takes three to five business days but can take as long as four weeks. Be sure to visit and begin registering well in advance of the deadline.

Program Notice - Absolute Priority Option
Program Notice - Competitive Preference Priority Option
Program Website
Past Grantees


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