posted Apr 8, 2011, 11:46 AM by Kentucky Trio

Linda Byrd-Johnson Provides Updates to New England Region


The New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA) closed out its Annual Conference with an update from Dr. Linda Byrd-Johnson, Director of newly formed Student Services Division within the Department of Education. Dr. Byrd-Johnson participated via teleconference and was joined by three of her staff members: Gaby Watts, James Davis, and Eileen Bland. During the presentation, they provided the following program information:


Talent Search

-          The Department of Education received 1,100 applications. At this time, all reviews are finished.

-          ED hopes to release notifications of grant funding to the first-slate in mid-May.

-          The Department hopes to notify applicants that fell within the “funding band” and are eligible for a second review in mid-May as well. The Department will then conduct its second review in July in order to release the second slate in mid-August.


Educational Opportunity Centers

-          The Department published the grant application for EOC on April 6. (The application is available here: LINK.)

-          The application deadline is May 23.

-          The first slate will be announced in June with notification to applicants who fell within the funding band in July. Following a review that same month, the Department will announce final notifications released in advance of the September 2011 start date.


Upward Bound

-          The Department expects to provide continuation awards around April/May for programs with a June 1 start date. All other programs will receive notification letters around August.

-          The next competition for Upward Bound will be in 2012. Because the deadline for Classic Upward Bound will be around September 30, which is just days after COE’s 30th Annual Conference (Sept. 25-28), potential applications are advised to start drafting their proposals based on the published regulations.

-          In August, the Department will host workshops for all Upward Bound programs, including Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS) and Veterans Upward Bound (VUB).

-          They announced the following dates for the various programs:

o   Classic Upward Bound: The Department will release the application in August, with an application deadline around September 30.

o   The closing date for UBMS will be January 2012.

o   The closing date for VUB will be in March 2012

o   Both UBMS and VUB will have later start dates.


CCRAA Upward Bound Projects

-          CCRAA-funded U projects will have to submit their Annual Performance Reports by January 20 so that the Department can calculate the prior experience points for next competition. More information on this will be forthcoming.

-          The CCRAA projects should have received a letter from ED on April 6 regarding their funding. Essentially, the letter states that there is no appropriation at this time for programs that began in November 2007 (and that will end in December 2011). The letter goes onto discuss options as far as potential supplemental grant notification to extend funding for one more month.

-          Because there will be four months (February – May 2012) when no funding available, ED will allow grantees to submit request for a one-time, no-cost extension to allow them to carryover funds or otherwise alter their budgets. (Examples of the types of actions that ED will consider include requests to reduce the number of weeks of the residential program or switching to non-residential programs. Note that ED will not accept requests for reduction in student numbers.)

-          No-cost extension requests are due April 29 with approval or disapproval to be provided by May 6.

-          Any questions on this matter should be directed to Gaby Watts at 202-502-7545 or



-          ED will host the following pre-application workshops for GEAR UP:

o   Apr 2 – Washington, DC

o   May 3 – Atlanta, GA and St. Louis, MO

o   May 6 – Denver, CO and Los Angeles, CA

-          The application will be available for public comment until April 29.

-          FY11 competition tentative timeline:

o   Application will be published in mid-to-late May

o   Application deadline will be in mid-to-late June

o   Awards will be announced in late summer/early fall 2011


Undergraduate Programs (SSS, McNair, Training Grants)

-          Substantial progress evaluations for undergraduate programs will be happening soon. These will determine whether grantees will get continuation grants.

-          Brand new Student Support Services grantees will get interim report letters from the Department.

-          Pre-application workshops for the McNair program will occur in 2012 with a closing date sometime around March 2012.

-          The SSS APR is currently undergoing clearance, but the draft is available online for review. (100% verification will be required.)


 During her remarks, Dr. Byrd-Johnson assured listeners that her staff was continuing to work as if there would not be a government shutdown. If, however, the government does shut down, grantees will not be able to access their grant funds. Because the Department has already committed the grants, institutions should sustain the programs until the government reopens. If an institution declines to do so, then TRIO programs will have to act accordingly.