Applications for New Awards; Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-Open Textbooks Pilot Program, 57196-57201 [2020-20379]

Download as PDF 57196 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 179 / Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / Notices received during the public scoping period will receive consideration during EIS preparation. Written comments on the scope of the EIS or the project’s potential to affect historic properties pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 can be mailed or submitted electronically via the virtual Open House. To receive consideration, comments submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than October 13, 2020. Comments may be mailed to the following address: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific, Attn: PHNSY DD/WPF EIS Project Manager, 258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96860–3134. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the EIS website at www.PearlHarborDryDockEIS.org or the virtual Open House website, online at www.PearlHarborDryDockEISOpen House.org. Comments must be posted by 11:59pm HST on October 13, 2020. Dated: September 3, 2020. D.J. Antenucci, Commander, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–19961 Filed 9–14–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education—Open Textbooks Pilot Program Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the Open Textbooks Pilot program conducted under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.116T. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1894–0006. DATES: Applications available: September 15, 2020. Deadline for transmittal of applications: November 16, 2020. ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Sep 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/ pdf/2018-02558.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacey Slijepcevic, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 268–34, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–6150. Email: stacey.slijepcevic@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports projects at eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) that create new open textbooks (as defined in this notice) and expand the use of open textbooks in courses that are part of a degree-granting program, particularly those with high enrollments. Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses (as defined in this notice) or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields. Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, and definitions (NFP) for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. Absolute Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet each of these priorities. These priorities are: Absolute Priority 1—Improving Collaboration and Dissemination. To meet this priority, an eligible applicant must propose to lead and carry out projects that involve a consortia of institutions, instructors, and subject matter experts, including no less than three IHEs, along with relevant employers, workforce stakeholders (as defined in this notice), and/or trade or professional associations (as defined in this notice). Applicants must explain how the members of the consortium will work together to develop and implement open textbooks that: (a) Reduce the cost of college for large numbers of students through a variety of cost saving measures; and (b) contain instructional content and ancillary PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 instructional materials that align student learning objectives with the skills or knowledge required by large numbers of students (at a given institution or nationally), or in the case of a career and technical postsecondary program, meet industry standards in indemand industry sectors or in-demand occupations (as defined in this notice). Absolute Priority 2—Addressing Gaps in the Open Textbook Marketplace and Bringing Solutions to Scale. To meet this priority, an applicant must identify the gaps in the open textbook marketplace in courses that are part of a degree-granting program that it seeks to address and propose how to close such gaps. An applicant must propose a comprehensive plan to: (a) Identify and assess existing open educational resources in the proposed subject area before creating new ones, such as by identifying any existing open textbooks that could potentially be used as models for the design of the project or ancillary learning resources that would support the development of courses that use open textbooks; (b) focus on the creation and expansion of education and training materials that can be scaled, within and beyond the participating consortium members, to reach a broad range of students participating in high-enrollment courses or preparing for in-demand industry sectors or in-demand occupations (as defined in this notice); (c) create and disseminate protocols to review any open textbooks created or adapted through the project for accuracy, rigor, and accessibility for students with disabilities; (d) disseminate information about the results of the project to other IHEs, including promoting the adoption of any open textbooks created or adapted through the project, or adopting open standard protocols and processes that support the interoperability for any digital assets created; (e) include professional development to build capacity of faculty, instructors, and other staff to adapt and use open textbooks; and (f) describe the courses for which open textbooks and ancillary materials are being developed. Absolute Priority 3—Promoting Student Success. To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to build upon existing open textbook materials and/or develop new open textbooks for high-enrollment courses or high-enrollment programs in order to achieve the highest level of savings for students. Additionally, this priority requires the applicant to include plans for: (a) Promoting and tracking the use of open textbooks in postsecondary courses across participating members of the E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 179 / Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / Notices consortium, including an estimate of the projected direct cost savings for students which will be reported during the annual performance review; (b) monitoring the impact of open textbooks on instruction, learning outcomes, course outcomes, and educational costs; (c) investigating and disseminating evidence-based practices associated with using open textbooks that improve student outcomes; and (d) updating the open textbooks beyond the funded period. Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional 5 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets this priority. This priority is: Using Technology-Based Strategies for Personalized Learning and Continuous Improvement (up to 5 points). To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project that focuses on improving instruction and student learning outcomes by integrating technology-based strategies, such as personalized learning, and providing support to faculty, instructors, and other staff who are delivering courses using these techniques. The project must enable students to tailor and monitor their own learning and/or allow instructors to monitor the individual performance of each student in the classes or courses for which the applicant proposes to develop open textbooks. In addition, online and technology-enabled content and courses developed under this project must incorporate the principles of universal design in order to ensure that they are readily accessible by all students. The openly licensed resources that are developed should support traditional, text-based materials, including through such tools as adaptive learning modules, digital simulations, and tools to assist student engagement. Invitational Priority: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications. This priority is: An application from a MinorityServing Institution (MSI) (as defined in this notice) or community college (as defined in this notice) that leads the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Sep 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 activities of the consortium and serves as the fiscal agent; or an application from a consortium in which an MSI or community college is a member of the consortium but not the lead applicant. For the purpose of this priority: Community college means an institution that meets the definition in section 312(f) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an IHE (as defined in section 101 of the HEA) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 50 percent of which are not bachelor’s degrees (or an equivalent) or master’s, professional, or other advanced degrees. Minority-Serving Institution means an institution that is eligible to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA. Note: The list of institutions currently designated as eligible under title III and title V is available at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/ list/ope/idues/eligibility.html#el-inst. Requirements: These requirements are from the NFP and apply to