10 Frequently Asked Questions for "Grant Administration"

  • Where can I find past PAGES webinars, resources?

    Grantees should first login to their PAGES account and bring up their homepage. On the top blue bar, click the down arrow to the right of the word PAGES. Then navigate to Resources, listed under Help. Be sure to view ALL Resources as there are guides, glossaries, slides, etc. For webinar links, find the document titled Links to PAGES Training Webinars.

  • What CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) should I be using as guidance?

    Grantees should be referencing Code of Federal Regulations 45 (Public Welfare) Part 75. 45 CFR 75 lays out the uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for HHS awards.

  • How can I create a PAGES user account?

    Please send an email inquiry to PAGESSupport@urban.org. They will provide you with a New User Request Form that must be signed by the Grantee Manager. If you are a new Program Director, your OFA Program Specialist will need to sign your form prior to sending it to PAGES.  Current PAGES account holders can also find this form under the PAGES Resources section, titled New User Account Request Form

  • What do I need to do to add new occupational training programs to my grant program?

    Addition of New Healthcare Occupational Trainings

    Background:  The healthcare occupations that were proposed in the grant application documents, and agreed upon by OFA, are the occupations that are considered approved for training participants.  Programs are only allowed to train those healthcare occupations.  Programs are allowed to add other healthcare occupational trainings as new labor market needs are identified, as long as those occupations are part of an articulated career pathway.  Programs can add those healthcare occupational trainings, and offer training, after receiving approval from OFA.

    Approval Process:  Before the organization can train for a new healthcare occupation, the grantee will upload a justification containing the following items to GrantSolutions as a Grant Note using the naming convention Add Occ NAME MM YYYY Proposed (e.g. Add Occ Surgical Tech 11 2015 Proposed)

    • The most pertinent Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for the healthcare occupational training and a description of the new occupational training.
    • How the proposed healthcare occupation training is preparing students for one or more specific employer or industry recognized credential or degree (which can include a license, third-party certification, postsecondary educational certificate or degree, or a Registered Apprenticeship certificate).
    • A description, narrative or diagram, of the career pathway for the healthcare occupation.
    • Labor market information, including employment rates, projected employment rates, and number of job openings.
    • Real-time labor market trends, including job posting volume, and educational or experience requirements.
    • Occupational wage data, including the median wage and wage ranges.
    • Estimated average starting wages within the proposed service area.
    • Verification from local employers regarding their needs and expectations.
    • Local training capacity including the provider and length of training.
    • Estimated number of participants that will begin the occupational training and an indication of if this addition would require other workplan projection changes.

    OFA will note approval for the new healthcare occupation in GrantSolutions.  Once OFA has done this, the new occupation with vendor information can be input into PAGES and training can be offered to participants for that occupation.

  • What are the requirements for my semi-annual performance progress report (PPR)?

    Please review the PPR Submission Checklist for detailed guidance on how to complete your PPR. Please make sure to review this guidance carefully, as there are a few new items to be completed in PAGES and specific guidance on how to respond to certain narrative sections. The checklist also mentions the Significant Findings Template and the ACF Waiver Release Form. Please be sure to review and complete these as necessary. As always, if you have questions, please contact your program specialist.

  • How do I write a compelling Success Story or Promising Practice as part of my Performance Progress Reports (PPRs)?

    You can find this information in the Significant Findings Template.

  • What types of technical assistance (TA) are available through HPOG and how do I request TA?

    HPOG provides responsive technical assistance (TA) to grantees across a number of topics and in a number of formats.  You can select from a menu of Technical Assistance topics, but please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list.  We can provide Technical Assistance to respond to your unique needs.  TA can take the form of phone calls, webinars, site exchanges with a peer grantee, or on-site training.  Contact your Program Specialist to discuss further or if you wish to put in a formal request for TA.

    Technical Assistance Possibilities

    Academic Assessment—Types of assessments available, selecting the right assessment for your intended purpose, how to use assessments effectively.

    Apprenticeships, Internships, and On-The-Job Training—Strategies for developing work-based learning opportunities with employers as training paths to employment.

    Behavioral Economics—How to leverage insights about human behavior to improve program performance.

    Career Pathways—Understanding the functions and features of career pathways and bridge programs and their alignment for effective implementation. How to develop well- defined pathways that include specific education and employment steps toward a career outcome and demonstrating how those steps are related to student supports. Connecting training to specific employer- recognized credentials, competencies required for each step, demonstrating how credentials stack to lead to higher-paying jobs and how non-credit training is connected to credit-bearing education.

    Career Planning and Development–Addressing participant interest and motivation in pursuing healthcare careers. Assessments and inventories used in identifying career choices. Strategies for improving participant readiness and motivation.

    Case Management—Establishing effective case management practices including monitoring participant progress, ongoing assessment of participant need, referrals to other supportive services and record-keeping/tracking.

    Credentials—Types of healthcare credentials, importance of credentials, developing stackable credentials, and competency models as a base of industry-recognized knowledge and their relationship to credentials.

    Curricula Development—Assistance with design of training curricula, engaging employers in curricula design, selecting teaching methods, and appropriate assessment of curricula.

    Data Use—Using data effectively to demonstrate program/participant success, marketing your program with data, using data for program management such as identifying if certain services being provided lead to better outcomes for program participants.

    Design Thinking—An iterative creative problem resolution and solution generation process that uses empathy, observation, and inquiry to identify issues and opportunities for improving a system. This method focuses on designing with the end user in mind using prototypes and testing of possible solutions on a cost-effective scale.

    Employer Engagement—Developing engagement strategies, bringing employers together with the HPOG program for strategic planning, building advisory councils, leveraging employers, speaking the language of business to demonstrate the benefits to employers of partnering with HPOG programs.

