Post-Secondary Partnerships Program - National Program Guidelines 2015-2016
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The Government of Canada provides significant financial support to provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis to assist them in the provision of programs and services. More specifically, the Canada Social Transfer (CST) supports specific policy areas such as post-secondary education.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) supports post-secondary education through two streams of programming: support to post-secondary institutions, provided through the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP); and individual student financial support through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and the University and College Entrance Preparation (UCEP) program. These guidelines address the objectives of the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP) and the criteria for funding. This Program is proposal-driven and the level of funding is determined by a national selection process to allocate resources based on merit, limited overall by total available funding and the number and quality of proposals submitted. The Program is not intended as a source of core operational funding.
The PSPP assists Canadian post-secondary institutions in the design and delivery of college and university level courses that respond to the educational needs of First Nation and Inuit students. Post-secondary institutions offering courses funded by the PSPP must not duplicate existing provincial or federal supports or programs.
It is expected that the PSPP will increase the availability of post-secondary courses and programs, targeted to First Nation and Inuit students in fields of high labour market demand, either locally, regionally or nationally, and in the fields of Aboriginal governance and business development.
The PSPP provides funding for proposals aimed at the following activities that must meet the Objectives and Outcomes of Section 2 and Section 3:
deliver a program of study (e.g., instruction, tutorial, teacher's salary);
support for existing University College Entrance Preparation (UCEP) program courses (see Section 6 for eligibility criteria). It is to be noted that the UCEP program will no longer be funded as of 2016-2017. Therefore, 2015-2016 will be the last year for which the UCEP program will be eligible under the PSPP;
convert existing courses to online delivery and distance education;
deliver an individual course; and
research and development of new courses and programs.
5. Eligible Recipients
Under PSPP, eligible recipients are Canadian post-secondary institutions.
The institution delivering the program must be degree-, diploma- or certificate-granting, and be recognized by a province or territory. Post-secondary education institutions affiliated with or operating in a formal partnership with a degree-, diploma- or certificate-granting institution recognized by a province or territory are also eligible. Exceptionally, for the province of Quebec only, First Nations and their organizations, in partnership with eligible post-secondary institutions, are eligible recipients.
6. Proposal Assessment Criteria
All funding for the PSPP is determined by a juried national selection process and based on selection criteria. Annex A provides an Applicants Guide to the overall proposal assessment criteria.
Proposals will be assessed against the criteria set out below.
A statement of need for each specific project describing the background, the targeted student base, the type of program and area of study, context of the project, specific issues that will be addressed, and the drivers leading to the funding request. Items of special note include whether:
course(s) lead(s) to high-demand job occupations (including health and education fields) in local, regional or national labour markets; or
proposals contribute to building human resources, business, and new professional capacity in Aboriginal governments, communities, and service delivery institutions.
Responsiveness to the educational needs of First Nation and Inuit students, including evidence of Aboriginal support for the project.
A clear project definition, including planned activities, expected outcomes and evidence of previous program success (where applicable).
The use of innovative and efficient delivery methods.
A proposed budget, detailed by activity.
The identification of other funding partners, the potential to lever other sources of financing or in-kind support.
A transition plan for self-sufficiency setting out how and when the proposed program will migrate to the mainstream activities within the regular operations of the post-secondary institution.
Funding recipients must charge students regular tuition fees and apply tuition as a source of funds for the project, and present the information in the "Partners" section of the DCI.
Short duration diploma and certificate programs are encouraged. Undergraduate instruction (including college-level certificates and diplomas) will be given priority. The minimum program duration will be defined as the completion of courses leading towards a certificate or diploma as determined by post-secondary institutions.
Self-sufficiency: Institutions may be eligible for a maximum of five continuous years of funding for the same project. Tuition: Rate determined by post-secondary institutions. Short duration: The minimum duration is defined as the completion of courses leading towards a certificate or diploma as determined by post-secondary institutions. Short courses are eligible for funding if they have a minimum of 30 hours in duration. Credits: All courses must be credited towards a certificate or diploma.
The deadline for submission of proposals is set for January 16, 2015, at midnight local time.
Only complete electronic proposals in AANDC format will be considered for assessment. The proposal form is available in the Reporting Guide. To access the proposal form, contact your regional office.
7. Review and Approval Process
A National Selection Committee (NSC) will review and approve all proposals. A written response will be sent to applicants to confirm whether or not their proposal has been approved for funding. Funding will be available in the form of a set contribution agreement of between one and five years duration for the same project. A waiting list of projects may be kept by the Department for potential additional investments should the opportunity arise.
Multi-year funding will be considered for low-risk recipients based on program effectiveness and institution stability and for projects whose proposals lay out clear annual workplans and dates for transitioning to self-sufficiency. Recipients approved for multi-year funding agreements will not have to re-submit annual proposals, although performance measurement data in the form of annual reports must be submitted to the Department based on reporting requirements set out in the funding agreement.
Information on funding approaches can be found through the Transfer Payments page on the AANDC website.
The Post-Secondary Partnerships Program will consider the provision of additional financial support for a proposal already being supported by another partner if this enhances the scope of the proposal and meets program objectives.
If a case is made that programs with existing cohorts be prioritized at the discretion of the National Selection Committee, this exception will be made only for 2015-2016.