this competition for FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are IHEs as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1001), or State higher education agencies that— (a) Lead the activities of a consortium that is comprised of at least— (1) Three IHEs, as defined in section 101 of the HEA; (2) An educational technology or electronic curriculum design expert (which may include such experts that are employed by one or more of the consortium institutions); and (3) An advisory group of at least three employers, workforce organizations, or sector partners (as defined in this notice); and (b) Have demonstrated experience in the development and implementation of open educational resources. Accessibility: All digital content developed under this grant program must incorporate the principles of universal design (www.cast.org/udl/) to ensure that they are accessible to individuals with disabilities. The content and courses must be in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA (www.w3.org/ TR/WCAG/). Technical Standards for Interoperability: All digital assets developed under this grant program PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57197 must be produced to maximize interoperability, exchange, and reuse and must conform to industryrecognized open standards and specifications. Applicants must identify the industry standard they will use. All digital assets created in whole or in part under this grant program must be licensed for free, attributed public use and distribution as required under 2 CFR 3474.20. Definitions: The following definitions are from the NFP and apply to this competition for FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition. High-enrollment courses means courses that are required for a degree granting program offered by an eligible IHE that either have total student enrollments within the top third of courses: (a) At the lead institution, if applicable, or at one or more of the consortia partner institutions; (b) in the State; or (c) nationally as compared to other academic or career and technical education courses. High-enrollment program means a program that yields a postsecondary degree that either has total student enrollments within the top third of programs: (a) At the lead institution, if applicable, or at one or more of the consortia partner institutions; (b) in the State; or (c) nationally as compared to other academic or career and technical education courses. In-demand industry sector means an industry sector that has a substantial current or potential impact (including through jobs that lead to economic selfsufficiency and opportunities for advancement) on the State, regional, or local economy, as appropriate, and that contributes to the growth or stability of other supporting businesses, or the growth of other industry sectors. In-demand occupation means an occupation that currently has or is projected to have a number of positions (including positions that lead to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) in an industry sector so as to have a significant impact on the State, regional, or local economy, as appropriate. Open textbook means a textbook that is licensed under a worldwide, nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, and irrevocable license to the public to exercise any of the rights under copyright conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given as directed by the copyright owner. An open textbook may also include a variety of open educational resources or materials used by instructors in the development of a course and those E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1 57198 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 179 / Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / Notices learning activities necessary for successful completion of a course by students. These include any learning exercises, technology-enabled experiences (e.g., simulations), and adaptive support and assessment tools. Sector partner means a member of a workforce collaborative, convened by or acting in partnership with a State board or local board, that organizes key stakeholders interconnected by labor markets, technologies, and worker skill needs into a working group that focuses on shared goals and resource needs. Trade or professional association means a membership organization that inspects employers or practitioners, or leads credentialing programs, in a specific industry or sector. Workforce stakeholder means an individual or organization with an interest in the employability of others either for self-interest or the interest of other employers. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1138– 1138d; the explanatory statement accompanying H.R. 1865 (Pub. L. 116– 94), Congressional Record, daily edition, Dec. 17, 2019, at H11083. Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The NFP. Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Note: Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws. II. Award Information Type of Award: Discretionary grants. Estimated Available Funds: $6,029,425. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications for this competition. Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000–$2,000,000. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,000,000. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Sep 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $2,000,000 for a single budget period of 36 months. Estimated Number of Awards: 3–12. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 36 months. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are IHEs as defined in section 101 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001), or State higher education agencies that: (a) Lead the activities of a consortium that is comprised of at least: (i) Three IHEs as defined in section 101 of the HEA; (ii) An educational technology or electronic curriculum design expert (which may include such experts that are employed by one or more of the consortium institutions); and (iii) An advisory group of at least three employers, workforce organizations, or sector partners; and (b) Have demonstrated experience in the development and implementation of open educational resources. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching. 3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee under this competition may award subgrants—to directly carry out project activities described in its application—to entities listed in the grant application. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003), and available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/ pdf/2018-02558.pdf. 2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Open Textbook Pilot, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ‘‘business information’’ and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended). Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c). 3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make awards by the end of FY 2020. 4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 60 pages and (2) use the following standards: • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. • Double space all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. • Use a readable 12-point font such as Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. The recommended 60 page limit applies only to the application narrative and does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. 6. Program Profile: Applicants must indicate in the recommended one-page abstract and on the FY 2020 Open Textbook Pilot program Profile Form in the application package all of the IHEs that comprise the consortium, and whether they addressed the competitive preference priority and the invitational priority. V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is included in parentheses following the title of the specific selection criterion. Each criterion also includes the factors that reviewers will consider in E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 179 / Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / Notices determining the extent to which an applicant meets the criterion. Points awarded under the competitive preference priority are in addition to any points an applicant earns for all of the selection criteria in this notice. The maximum score that an application may receive under the competitive preference priority and the selection criteria is 105. The selection criteria are as follows: a. Significance (up to 20 points). The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population (up to 10 points). (2) The potential replicability of the proposed project or strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation in a variety of settings (up to 10 points). b. Quality of the Project Design (up to 16 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable (up to 4 points). (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs (up to 4 points). (3) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance (up to 4 points). (4) The extent to which the proposed project represents an exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the competition (up to 4 points). c. Quality of Project Services (up to 15 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Sep 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvements in the achievement of students as measured against rigorous academic standards (up to 5 points). (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services (up to 5 points). (3) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services (up to 5 points). d. Quality of Project Personnel (up to 9 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator (up to 5 points). (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel (up to 4 points). e. Adequacy of Resources (up to 20 points). The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project (up to 10 points). (2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project (up to 10 points). f. Quality of the Management Plan (up to 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57199 proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks (up to 5 points). (2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project (up to 5 points). g. Quality of the Project Evaluation (up to 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors: (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project (up to 5 points). (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible (up to 5 points). 