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Growing Agricultural Science Teachers (GAST) Grant

Grants to Illinois IHEs to Promote
Careers in Agricultural Education

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

Deadline Date:

03/25/20 4:00 PM CST


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Grants of up to $50,000 to Illinois institutions for higher education and community colleges for training and recruitment activities to promote increased awareness of agricultural education. Funding is intended to encourage agriculture as a potential career path among students and to assist teachers who are in their first five years of teaching in this field.

The GAST grant provides funds to eligible universities with agricultural education programs and community colleges that have programs articulated with agricultural education teacher preparation programs to provide activities in four categories:

  • Professional learning of agricultural education faculty,
  • Professional learning of preservice agriculture teacher students and novice teachers in their first five years of teaching,
  • Agriculture teacher recruitment and retention initiatives, and
  • Mentoring activities by master teachers.

Program Objectives:

  1. Promote increased awareness of agricultural education as a potential career among students from diverse backgrounds and communities.
  2. Create enhanced incentives for individual students to enter and persist in teacher preparation programs in agricultural education.
  3. Help eliminate barriers that may otherwise prevent individuals from completing preparation programs in agricultural education.
  4. Enhance teacher preparation candidate understanding of agricultural education as a profession and broadened awareness of the varied facets of agriculture and agriculturally based careers.
  5. Deliver professional learning that is designed in response to the expressed needs of individuals who are in their first five years of teaching in the field of agricultural education and the districts or cooperatives where they are employed.
  6. Promote adequate participation by teacher educators in agricultural education in professional learning related to the needs of the individual.

ISBE will give priority consideration to applications that include or emphasize data collection or other research activities related to agriculture teacher recruitment and retention factors and initiatives.

For information on allowable activities:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145269

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum grant award will be $50,000 per grantee.

Term of Contract:

The grant period will begin no sooner than March 25, 2020, and will extend from the execution date of the grant until June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include:
-Four-year institutions of higher education that offer state-approved science teacher preparation programs, and
-Public community colleges in Illinois that provide an articulated agriculture science teacher education course of study, meaning that they offer at least:
*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; and
*A one-semester-hour internship or other, equivalent field experience.

Eligibility is determined based on Part 75 of the Illinois School Code.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals can be submitted electronically through the ISBE Attachment Manager, mailed, or hand-delivered no later than 4 p.m. CST on March 25, 2020.

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 March 21, 2020. Applicants are advised to check the site before submitting a proposal.

For preapplication information:
The State of Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requires applicants to complete pre-qualification requirements before applying for an FY 2020 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.

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; 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. 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.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will receive a Notice of Award from the State Superintendent via email approximately 90 days after the application deadline.

Recorded webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To pre-register and apply:

Marci Johnson, Director
​Phone: (217) 524-4832​​​​​​​​​​​​

For questions regarding eligibility:
Erica Thieman

Springfield Office
100 North First Street
CTE and Innovation Department, C-215
Springfield, IL 62777-0001

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois

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