Applicants are expected to thoroughly review the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) HRSA in its entirety.

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1 Applicants are expected to thoroughly review the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) HRSA in its entirety. CLARIFICATIONS TO FOA: Please note the following clarifications in the FOA Structured Programs (Pages 16-17) Structured programs must meet one of the six criteria listed. Adult/Non-Traditional Learning/Including Veteran Academic Support Program (page 17) A comprehensive program that provides educational opportunities to adult s interest in pursuing an Associate s Degree and/or a bachelor s degree. The curriculum is designated to provide flexible academic schedules and a variety of academic and social support services specifically tailored to working adults and parents. Educational Level (Page 34) Educational categories whereby students are at one of the following levels: rising high school juniors/seniors in high school, undergraduate (including community college), graduate or professional, non-traditional/adults learner currently not enrolled in an educational program. Health Professions Academy (Page 35) A Health Professions Academy provides should provide programming to 11th and 12th grade students and should be designed as multi-year intensive pipeline programs that follow students through secondary education. ELIGIBILITY 1. Are Schools of Nursing eligible to apply for this FOA? RESPONSE: No, Schools of Nursing are not eligible to apply for this FOA (HRSA ). 2. Are non-profit non-academic institutions eligible to apply as the lead applicant (e.g., hospital systems, Federally Qualified Health Centers, regional Area Health Education 1

2 Centers (AHEC), nonprofit training and education organizations, labor management organizations)? What if the entity is not accredited? RESPONSE: Yes. Other public or private nonprofit health or educational entities are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate in the application how they meet the eligibility criteria and program requirements outlined in the FOA. Applicants from non-academic organizations must also demonstrate that their academic partner community, technical, and/or tribal college(s) is an accredited program nationally recognized by an accrediting agency, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education. (http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg5.html#nationallyrecognized). 3. If an organization was awarded funding for a Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) or HCOP Skills Development and Health Workforce Development for Paraprofessionals grant program in fiscal year (FY) 2014, is it still eligible? RESPONSE: Yes, if the entity meets the eligibility criteria outlined on page 5 of the HRSA FOA. 4. Page 8 of the FOA states that multiple applications from an institution are not allowable. Our university has three campuses (School of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine) that are located in the same city but each has a separate dean. Are we eligible to apply? RESPONSE: If there are multiple health professions schools or departments affiliated with the same institution and interested in submitting an application for HRSA , only one application will be funded. The Health Careers Pipeline Branch strongly encourages institutions to work together and submit one application instead of multiple applications. 5. Are schools that provide Associate s Degree eligible? RESPONSE: Yes, community colleges and Associate s Degree programs are eligible for this FOA. 6. Is an Associate s Degree Program eligible if it includes allied health? 2

3 RESPONSE: Yes, an Associate s Degree in an allied health program is eligible. Please make sure the proposed activities meet the legislative purposes outlined on pages 1-2 in the FOA. 7. Are the following majors considered allied health majors: radiography, physical therapist assistant, clinical laboratory assistant, paramedic, emergency medical technician (EMT), dental hygiene, medical assistant, and phlebotomy? RESPONSE: The allied health programs referenced above are eligible if an Associate s Degree or baccalaureate degree is earned. Please make sure the proposed activities meet the legislative purposes outlined on pages 1-2 in the FOA. 8. Are Schools of Social Work eligible for this grant? RESPONSE: Yes, Social Work programs are eligible; these programs would be considered part of the programs in behavioral and mental health. 9. Are entities that have academic programs for massage therapists, nutrition, and dietitians eligible? RESPONSE: Nutrition and dietitian programs are eligible as they are allied health disciplines. Massage therapist programs are eligible as allied health only if an Associate s Degree and/or baccalaureate degree is earned. Please make sure the proposed activities meet the legislative purposes outlined on pages 1-2 in the FOA. 10. Our entity was awarded HCOP funding nine years ago. Are we eligible to apply? REPONSE: Yes, current and past HCOP grantees, who meet the eligibility requirements as outlined on page 5 of the FOA, can apply. 11. Our university has a Health Information Technology (IT) program; does this count as allied health? RESPONSE: Health IT is not an accredited discipline recognized in the authorizing legislation for the HCOP grant programs. 3