2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant’s use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality. In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). For this competition, a panel of external reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation of, and score all eligible applications using the selection criteria and the competitive preference priority, if applicable, provided in this notice. The individual scores of the reviewers will be added and the sum divided by the number of reviewers to determine the peer review score. The Department may use more than one tier of reviews in evaluating grantees. The Department will prepare a rank order of applications based solely on the evaluation of their quality according to E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 57200 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 179 / Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / Notices the selection criteria and competitive preference priority points. In the event there are two or more applications with the same final score in the rank order listing, and there are insufficient funds to fully support each of these applications, the Department will apply the following procedure to determine which application or applications will receive an award: First Tiebreaker: The first tiebreaker will be the highest average score for the selection criterion ‘‘Quality of the Project Design.’’ If a tie remains, the second tiebreaker will be utilized. Second Tiebreaker: The second tiebreaker will be the highest average score for the selection criterion ‘‘Significance.’’ If a tie remains, the third tiebreaker will be utilized. Third Tiebreaker: The third tiebreaker will be the highest average score for the competitive preference priority. If a tie remains, the fourth tiebreaker will be utilized. Fourth Tiebreaker: The applicant that proposes the highest estimate of projected savings that will be achieved for students in response to Absolute Priority 3. 3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible. 4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Sep 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS. Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000. VI. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we will notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also. If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we will notify you. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant. 3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20. 4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/appforms/ appforms.html. 5. Performance Measures: The Department will use the following performance measures in assessing the performance of the Open Textbooks Pilot program grants: a. The number of students who enrolled in courses that use open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant; b. The number of students who completed courses that used open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant; c. The failure rate or withdrawal rate in courses that use open textbooks and/ or ancillary materials compared with equivalent courses that used commercial textbooks; d. The number of faculty/instructors that use open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant; e. The number of institutions within the consortium, and the number of institutions outside of the consortium, that adopted the use of open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant; f. The number of courses among consortium members that adopted the use of open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant, compared to those that continued to use commercial textbooks; g. The number of faculty/instructors or institutions that use tools for revising and remixing open educational resources content to facilitate adoption of open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant; h. The average grade of students who completed a course that used open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant compared with the equivalent average grade of students that used commercial textbooks; E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 179 / Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / Notices i. The average cost savings per student; and j. The total cost savings for students who used open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant compared to students in the same course of study who used traditional textbooks. VII. Other Information Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Robert L. King, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2020–20379 Filed 9–14–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2020–SCC–0146] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for Grants Under the Educational Opportunity Centers Program Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a reinstatement with change. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 15, 2020. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Sep 14, 2020 Jkt 250001 Written comments and recommendations for proposed information collection requests should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection request by selecting ‘‘Department of Education’’ under ‘‘Currently Under Review,’’ then check ‘‘Only Show ICR for Public Comment’’ checkbox. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Rachael Wiley, 202–453–6078. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: Application for Grants under the Educational Opportunity Centers Program. OMB Control Number: 1840–0820. Type of Review: Reinstatement with Change. Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector; State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 610. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 15,020. Abstract: The Department of Education is requesting a reinstatement with change of the application for grants under the Educational Opportunity ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57201 Centers (EOC) Program. The Department is requesting a reinstatement with change because the previous EOC application expired in December 2018 and the application will be needed for a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 competition for new awards. The Department expects an increase in respondents for the FY 2021 competition for new awards. The FY 2021 application incorporates new competitive preference priorities. Dated: September 10, 2020. Kate Mullan, PRA Coordinator, Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, Office of Chief Data Officer, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. [FR Doc. 2020–20298 Filed 9–14–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2020–SCC–0148] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request Department of Education (ED). Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension without change of a currently approved collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 16, 2020. ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED– 2020–SCC–0148. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. Please include the docket ID number and the title of the information collection request when requesting documents or submitting comments. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 179 (Tuesday, September 15, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57196-57201]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20379]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Fund for the Improvement of 
Postsecondary Education--Open Textbooks Pilot Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the 
Open Textbooks Pilot program conducted under the Fund for the 
Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.116T. This notice relates to the 
approved information collection under OMB control number 1894-0006.

