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101 - Federal Government Announces New Grants Program Focusing on the Future of Technology and Learning

To: TechLearn Trends Readers
From: Elliott Masie

We have had a special request from our colleagues in the Federal Government to help circulate information about an exciting new grants program focusing on the future of technology and learning. Ten million dollars in grants will be awarded in Fiscal Year 1999 to broaden access to technology-mediated education that is not limited by time or place. Please read the announcement below and contact them directly for more information. The MASIE Center wants to encourage universities, researchers and businesses to form partnerships to apply for these knowledge extending help. We will widely circulate the results of these projects in future Trends. Special thanks to Thomas Kalil at the White House for his work on this important program:

The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education announces that the competition guidelines and application materials for the LEARNING ANYTIME ANYWHERE PARTNERSHIPS (LAAP) are now available on the web at:

The following information is excerpted from the application guidelines and is not complete. Be sure to read the entire set of application materials before preparing a proposal. If you want to obtain a print copy of these application materials, please send your postal mailing address to


The Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP) program is a grant competition newly authorized by the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Ten million dollars in grants will be awarded in Fiscal Year 1999 to broaden access to technology-mediated education that is not limited by time or place. LAAP will support partnerships that may include universities, colleges, businesses, community organizations, and other entities to use technology to address the biggest challenges and opportunities in postsecondary education and lifelong learning. Ideally, LAAP projects should make possible resource sharing and activities that would not occur were any of the participating partners to act on their own. These projects, should be bold and coherent demonstrations of new ideas that are national or regional in scope.


LAAP will be considering proposals addressing the following invitational priorities (all of which are explained further in the application package):

Addressing Cost, Scalability, and Sustainability
Balancing Interactivity, Cost, and Flexibility
Developing High Quality, Interactive Courseware
Packaging Courses and Programs
Using Skill Competencies and Learning Outcomes
Improving Quality and Accountability
Creating New Opportunities for Underserved Learners
Improving Support Services


Eligible partnerships must consist of two or more independent agencies, organizations, or institutions. The partners may include institutions of higher education, community organizations, and other public and private institutions, agencies, and organizations. A non-profit organization should be designated to serve as the lead applicant and fiscal agent for the partnership.


Funds awarded through LAAP grants may be used to develop and assess model distance learning programs or innovative educational software; to develop methodologies for the identification and measurement of skill competencies; to develop and assess innovative student services; or to support other activities consistent with the purposes of the competition.


LAAP grants may provide up to five years of funding, depending on the scope of the requested activities. Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 projects may begin as early as September 1, 1999, but preferably no later than January 1, 2000. We estimate that 25-30 new awards will be made. Most grants will be for one, two, or three years of funding. These grants will likely range from $100,000 to $500,000 per year, with an average of $333,333 per year. A few grants of exceptional scope may be larger, with an average of $500,000 per year, and/or provide four or five years of funding. Only the first year of funding will be obligated from FY 1999 funds; funding for subsequent years is contingent upon Congressional appropriations.


Federal funds shall provide not more than 50 percent of the total cost of LAAP-funded projects. The non-Federal share of project costs may be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including services, supplies, or equipment. The program aims to promote the leveraging of resources among institutions and, in particular, to encourage investments and contributions from private sector partners.


LAAP does not expect to provide support for large equipment purchases or for the development of computer networks or other infrastructure. However, applicants are encouraged to leverage institutional and private investments to support these costs, and to proceed with their planning and program development by directly coordinating with the appropriate computer networking professionals.


All applicants must submit a "preliminary proposal" up to seven pages in length by April 2, 1999. These preliminary proposals will be reviewed and a select number of applicants will be invited in May to submit by June 18 a "final proposal" up to twenty-five pages in length. Award decisions, which are expected to be announced by July 31, will be based upon review of the final proposals.


The LAAP competition will be administered by the Fund fo the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE): ROB-3, Room 3100, 7th and D St. SW, Washington, DC 20202-5175

Phone: 202-708-5750
E-mail: (Use this address to request print copies of the application materials)

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