Texas A&M University-Commerce

Department of Secondary and Higher Education

ETEC 579 – Administration of
Educational Technology Programs



Term:  Fall 2003                   Section:  01W
Instructor:  Dr. Jason Lee Davis



Overview of Project


You are to create a complete written pre-proposal for an unsolicited grant.  The general purpose of this grant pre-proposal will be to provide for the creation of a technology facility at a school district or business.  A potential grant funding entity must be identified.  Optionally, upon approval of the instructor, the proposal may be written in response to a specific Request For Proposal (RFP)/Request For Application (RFA) or to address an identifiable need.  You are urged to design a relevant and timely proposal serving a useful purpose in your district, discipline, business, or area of educational focus.  The final product must be a work of sufficient quality to submit to the entity for funding consideration.  The pre-proposal can also serve as a framework for a future grant written in response to a solicited grant.  The primary focus of the proposal must be on technology for use in an educational setting.


Required elements of the proposal


  • Executive Summary – Introduction presenting an overview of the total project.  Include purpose statement.
  • Justification of the project.
  • Target population intended to benefit from the project.
  • Scope of the project:  geographic range, number of individuals involved, etc.
  • Duration of the project (generally from 3 to 5 years)
  • Goals of each phase of implementation.  (generally by year)
  • Budget for the project.  (By year or phase)
  • Equipment list with costs grouped by phase.  (year 1 …, year 2 …, year 3 …, etc.)
  • Local administration of the project.  (who will be responsible for on-site administration and implementation as the Project Director and what is the scope of this individual’s, and/or associated committees’, duties.)
  • Intended means of providing personnel support for the project. (Salaries are generally NOT fundable with grant monies.  The applying agency bears this responsibility.  You should indicate how you plan to accommodate this.)
  • Sources for matching funds or in-kind contributions.
  • Performance measures. (How will project success/effectiveness be determined)
  • Proposal must support Tech Plan.
  • Do NOT write in first-person.  Technical works should never be written in first-person (I, we, etc.).


Optional elements of the proposal


  • Institution/Division/Department/Project Technology Plan.  (May be included in Appendix as supporting material)
  • Manufacturer’s spec. sheets.


Project Scoring


Important:  The required elements listed above will be a primary consideration in the scoring of the project.  Accuracy in following submission instructions, meeting deadlines, professional writing quality, and providing thoughtful evaluations will also be considered.


Other things to keep in mind


·         The proposal should have a positive and professional tone of writing.

·         Don’t use a proposal as a vehicle to simply voice complaints about a current lack of technology.  Be honest about needs, but don’t “whine” about them.

·         Write professionally.  Don’t use slang verbiage.  Ya know whut ah mean?

·         Less is more.  Don’t add un-necessary “fluff.”  Proposal evaluators want to know what’s important.  If you bore them with irrelevant information, it is almost guaranteed to get your proposal tossed in the trash.

·         You are trying to get the funding agency to make an investment in you and your organization.  You must convey that you will act responsibly and professionally in administering any monies awarded.

·         First impressions are critical.  Many funding decisions are made within the first paragraph of the proposal.  If you want your proposal to be read and seriously considered, you must capture the interest of the evaluator in the Executive Summary.  Most evaluators will stop reading at this point if they don’t see evidence of a well thought-out, worthwhile endeavor.

·         Never, ever, make negative statements regarding previously received grants.  This will send up red flags as an indication that you may later speak negatively about the new funding agency.

·         Don’t open a can of worms!  Don’t bring up issues that are indicative of more serious internal problems.  You don’t want to go there!

·         Proposal are generally written to provide at least a partial solution to an identifiable need.  The need you address must be able to be backed by quantifiable evidence.  There must be qualified proof of need.  Ways to build your case are with surveys, test scores, formal evaluations, and other data gathered via valid research methodologies.  (Data may be hypothetical in this class project, but if you submit a proposal for real, you better have ALL of your data together and available for inspection if requested by the funding agency.)

·         The length of the pre-proposal will be approximately 5-7 pages to sufficiently address the required elements.  A more comprehensive proposal may be slightly longer, but remember, don’t overwrite.  It is highly unlikely that these elements could be adequately addressed in fewer than 5 pages (double-spaced, 10pt font).


On-line Resources:


Ø       SchoolGrants
…contains several samples of successful PK-12 grant proposals, grant opportunities and writing tips.

Ø       Texas Education Agency (TEA) Grants Administration

Ø       TEA Grantseeker’s Resource Guide

Ø       Telecommunications Infrastructure Find (TIF) Board Grants

      …TIF grants may no longer a reliable source of funds.  Other options need to be identified.
Site does identify current technology standards.

Ø       Texas Records And Information Locator (TRAIL) Funding Opportunity Search Page

Ø       US DEU Grants & Contracts Information

Ø       US DOE Discretionary Grant Application Pkgs. for Currently Open Grant Competitions

Ø       eFunding Solutions

Ø       Guiding Questions for Technology Planning


Rev. 10/21/2003