4 12. Regarding adults or non-traditional learners, and veterans, is this target group required to graduate from undergraduate school (community college and/or baccalaureate) or is completion of a certification program allowable? RESPONSE: The HRSA funding opportunity announcement focuses on three milestones of education: high school completion, acceptance, retention and graduation from college; and acceptance, retention and completion of a health professions degree program. Certificate programs are not eligible for this funding opportunity announcement. 13. Students are enrolled in a general health studies program and it is competitive to get into allied health. Are we eligible if the students are in general health studies and choose nursing? RESPONSE: HCOP funding supports students enrolled in general health studies programs; however, activities focused on nursing are not supported by HCOP grant funding. 14. Our university has a premed program. We have no allied health program but my guess is that they are trying to get students in such programs. Are we eligible? RESPONSE: Pre-health professions programs (such as premed) are eligible to apply. Please make sure the proposed activities meet the legislative purposes outlined on pages 1-2 in the FOA. 15. Our past pipeline program included allied health, graduate study, and medical study. Can the HCOP grant program only focus on one health career area? Will we be penalized? RESPONSE: No, there is no penalty for proposing activities that focus on one programmatic area. Applicants are encouraged to propose programs that will capitalize on their strengths and that will most effectively meet the objectives outlined in the funding opportunity announcement. 16. Page two of the FOA states that, address the academic and social needs of one or more of the following. Is it favorable to target more than one? 4

5 RESPONSE: HRSA expects applicants to propose activities that respond to the needs of the target population and educational level that the applicant has the capacity and resources to support. 17. We are a health care academy that partners with accredited universities for nontraditional students. Are we eligible or does the lead applicant has to be an accredited university? RESPONSE: The FOA has a list of the eligible entities outlined on page 5. In addition to the eligible health professions schools identified, eligible entities may also include, other public or private nonprofit health or educational entities including community colleges, technical colleges and tribal colleges. Please make sure the proposed activities meet the legislative purposes outlined on pages 1-2 in the FOA. CERTIFICATE AND TRAINING PROGRAMS 18. Are schools that offer certificate programs eligible? RESPONSE: No, health professions certificate programs are not eligible for this funding opportunity announcement. 19. We have a certified community health worker (CHW) program. Can this be integrated under the allied health profession? RESPONSE: No, certified Community Health Worker training Programs are not eligible for this FOA. The HRSA funding opportunity announcement is for accredited schools listed in the FOA and focuses on three key milestones of education: high school completion; acceptance, retention, and graduation from college; and acceptance, retention and completion of a health professions degree program. LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE(S) 20. The FOA highlights five legislative purposes. Does this mean it is no longer allowable to provide stipends or are the programs within the HCOP grant program unstructured? 5

6 RESPONSE: HRSA is narrowing the focus to these five legislative purposes/objectives in order to collect better measures of progress on HCOP grantees. HRSA expects that stipends will still be provided as a valuable participation incentive for disadvantaged population and encourages successful completion of the program (see Structured Programs below). Applicants who propose to address all eight legislative purposes will not be deemed more competitive. 21. Why does this FOA exclude early stage enrichment programs and focus on latter grade high school? RESPONSE: At HRSA, our focus is to encourage grant recipients to demonstrate more immediate outcomes as a result of federal investments. The emphasis on the latter pipeline is HRSA s attempt to improve our methods for collecting and demonstrating better and more immediate outcomes measures. STRUCTURED PROGRAMS 22. Can our structured program apply to juniors in high school through the end of their senior year (two- full years), including the rising senior level? RESPONSE: Yes, high school completion is one of the three key milestones in the education pipeline that is emphasized in the FOA. 23. Are we penalized for non-structured programs for middle school and 9th and 10th grade high school students and are they eligible for stipends? RESPONSE: No, applicants will not be penalized for offering unstructured programs to students below 11 th and 12 th grades (high school). However, please keep in mind that the budget has to be allocated to activities that address the five legislative purposes as identified in the FOA. In addition, stipends can only be provided for participation in structured activities designed to address the specific target populations outlined on page two of the FOA. 24. Page 16 of the FOA requires a minimum of 25 students per educational level. Does this mean 25 undergraduate students and 25 high school students so it is 50? 6

7 RESPONSE: Yes, in this FOA, educational level refers to the three levels of education: high school, college (community college and baccalaureate), and health professions degree level. Therefore, it is 25 at each separate educational level. 25. Define which programs fall under pre-matriculation? RESPONSE: Pre-matriculation programs can be designed for any health professions discipline defined in the FOA. Please see the definition for pre-matriculation programs found on page 36 of the FOA. 26. Is a pre-matriculation program before a student becomes an undergraduate at our program or if s/he goes to another college that we have an agreement with? RESPONSE: HRSA s definition for a pre-matriculation program can be found on page 36 of the FOA. Students transitioning from high school are eligible for a summer program (see definition on page 38 of the FOA) and are not eligible for the pre-matriculation program. 27. I have collaboration with two different undergraduate institutions; do I need a minimum of 25 from each institution? RESPONSE: The 25 student minimum refers to the targeted educational level (e.g. high school, undergraduate or health professions school) and not per institutional partner. 28. My School of Allied Health Science may partner with the School of Pharmacy. Would we have to have to serve 25 in each? RESPONSE: The 25 student minimum refers to the targeted educational level (e.g. high school, undergraduate or health professions school) and not per institutional partner. 29. Is there a preference for the health professions discipline? RESPONSE: No, there is no preference for one particular health professions discipline. Please note, however, nursing programs will not be funded through this FOA. FORMAL SIGNED AGREEMENTS 7