DATES: Applications available: September 15, 2020.
    Deadline for transmittal of applications: November 16, 2020.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at 
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacey Slijepcevic, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 268-34, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 453-6150. Email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports 
projects at eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) that 
create new open textbooks (as defined in this notice) and expand the 
use of open textbooks in courses that are part of a degree-granting 
program, particularly those with high enrollments. Applicants are 
encouraged to develop projects that demonstrate the greatest potential 
to achieve the highest level of savings for students through 
sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses 
(as defined in this notice) or in programs that prepare individuals for 
in-demand fields.
    Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, and definitions (NFP) for this program 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet each of these 
priorities.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1--Improving Collaboration and Dissemination.
    To meet this priority, an eligible applicant must propose to lead 
and carry out projects that involve a consortia of institutions, 
instructors, and subject matter experts, including no less than three 
IHEs, along with relevant employers, workforce stakeholders (as defined 
in this notice), and/or trade or professional associations (as defined 
in this notice). Applicants must explain how the members of the 
consortium will work together to develop and implement open textbooks 
that: (a) Reduce the cost of college for large numbers of students 
through a variety of cost saving measures; and (b) contain 
instructional content and ancillary instructional materials that align 
student learning objectives with the skills or knowledge required by 
large numbers of students (at a given institution or nationally), or in 
the case of a career and technical postsecondary program, meet industry 
standards in in-demand industry sectors or in-demand occupations (as 
defined in this notice).
    Absolute Priority 2--Addressing Gaps in the Open Textbook 
Marketplace and Bringing Solutions to Scale.
    To meet this priority, an applicant must identify the gaps in the 
open textbook marketplace in courses that are part of a degree-granting 
program that it seeks to address and propose how to close such gaps. An 
applicant must propose a comprehensive plan to: (a) Identify and assess 
existing open educational resources in the proposed subject area before 
creating new ones, such as by identifying any existing open textbooks 
that could potentially be used as models for the design of the project 
or ancillary learning resources that would support the development of 
courses that use open textbooks; (b) focus on the creation and 
expansion of education and training materials that can be scaled, 
within and beyond the participating consortium members, to reach a 
broad range of students participating in high-enrollment courses or 
preparing for in-demand industry sectors or in-demand occupations (as 
defined in this notice); (c) create and disseminate protocols to review 
any open textbooks created or adapted through the project for accuracy, 
rigor, and accessibility for students with disabilities; (d) 
disseminate information about the results of the project to other IHEs, 
including promoting the adoption of any open textbooks created or 
adapted through the project, or adopting open standard protocols and 
processes that support the interoperability for any digital assets 
created; (e) include professional development to build capacity of 
faculty, instructors, and other staff to adapt and use open textbooks; 
and (f) describe the courses for which open textbooks and ancillary 
materials are being developed.
    Absolute Priority 3--Promoting Student Success.
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to build upon 
existing open textbook materials and/or develop new open textbooks for 
high-enrollment courses or high-enrollment programs in order to achieve 
the highest level of savings for students.
    Additionally, this priority requires the applicant to include plans 
for: (a) Promoting and tracking the use of open textbooks in 
postsecondary courses across participating members of the

