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Grants to Illinois IHEs to Train and Recruit Teachers of Agricultural Education

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CFDA or PIN Number:

Funding or PIN Number:

Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) Number: 586-18-0876


Geographic Focus

USA: Illinois

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Growing Agricultural Science Teachers (GAST) Grant

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #145269

Grant Description

Previous Page Version

Grants to Illinois institutions of higher education for workforce development for middle and high school teachers working in agricultural education. Applicants must watch a technical assistance session and are advised to complete required registrations well in advance of the deadline.

The purpose of Growing Agricultural Science Teachers (GAST) is to recruit, develop, and retain school-based agricultural education teachers in Grades 5-12. Four main objectives have been identified to fulfill this purpose -- recruitment and retention, development of preservice teachers, professional learning for early career teachers, and professional learning for teacher educators at an identified community college or university.
Funds will be used by agricultural science teacher education training programs and public community colleges in Illinois that provide an articulated agriculture science teacher education course of study for the purpose of addressing the shortage of agriculture science teachers in Illinois. Activities that are funded will be designed to recruit agriculture science teacher candidates into preparation programs that lead to teacher licensure in agricultural education, ensure that candidates who are preparing to be teachers make good use of the knowledge of professionals in varied agricultural occupations, expose them to practical field-based experiences, and provide them with support during their first five years of service that will improve the retention of these individuals in the teaching profession.
ISBE-identified priorities should be addressed through four categories of activity -- offering teacher education candidate recruitment and retention incentives, having master teachers and practitioners assist with various aspects of the recruitment of potential candidates and the preparation of those candidates as skilled and qualified teachers of agricultural education, establishing/delivering/arranging for/or providing financial support for professional development experiences for new agriculture science teachers during their first five years of teaching, and providing professional development for faculty in universities agricultural education teacher preparation programs and for community college agriculture faculty responsible for instruction in agricultural education teacher preparation transfer programs.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Growing Agricultural Science Teachers. Institutions of higher education that offer state-approved agricultural science teacher preparation programs and public community colleges that provide an articulated agriculture science teacher education course of study (105 ILCS 5/2-3.80a) are eligible to apply.

Eligible Applicants:
Institutions of higher education that offer state-approved agricultural science teacher preparation programs and public community colleges that provide an articulated agriculture science teacher education course of study (105 ILCS 5/2-3.80a) are eligible to apply. Public community college must at least offer:
a) The introductory agricultural education course for which transfer credit is accepted by the public universities under the Illinois Articulation Initiative. (See the information posted by the Illinois Board of Higher Education at
b) A one-semester-hour internship or other, equivalent field experience.

Funding Restrictions:
This state grant will use indirect cost rates not to exceed 8 percent. No more than 5 percent of the grant funds received may be expended for professional development for the staff of its agricultural education teacher preparation program. Activities funded by this NOFO/RFP may not duplicate or supplant efforts already conducted by or under the auspices of the community college or university. The use of grant funds for administrative expenditures shall be limited to the amount demonstrably necessary for the implementation or coordination of additional activities.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A technical assistance session will be recorded and placed on by September 8, 2022. Attendance is not required at the technical assistance session; however, anyone who intends to submit a proposal must watch the archived version of it.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals can be submitted electronically through the ISBE Attachment Manager, mailed, or hand-delivered no later than 4 p.m. on October 7, 2022.

The State of Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requires applicants to complete pre-qualification requirements before applying for any grant. This includes completion of the Grantee Registration and pre-qualification process through the Illinois GATA Web Portal at Grant applications must be submitted by the application deadline indicated in this NOFO/RFP. Applicants are advised to complete the pre-qualification requirements well in advance of the NOFO/RFP deadline.

All questions asked concerning this NOFO/RFP will be responded to in a Frequently Asked Questions document found at so, all respondents can see all questions and the responses to the questions. Changes to the FAQ will not be made after September 30, 2022. Applicants are advised to check the site before submitting a proposal.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will receive a Notice of Award via email approximately 90 days after the application deadline. The award letter is NOT an authorization to begin performance or expenditures.

Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM): Each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or federal or state awarding agency that is exempt from those requirements under 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the federal or state awarding agency under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to:
(i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application. If you are not registered in SAM, you may do so at;
(ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application at; and
(iii)Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active federal, federal pass-through or state award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal or state awarding agency. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may not consider an application for a federal pass-through or state award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements.

This NOFO/RFP does not have a cost sharing or matching requirement.

Session recording:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants totaling $320,000 each year are anticipated to be awarded to eligible universities and community colleges in fiscal years 2023, 2024, and 2025. The per institution grant amount is based on the total number and type of eligible applicants but is anticipated to be $40,000 for each participating university and $20,000 for each participating community college.

Term of Contract:

Grant Period: The grant period will begin no sooner than October 7, 2022 and will extend from the execution date of the grant until June 30, 2023. Successful applicants may reapply via continuing application for up to two additional year(s). Funding in the subsequent years will be contingent upon compliance with federal and state law, state grant-making rules, passage of sufficient appropriations for the program, and satisfactory performance in the preceding grant period. No promise or undertaking made in this NOFO/RFP is an assurance that a grant agreement will be renewed, nor does this NOFO/RFP create any right to or expectation of renewal.

Contact Information:

For more information on this NOFO/RFP, contact Andrew Klein at

Electronic Submission: Completed proposals submitted electronically should be scanned into PDF with all supporting documents and required signatures. The ISBE Attachment Manager is found at Choose Staci Hardin from the drop-down menu in Receiver Information. Submit the application using the button at the bottom of the page.

Mailed Proposals: Mail the original and an electronic copy of the proposal on a USB flash drive to Staci Hardin (Department of CTE & Innovation) 100 N. First Street Springfield, IL 62777.

Hand-Delivered: Proposals may be hand-delivered to the following locations:
Springfield Office
Reception Area
1st Floor
100 North First Street

Chicago Office
Reception Area
Suite 900
555 West Monroe Street

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