8 30. Can we have formal agreements with an entity that is part of the Comprehensive Approach? RESPONSE: If you are submitting an application requesting the funding preference for the Comprehensive Approach, a formal, signed agreement must be included for each partner institution/entity. Please see the definition for the Comprehensive Approach on page 33 in the FOA. 31. Do formal agreements have to be signed and in place by the May 15 (applicant Comprehensive Approach deadline date) or can they be in process and be signed by July 1 (the award date)? REPONSE: Yes. Please review the definition of formal signed agreement on page 34 in the FOA. 32. How do you define a formal agreement, i.e., is it a contract? RESPONSE: The definition of a formal signed agreement is on page 34 in the FOA. The content should include a mutual understanding of the work to be performed by each institution named in the grant. BUDGET 33. Are salaries covered in the grant and is there a limit on the full-time employee (FTE) covered by the grant? RESPONSE: Yes, salaries may be covered by the grant. Currently there is not a percent cap on the FTE. However, the budget and narrative budget justification must clearly demonstrate the percent effort of each personnel associated with the HCOP grant activities. 34. What are the criteria regarding senior staff persons with donated time? 8

9 RESPONSE: Senior staff such as the PI may have effort that is in-kind (donated time). The only criterion is that the budget and budget justification must clearly reflect/describe the percent effort that will be donated in-kind on the grant. 35. Is there a restriction on hiring outside evaluator? RESPONSE: There are no restrictions in the budget regarding contracting out for an evaluator. 36. Is there any restriction on the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) or administrative staff effort on this grant? RESPONSE: No, these decisions are left up to the discretion of the institution. 37. If the application is submitted as co-project Directors, is there any extra documentation needed? RESPONSE: For all key personnel identified in the application a biosketch (counted in the 65 page limit) and completion of the standard form for key personnel (not counted in page limit) are required with the submitted application. 38. Key personnel document is not included in the application, or should it be? RESPONSE: Biosketches for all key personnel must be included in the application. These documents are counted in the page limit. 39. Can FY 2015 HCOP grant funds be used for scholarships or tuition for the participating students? RESPONSE: Scholarships or tuition fees are not allowable expenses under the HCOP grant program. Financial support provided to eligible participants/students, must be awarded as a Stipend under Trainee Expense in the budget and included in the budget justification. Please see pages in the FOA. 40. Is there a minimum or maximum level of budget allocated to students, i.e. 75 percent? 9

10 RESPONSE: No, there is no stipulation regarding minimum or maximum levels of budgets to be allocated to students for the HRSA FOA. The budget and budget justification must clearly describe and align with the proposed activities. 41. Is there a maximum stipend amount that can be awarded to students? RESPONSE: Please see page 16 of the FOA. This grant does not set a minimum/maximum stipend amount as it depends on the educational level activities implemented. Stipend levels are left to the discretion of the institution. 42. What about child care is that an eligible expense? RESPONSE: No, support services such as child care are not allowable expenses under the HRSA FOA. 43. Under Funding Restrictions on page 20 of the FOA, what is considered essential that allows us to provide meals? RESPONSE: Using federal funds for meals is not allowable. Justification for extenuating circumstances that would require providing a meal would be required and would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. PROGRAM-SPECIFIC 44. With an organization that had an HCOP grant, is there guidance on where to present the outcomes from that grant? RESPONSE: The Organizational information, resources and capabilities section of the narrative is the best place to include outcomes from a previous HCOP grant. This information can also be included throughout various sections of the application if the content displays the strength of your capability. 45. Our pipeline initiatives have been in place for individuals prior to 11th grade. If we include these activities as a justification for the 11th and 12th grade high school 10

11 students in this grant, it will use a significant portion of the space in the 65 page maximum. Should this information be included or not be included in the application? RESPONSE: Applicants need to prioritize the content and supporting documentation to include in their application in order to stay within the 65 page limit. 46. Do you have a definition of first generation? RESPONSE: The reviewers will rely on the applicant s definition and application of the term. 47. How is advanced degree defined? RESPONSE: For the FY 2015 HCOP grant program, advanced degree is defined as completion of any degree beyond the earned baccalaureate degree. 48. Are there previously funded applications that are available to others who may want to review them? RESPONSE: No, HRSA does not make previously funded applications available to the public; however, the HRSA website has copies of the current HCOP awardee s abstracts. There are also tips on how to write strong grant applications. Please see page 41 of the FOA. 49. How are graduation dates identified? RESPONSE: Graduation dates are based on the academic calendar of the awarded institution. 50. What is on time graduation rate? RESPONSE: For community colleges, graduation within three years is acceptable; for baccalaureate levels, graduation within five years is acceptable. 51. Are applications required to include all three educational levels or can we only focus on one? RESPONSE: Applicants can choose to focus on one or more of the educational levels outlined in the FOA depending on the capacity of their institution. Applicants are encouraged to propose 11