[[Page 57197]]

consortium, including an estimate of the projected direct cost savings 
for students which will be reported during the annual performance 
review; (b) monitoring the impact of open textbooks on instruction, 
learning outcomes, course outcomes, and educational costs; (c) 
investigating and disseminating evidence-based practices associated 
with using open textbooks that improve student outcomes; and (d) 
updating the open textbooks beyond the funded period.
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2020 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional 5 
points to an application, depending on how well the application meets 
this priority.
    This priority is:
    Using Technology-Based Strategies for Personalized Learning and 
Continuous Improvement (up to 5 points).
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project that 
focuses on improving instruction and student learning outcomes by 
integrating technology-based strategies, such as personalized learning, 
and providing support to faculty, instructors, and other staff who are 
delivering courses using these techniques. The project must enable 
students to tailor and monitor their own learning and/or allow 
instructors to monitor the individual performance of each student in 
the classes or courses for which the applicant proposes to develop open 
textbooks. In addition, online and technology-enabled content and 
courses developed under this project must incorporate the principles of 
universal design in order to ensure that they are readily accessible by 
all students. The openly licensed resources that are developed should 
support traditional, text-based materials, including through such tools 
as adaptive learning modules, digital simulations, and tools to assist 
student engagement.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other 
applications.
    This priority is:
    An application from a Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) (as 
defined in this notice) or community college (as defined in this 
notice) that leads the activities of the consortium and serves as the 
fiscal agent; or an application from a consortium in which an MSI or 
community college is a member of the consortium but not the lead 
applicant.
    For the purpose of this priority:
    Community college means an institution that meets the definition in 
section 312(f) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an IHE (as defined in 
section 101 of the HEA) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 
50 percent of which are not bachelor's degrees (or an equivalent) or 
master's, professional, or other advanced degrees.
    Minority-Serving Institution means an institution that is eligible 
to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title 
III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA.

    Note: The list of institutions currently designated as eligible 
under title III and title V is available at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html#el-inst.

