Subject: Institutional Eligibility for the TEACH Grant Program
Summary: This letter clarifies how an institution will establish eligibility to participate in the TEACH Grant Program.
Posted on 06-03-2008
As explained in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-01, posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84, authorized the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program for implementation beginning with the 2008-2009 Award Year. This letter provides institutions with background information on the TEACH Grant Program with particular attention to institutional eligibility provisions. It also includes an attachment that provides information on the process institutions must use to request to participate in the TEACH Grant Program.
The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students who agree to serve for at least four years as full-time “highly qualified” teachers in high-need fields in public or not-for-profit private elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families. The link to schools serving low-income families is https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp. A TEACH Grant recipient who does not complete the required teaching service within eight years of completing his or her academic program, subject to certain exceptions, or fails to meet certain other requirements of the TEACH Grant Program, must repay the TEACH Grant as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program with interest, accrued from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed.
The law identifies the following as high-need fields for purposes of the TEACH Grant Program –
We have recently completed a negotiated rulemaking process to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the TEACH Grant Program. Those negotiations included representatives from the student financial aid community, student advocacy groups, and teacher training institutions and programs. The TEACH Grant NPRM was published on March 21, 2008. Final rules for the TEACH Grant Program are expected to be published in June of 2008, with implementation of the program beginning July 1, 2008.
TEACH Grant-Eligible Institution
Under section 686.4 of the regulations, a TEACH Grant-eligible institution that offers one or more TEACH Grant-eligible programs may elect to participate in the TEACH Grant Program. Before an institution decides whether it wants to participate in the TEACH Grant Program for the 2008-2009 award year, it should carefully review both the preamble and the regulatory provisions in the NPRM, paying particular attention to the definitions of “TEACH Grant-eligible institution,” “TEACH Grant-eligible program,” and “post-baccalaureate program” in section 686.2, and to section 686.4, titled “Institutional Participation.”
In general, those provisions provide that to participate in the TEACH Grant Program, an otherwise eligible institution must meet one or more of the following conditions –
Documentation of Institutional Eligibility
An institution that is eligible under option 2(a), above, is required to demonstrate that it has one or more of the required agreements. An institution may demonstrate that it has an agreement with a TEACH Grant-eligible four-year institution with a formal articulation or consortium agreement between the institutions, actual student records that evidence full transfer of credit to an eligible program offered by a TEACH Grant-eligible institution, or any other written agreement between the institutions.
An institution that offers a baccalaureate degree that will prepare a student to teach in a high-need field (see 2(b), above) can demonstrate that it has a required agreement with another institution by means of a formal articulation or consortium agreement between the institutions or any other written agreement between the institutions.
An institution that offers a post-baccalaureate program that will prepare a student to teach (see 2(c), above) can use that program to establish its eligibility as long as the institution does not also offer an undergraduate teacher preparation program.
An institution must retain documentation to demonstrate that it is a TEACH Grant-eligible institution. An institution wishing to participate in the TEACH Grant Program must describe to the Department how it meets the definition of a TEACH Grant-eligible institution, using the process described in the attachment to this letter. An institution that is required to have an agreement with another institution in order to be considered a TEACH Grant-eligible institution must submit the name of at least one, but not more than three, institutions with which it has such agreements.
If an institution seeking to participate in the TEACH Grant Program offers a TEACH Grant-eligible post-baccalaureate program that is not currently listed on its Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR) as a Title IV eligible program, the institution must, prior to the time it begins participating in the TEACH Grant Program, update its record using the E-App website (eligcert.ed.gov) to reflect the post-baccalaureate program.
An institution that chooses to participate in the TEACH Grant Program and has a teacher preparation program must maintain documentation that it provides supervision and support services to teachers, or that it assists in the provision of such services. Supervision and support services to teachers may include providing information on effective teaching skills and strategies, effective practices for novice teachers, and mentoring either through the institution’s Web site, through printed materials, or through workshops.
An institution that offers a teacher preparation program that is not accredited by either NCATE or TEAC may be required to provide the Department with documentation showing that the program provides extensive pre-service clinical experience, as discussed above, depending on the state where the program is located.
Request to Participate
Because the TEACH Grant Program is new and because we are re-engineering our institutional eligibility and updating processes, we have developed an interim process for an institution requesting to participate in the TEACH Grant Program beginning with the 2008-2009 award year. Please see the two-page attachment to this letter for specific instructions for requesting approval to participate in the TEACH Grant Program.
We hope that institutions find this information useful. If you have questions about the issues discussed in this letter, please contact Gail McLarnon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-219-7048. If you have questions regarding the participation request process, please contact the School Participation Team for your state. Contact phone numbers are on the E-App homepage.
Diane Auer Jones
TEACH Grant Program
This attachment to DCL GEN-08-07 provides step-by-step instructions for institutions requesting approval to participate in the TEACH Grant Program beginning with the 2008-2009 award year. Before beginning the participation request process, an institution should carefully review the information in DCL GEN-08-07 (and the additional resources listed at the end of that letter) paying particular attention to the definitions of “TEACH Grant-eligible institution,” “TEACH Grant-eligible program,” and “post-baccalaureate program” in section 686.2, and to section 686.4, titled “Institutional Participation.”
1. Because Question 69 of Section K is free form and is used for many purposes, an institution requesting to participate in the TEACH Grant Program must type into Question 69, the information that applies to its request using the format and words as written below.
When the Department receives both the E-App and the signature page, we will review the application and other information concerning the institution and make a determination as to the eligibility of the institution to participate in the TEACH Grant Program beginning with the 2008-2009 award year. If the institution is approved, it will receive a notice to print the approval letter and updated Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR) from the E-App website. If not approved, you will receive a letter explaining why you were not approved.
If you have questions regarding the participation request process, please contact the School Participation Team for your state. Contact phone numbers are on the E-App homepage (eligcert.ed.gov).