12 programs that will capitalize on their strengths and that will most effectively meet the objectives outlined in the funding opportunity announcement. 52. For first year enrollment, do we have to define the number of freshmen that come in each year? Because if we cite the total enrollment, is that double counting? RESPONSE: If the total enrollment includes first year enrollment you can disaggregate (subtract) the number of first year enrollees. 53. If focused on the junior and senior year of high school, the metric is that they graduate from high school and not that they were accepted to a health professions at the (community) college level. Is this correct? RESPONSE: At each educational level, there are multiple metrics possible (please refer to page 2 in the FOA). In the case of juniors or seniors in high school, the possible metrics are high school completion and the attainment of a high school diploma and/or entry into a two- or four- year undergraduate institution. 54. If we have partner with a four-year degree institution, is it acceptable if the Associate s Degree is not in the health professions? RESPONSE: If you partner with a four year degree institution and intend to track students who transfer to a four-year degree institution, then a non-health professions Associate s Degree is allowable for this program. Please make sure the proposed activities meet the legislative purposes outlined on pages 1-2 in the FOA. 55. Regarding the transfer from a community college, some students may transfer to a fouryear college or elsewhere. Are we required to track them after that point? RESPONSE: Applicants are expected to track students during the three-year project period. Depending on the targeted education level of HCOP activities, applicants must track the achievements of the milestones identified in the FOA (see page 2). 56. If we have a letter of intent to form a consortium that is included in the application, we usually do not develop sub-awards until after we receive the award. So our application 12

13 would include the letter of agreement but not the sub-award agreement. Is this allowable? RESPONSE: That is correct. Including sub-award agreements as part of the application is not expected. However, applicants must include in the budget and the budget justification how the budget will be spent to support the sub-awardees. 57. Is there a date requirement that students are in the HCOP grant s activity? RESPONSE: Applicants are expected to show enrollment by the end of the first budget year. 58. Focus of the FOA is on rising high school juniors and seniors. Does this include entering freshman? RESPONSE: Yes, if the juniors and seniors have the intent to pursue college education through a community college or baccalaureate degree, acceptance and enrollment as a freshman will be one of the key milestones. 59. If strategies and activities are for a group, can you include students who are not disadvantaged at no cost ($) to HRSA funds. RESPONSE: The intent of the FY 2015 HCOP grant program is to provide academic and social support to disadvantaged students. HRSA does not restrict involving non-disadvantaged students in HCOP-related group activities that do not require additional outlay of HCOP funds. 60. I am from a college of health professions which includes physician assistance (PA) and physical therapy (PT) programs. The post-baccalaureate program needs to have prematriculation summer session. The PA and PT programs start in May so there is no summer beforehand. Can this pre-matriculation be in the fall? RESPONSE: Yes the pre-matriculation program can be held in the fall. 61. Does allocation of stipend(s) have to be 12- months in calendar year? 13

14 RESPONSE: A student is allowed to receive a stipend for a maximum of 12- months. This does not have to be 12- consecutive months. 62. Under the FOA s definition of allied health definition, are you looking for markers of undergraduate completion and transfer to health professions degree? For example, is the Associate s Degree a marker of success or do you need to transfer as well to four year program? RESPONSE: Under the Specific Focus of the FOA section (page 2), it states, Provide academic support to retain and assist students enrolled in two-year programs to graduate with an Associate s Degree and/or transfer to a four-year institution. Completion of an Associate s Degree qualifies as one of the key educational milestones. 63. Is the number of students a primary focus? RESPONSE: Applicants are required to meet the minimum thresholds for structured program activities and the objectives described in the FOA. 64. Is there an additional definition for health research training that meets that requirement? RESPONSE: The definition provided on page 35 is general as the specific health research training activities will vary depending on the entity and educational level addressed through HCOP activities. 65. Do sub-awardees need to submit a Maintenance of Effort or does this apply only to the lead applicant? RESPONSE: Only the lead applicant needs to include a Maintenance of Effort table in the application. 66. If students who earn an Associate s Degree are placed in health workforce, is this an achievement? 14

15 RESPONSE: Yes, graduation from an Associate s Degree program aligns with the key educational milestones outlined in the FOA. 15

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