    Requirements: These requirements are from the NFP and apply to this 
competition for FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards 
from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.
    Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are IHEs as defined in 
section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 
U.S.C. 1001), or State higher education agencies that--
    (a) Lead the activities of a consortium that is comprised of at 
least--
    (1) Three IHEs, as defined in section 101 of the HEA;
    (2) An educational technology or electronic curriculum design 
expert (which may include such experts that are employed by one or more 
of the consortium institutions); and
    (3) An advisory group of at least three employers, workforce 
organizations, or sector partners (as defined in this notice); and
    (b) Have demonstrated experience in the development and 
implementation of open educational resources.
    Accessibility: All digital content developed under this grant 
program must incorporate the principles of universal design 
(www.cast.org/udl/) to ensure that they are accessible to individuals 
with disabilities. The content and courses must be in full compliance 
with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Web Content 
Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA (www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/).
    Technical Standards for Interoperability: All digital assets 
developed under this grant program must be produced to maximize 
interoperability, exchange, and reuse and must conform to industry-
recognized open standards and specifications. Applicants must identify 
the industry standard they will use. All digital assets created in 
whole or in part under this grant program must be licensed for free, 
attributed public use and distribution as required under 2 CFR 3474.20.
    Definitions: The following definitions are from the NFP and apply 
to this competition for FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition.
    High-enrollment courses means courses that are required for a 
degree granting program offered by an eligible IHE that either have 
total student enrollments within the top third of courses: (a) At the 
lead institution, if applicable, or at one or more of the consortia 
partner institutions; (b) in the State; or (c) nationally as compared 
to other academic or career and technical education courses.
    High-enrollment program means a program that yields a postsecondary 
degree that either has total student enrollments within the top third 
of programs: (a) At the lead institution, if applicable, or at one or 
more of the consortia partner institutions; (b) in the State; or (c) 
nationally as compared to other academic or career and technical 
education courses.
    In-demand industry sector means an industry sector that has a 
substantial current or potential impact (including through jobs that 
lead to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) on 
the State, regional, or local economy, as appropriate, and that 
contributes to the growth or stability of other supporting businesses, 
or the growth of other industry sectors.
    In-demand occupation means an occupation that currently has or is 
projected to have a number of positions (including positions that lead 
to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) in an 
industry sector so as to have a significant impact on the State, 
regional, or local economy, as appropriate.
    Open textbook means a textbook that is licensed under a worldwide, 
nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, and irrevocable license to the 
public to exercise any of the rights under copyright conditioned only 
on the requirement that attribution be given as directed by the 
copyright owner. An open textbook may also include a variety of open 
educational resources or materials used by instructors in the 
development of a course and those

[[Page 57198]]

learning activities necessary for successful completion of a course by 
students. These include any learning exercises, technology-enabled 
experiences (e.g., simulations), and adaptive support and assessment 
tools.
    Sector partner means a member of a workforce collaborative, 
convened by or acting in partnership with a State board or local board, 
that organizes key stakeholders interconnected by labor markets, 
technologies, and worker skill needs into a working group that focuses 
on shared goals and resource needs.
    Trade or professional association means a membership organization 
that inspects employers or practitioners, or leads credentialing 
programs, in a specific industry or sector.
    Workforce stakeholder means an individual or organization with an 
interest in the employability of others either for self-interest or the 
interest of other employers.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d; the explanatory statement 
accompanying H.R. 1865 (Pub. L. 116-94), Congressional Record, daily 
edition, Dec. 17, 2019, at H11083.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474. (d) The NFP.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.


    Note: Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner 
consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the 
U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $6,029,425.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from 
the list of unfunded applications for this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$2,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,000,000.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $2,000,000 for a 
single budget period of 36 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3-12.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are IHEs as defined in 
section 101 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001), or State higher education 
agencies that:
    (a) Lead the activities of a consortium that is comprised of at 
least:
    (i) Three IHEs as defined in section 101 of the HEA;
    (ii) An educational technology or electronic curriculum design 
expert (which may include such experts that are employed by one or more 
of the consortium institutions); and
    (iii) An advisory group of at least three employers, workforce 
organizations, or sector partners; and
    (b) Have demonstrated experience in the development and 
implementation of open educational resources.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee under this 
competition may award subgrants--to directly carry out project 
activities described in its application--to entities listed in the 
grant application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to 
submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for 
Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, 
published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003), 
and available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the Open Textbook 
Pilot, your application may include business information that you 
consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ``business information'' 
and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that 
information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under 
Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as 
amended).
    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the 
public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business 
information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your 
application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' please list the page 
number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional 
information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, 
under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to 
make awards by the end of FY 2020.
    4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, 
the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to 
evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the 
application narrative to no more than 60 pages and (2) use the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5 x 11, on one side 
only, with 1 margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space all text in the application narrative, 
including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and 
captions.
     Use a readable 12-point font such as Times New Roman, 
Courier, Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended 60 page limit applies only to the application 
narrative and does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the 
budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, 
the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support.
    6. Program Profile: Applicants must indicate in the recommended 
one-page abstract and on the FY 2020 Open Textbook Pilot program 
Profile Form in the application package all of the IHEs that comprise 
the consortium, and whether they addressed the competitive preference 
priority and the invitational priority.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all of the selection 
criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is 
included in parentheses following the title of the specific selection 
criterion. Each criterion also includes the factors that reviewers will 
consider in

