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Aurora Institute

NGLC and the Third Wave of Grant Initiatives

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Susan Patrick

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Design for Educational Equity

Last year, iNACOL, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Educause, League for Innovation and CCSSO, launched the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant initiative.

Since then, the initiative — created to address the barriers to educational innovation and tap the potential of advanced learning technology to improve upon college readiness and completion in the U.S — has awarded $17.5 million in grants to 48 organizations and institutions in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and the United Kingdom.

The grants, which are made through multiple funding waves, are launched every six to twelve months via Request for Proposals, and target specific challenges associated with the barriers to educational success. Now, with two full waves of funding behind us, and a third currently underway, we are enthusiastic about the innovative work we are seeing around the country, and we look forward to the new opportunities and ideas cultivated by the NGLC initiative.

With our third wave of funding, or “Wave III,” which totals $12 million in grants, we are seeking to find solutions that apply technology to whole school models and complete degree programs that significantly reorganize the learning process and redefine student experiences in an effort to create comprehensive, breakthrough models that fundamentally change the way education is designed and delivered across secondary and postsecondary institutions.

The first round of Wave III applications, submitted back in November, produced some very compelling examples, though there is still the opportunity to respond to the high bar for transformational change set in the Wave III RFPs.

To help pave the way to implement meaningful change in next generation learning, I encourage you to reach out to your colleagues and networks and invite them to learn more on NGLC and the Wave III Challenges at:
Still interested in the Wave III RFPs?

The NGLC is offering two “program officer chats,” where interested parties will have the opportunity to ask NGLC staff questions related to the RFPs. The “college readiness” chat, for those interested in secondary education grants, will be held via webinar on December 13, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. EDT and will focus on “Wave IIIa: Breakthrough School Models for College Readiness.”

To join the webinar:

  • Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions via the text-based chat feature or over the conference call line.
  • The conference call line is: 1-877-944-2300. The access code is: 99290#
  • Each web seminar is free and open to all, but virtual seats are limited. Please note, sessions will be recorded and archived for later viewing.