8. Eligible Expenditures
Eligible expenditures include only the actual costs directly associated with designing and delivering the project as outlined in the proposal. Funding may be approved for the following costs:
salaries and benefits of personnel directly employed in the development and delivery of the project;
learning and/or instructional materials required for the development and delivery of the project (not books or supplies for students);
costs for digitizing instructional material or converting it to formats viewable on websites such as distance education, webinars, teleconference, online development or built-in e-learning;
printing and publishing costs;
equipment rental directly employed in the development and delivery of the project (excluding rent and facility fees);
in exceptional cases, travel for an instructor to offer training in a remote community and rent fees to incur for space to deliver training could be funded when all other options have been ruled out;
operational funding -- First Nations University of Canada only; and
administration costs directly related to the project.
Administration Costs: Administration costs must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs. The program's Data Collection Instrument (or DCI) will automatically calculate the amount.
9. Ineligible Expenditures
PSPP funding excludes capital funding, including acquisition of information technology and services, expenses related to institutions' day-to-day operations (not related to the submitted project), rent (except for the First Nations University of Canada), facility maintenance, permanent staff salaries, student tuition, student books and supplies (only eligible expenditures are relevant to learning supplies in the case of course delivery), food, academic research not related to course development, and daycare.
10. Monitoring and Accountability
Funding recipients must deliver the programs in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these National Program Guidelines while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities. Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures criteria set out in the National Program Guidelines.
AANDC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations under the National Program Guidelines and funding agreements. Regional offices and other departmental contacts are available to answer questions and provide guidance related to AANDC programs and funding.
To ensure that program delivery requirements are being met, that funds are expended on the intended purposes, and that AANDC's accountability to Parliament is being met, activities including audits, evaluations, as well as desk and on-site compliance reviews will be conducted with all funding recipients.
11. Reporting Requirements
The reporting requirements are listed in the recipient's funding agreement, and details on these requirements are available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients are responsible for ensuring that reporting requirements are met and reports are accurate and submitted on or before the established due dates. Recipients who have access to the AANDC Services Portal can access the reporting forms (Data Collection Instruments) by opening a session on the Portal. If you do not have access to the Portal, contact your regional office.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
10 Wellington Street
GATINEAU QC K1A 0H4
Fax number: 819-934-1478 firstname.lastname@example.org
These National Program Guidelines can be downloaded from AANDC's website, in the Education section. They can also be accessed through the View Instructions button on the first page of this program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI).
Annex 1 – Applicants Guide
Post-Secondary Partnerships Program – 2015-2016
Proposal Assessment Criteria
All proposals will be assessed using the following criteria by the National Selection Committee. Each criterion will be worth the value indicated in the second column, on a scale of 100. Recipients should ensure their proposal clearly addresses each criterion.
Respond to a Labour Market Need
Evidence that the project is in a discipline in high labour market demand (locally, regionally, or nationally) should be included. Evidence of labour market research/data can be demonstrated either by using Employment and Social Development Canada's (ESDC) Labour Market Information at or by other sources of evidence of high demand in First Nations and Inuit communities (e.g., Aboriginal government administration, teachers in First Nation schools, through letters from potential employers, emerging development projects, quantitative analysis of labour shortages in a province, territory or region or in First Nations and Inuit communities).
University and College Entrance Preparation program projects have to demonstrate that the targeted students already received a high-school diploma and this extra program will provide the necessary courses to be eligible for admittance in a regular university or college credit program in a discipline in high labour market demand (e.g., complementary science or mathematics courses).
Respond to Educational Needs of First Nation and Inuit Students/Evidence of Aboriginal Support
Project is adapted to educational needs of First Nation and Inuit students, and shows evidence of First Nation and Inuit support for the project (e.g., use of Elders, Aboriginal mentors, tutors, availability of course in rural/remote areas, integration of language and culture into curricula, etc.).
Planned Activities, Expected Outcomes, and Evidence of Previous Success
Proposed curriculum is presented by semester, including start and end date of course/project and method of delivery. All courses must be credited towards a certificate or diploma including projected enrollment and expected take-up / minimum enrollment. Institution's expertise and capacity to deliver proposed activities as demonstrated by past success and past measures of performance over a number of years. Institution's ability to reach a sizeable number of students (aggregation) identified by expected number of students. If the project is new, demonstrate the institution's record of attraction and retention, in particular First Nation and Inuit students. Level and qualification of the teaching personnel planned for the project. Multi-year funding will be considered for low-risk recipients for projects whose proposals lay out clear annual workplans and dates for transitioning to self-sufficiency within the regular operations of the post-secondary institution.
Innovative and Efficient Delivery
Innovative learning tools, new instructional material for online courses, outreach, distance education, culturally adapted internships, course schedules that accommodate mature students who may have to work part-time or have day care needs.
Provide a budget detailed by activity with staff salaries broken down by staff categories and number of personnel. Demonstration that costs are directly related to the development and delivery of the project. Cost per student is justified. Tuition fees are included as revenues. Administration is within the 10% allowed.
Preference given to projects that include funding partner(s) with a firm commitment to monetary participation.
Transition Plan for Migration to Mainstream Activities of the PSE Institution
Clear timeline for program self-sufficiency and migration to the mainstream activities within the regular operations of the PSE institution, including dates for sunsetting of PSPP support.