[[Page 57199]]

determining the extent to which an applicant meets the criterion.
    Points awarded under the competitive preference priority are in 
addition to any points an applicant earns for all of the selection 
criteria in this notice. The maximum score that an application may 
receive under the competitive preference priority and the selection 
criteria is 105. The selection criteria are as follows:
    a. Significance (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. 
In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build 
local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the 
needs of the target population (up to 10 points).
    (2) The potential replicability of the proposed project or 
strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation 
in a variety of settings (up to 10 points).
    b. Quality of the Project Design (up to 16 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable 
(up to 4 points).
    (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is 
appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target 
population or other identified needs (up to 4 points).
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build 
capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of 
Federal financial assistance (up to 4 points).
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the 
competition (up to 4 points).
    c. Quality of Project Services (up to 15 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided 
by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to 
be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the 
quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and 
treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups 
that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, 
national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (1) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed 
project will lead to improvements in the achievement of students as 
measured against rigorous academic standards (up to 5 points).
    (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for 
maximizing the effectiveness of project services (up to 5 points).
    (3) The extent to which the training or professional development 
services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient 
quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice 
among the recipients of those services (up to 5 points).
    d. Quality of Project Personnel (up to 9 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry 
out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project 
personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant 
encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of 
groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, 
color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director or principal investigator (up to 5 points).
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel (up to 4 points).
    e. Adequacy of Resources (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project 
(up to 10 points).
    (2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project 
(up to 10 points).
    f. Quality of the Management Plan (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks (up to 5 points).
    (2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project 
(up to 5 points).
    g. Quality of the Project Evaluation (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 
evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project (up to 5 points).
    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible (up to 5 points).
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    For this competition, a panel of external reviewers will read, 
prepare a written evaluation of, and score all eligible applications 
using the selection criteria and the competitive preference priority, 
if applicable, provided in this notice. The individual scores of the 
reviewers will be added and the sum divided by the number of reviewers 
to determine the peer review score. The Department may use more than 
one tier of reviews in evaluating grantees. The Department will prepare 
a rank order of applications based solely on the evaluation of their 
quality according to

[[Page 57200]]

the selection criteria and competitive preference priority points.
    In the event there are two or more applications with the same final 
score in the rank order listing, and there are insufficient funds to 
fully support each of these applications, the Department will apply the 
following procedure to determine which application or applications will 
receive an award:
    First Tiebreaker: The first tiebreaker will be the highest average 
score for the selection criterion ``Quality of the Project Design.'' If 
a tie remains, the second tiebreaker will be utilized.
    Second Tiebreaker: The second tiebreaker will be the highest 
average score for the selection criterion ``Significance.'' If a tie 
remains, the third tiebreaker will be utilized.
    Third Tiebreaker: The third tiebreaker will be the highest average 
score for the competitive preference priority. If a tie remains, the 
fourth tiebreaker will be utilized.
    Fourth Tiebreaker: The applicant that proposes the highest estimate 
of projected savings that will be achieved for students in response to 
Absolute Priority 3.
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the 
applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of 
unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system 
that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not 
fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not 
responsible.
    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your 
integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal 
awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before we make 
an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that 
is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as 
the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we will notify 
your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also. If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we will notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    5. Performance Measures: The Department will use the following 
performance measures in assessing the performance of the Open Textbooks 
Pilot program grants:
    a. The number of students who enrolled in courses that use open 
textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant;
    b. The number of students who completed courses that used open 
textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant;
    c. The failure rate or withdrawal rate in courses that use open 
textbooks and/or ancillary materials compared with equivalent courses 
that used commercial textbooks;
    d. The number of faculty/instructors that use open textbooks and/or 
ancillary materials developed through the grant;
    e. The number of institutions within the consortium, and the number 
of institutions outside of the consortium, that adopted the use of open 
textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant;
    f. The number of courses among consortium members that adopted the 
use of open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the 
grant, compared to those that continued to use commercial textbooks;
    g. The number of faculty/instructors or institutions that use tools 
for revising and remixing open educational resources content to 
facilitate adoption of open textbooks and/or ancillary materials 
developed through the grant;
    h. The average grade of students who completed a course that used 
open textbooks and/or ancillary materials developed through the grant 
compared with the equivalent average grade of students that used 
commercial textbooks;

[[Page 57201]]

    i. The average cost savings per student; and
    j. The total cost savings for students who used open textbooks and/
or ancillary materials developed through the grant compared to students 
in the same course of study who used traditional textbooks.

VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this 
document, as well as all other documents of this Department published 
in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

Robert L. King,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2020-20379 Filed 9-14-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P