    Grant Implementation—Identifying and overcoming common obstacles to implementing an HPOG project.

    Job Placement and Retention—Strategies for increasing job placements.

    Labor Market Information—How to use labor market information in your program in identifying careers that are in demand and in reaching out to employers.

    Organizational Development—Practices and interventions to expand knowledge and effectiveness to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance. This may include recruiting, hiring, training and retraining qualified staff; managing workflows effectively; addressing fiscal procedures and other business practices; and other leadership strategies to build successful organizations. One example of a previous request received in this area involved assisting a grantee with developing their policies and procedures manual.

    Partnerships—Identifying strategic partnerships including TANF, One Stops, Adult Education, WIBs, and community colleges; developing and maintaining partnership relations; options for partnership involvement in HPOG programs; marketing the HPOG program to potential partners; and formalizing partnership agreements.

    Recruitment and Retention—Understanding the community profile, identifying resources that can assist your program with recruitment and retention, engaging/marketing the program to potential program participants, and strategies for enhancing participant motivation.

    Rural Communities and Challenges—Exploration of some of the issues that affect delivery of services in rural communities including transportation, population density and outreach strategies, accessibility of supportive services, and employer engagement.

    Support Services—Techniques/tools for screening and assessing program participants to determine need for support services, leveraging community resources and partnerships to enhance the HPOG program’s capability to provide support services, and case management.

    Sustainability—Identifying and leveraging sources of continued funding.

    TANF—Strategies for successfully engaging with TANF clients.

    Trauma-Informed Interventions—Understanding and developing programs and/or systems that realize the widespread impact of trauma, recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in individuals involved in those programs and systems, and respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices in an effort to actively prevent re-traumatization.

    Tribal Organizations—Addressing culturally appropriate strategies for working with American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

    Two Generation Approaches—Strategies for moving HPOG programs toward serving the whole family, partnering with childcare providers and early education providers, and determining what family success looks like.

  • Where can I find information on OFA’s policies for enrolling existing students and providing adult basic education services for HPOG 2.0?

    OFA has outlined below its positions and related policies for both Enrolling Existing Students and Providing ABE services.

    Enrollment of Existing/Currently Enrolled Students: 

    The intention of the HPOG program is to provide education and training to individuals who would not otherwise have access to it. The currently enrolled student body has access to education and training so the HPOG program should not recruit from it. There are some ways that existing students find their way to the HPOG program without having been recruited. For example, an existing student may go to a TANF agency, American Job Center or other program partner who refers them back to the HPOG program. There may also be some existing students who are only able to continue their education if they receive the additional support that HPOG could provide. Retention office staff may refer those students to the HPOG program. Given that there is the possibility for exceptions to exist, grantees should give highest priority to working with partners to recruit individuals who would not otherwise have access to postsecondary education. Any such enrollments should be considered exceptions and assessed on case by case bases. 

    Any HPOG program with a recruitment and eligibility determination process that accepts existing students must create a policy which identifies clear and objective definitions for exceptions based on the above guidance and is subject to OFA approval prior to implementation. The grantee will upload an existing students policy containing the following items to GrantSolutions as a Grant Note using the naming convention Existing Students Policy MM YYYY Proposed.

    • Provide clear definitions for exceptions that can be uniformly and objectively applied to facilitate the eligibility determination process. For example, “at risk of dropping out” should have objective characteristics that can be consistently observed.

    • Reasonably ensures that currently enrolled student exceptions do not comprise the vast majority of HPOG participants served. To this effect, the policy should indicate the maximum number of currently enrolled students that will be enrolled under the exception per academic term (i.e. no more than 15% of overall enrollments).

    • Provides internal guidelines for tracking enrollment of existing students.

    OFA will note approval for the policy in GrantSolutions and once OFA has done this, the policy can be implemented.

    Providing Adult Basic Education: 

    The intention of HPOG is to serve individuals who would not otherwise have access to education and training, including those with low reading and math skills. All grantees are expected to provide basic skills education to some of the participants that they enroll. There may be variation in terms of the minimum academic ability required to be eligible for enrollment in HPOG. At a minimum, HPOG programs should assist some participants that do not meet the minimum academic requirements to begin postsecondary education at intake to make the academic progress necessary so that they can begin postsecondary education. All grantees must provide a projection for the number of participants that will begin basic skills education. Grantees may be required to submit a written description of how they plan to implement basic skills education if it is not clearly stated in their application materials. OFA will consider and may approve of budget revisions and revisions to the other quantifiable projections if they are necessary to support more robust services to individuals with low reading and math skills.

  • Where can I find information from the Orientation Webinar, including the guidance on the items requiring prior approval?

    The HPOG team hosted Orientation Webinars for HPOG program directors on October 14th and 16th, 2015. During this webinar, Stan Koutstaal, OFA Program Manager for HPOG, discussed program requirements and items that require prior approval from the HPOG program office.  The Orientation Webinar Video and Transcript are now available.

    For more information, please view the Orientation Webinar October 2015 power point, Items to be Approved by Office of Family Assistance, Contract Review Sheet, and MOU Review Sheet

    If you have additional questions, please contact your program specialist.

  • How do I officially notify OFA and change the Program Contact/Project Director or Authorized Representative for my grant program?

    To officially notify OFA and change the Program Contact/Project Director (PI/PD) for your grant, you will need to do the following:

    • Log in to GrantSolutions
    • Click on “Manage Amendments”
    • Click on “New”
    • On the page “Select Amendment Type,” you should choose “Change in PI/PD (Type 6)” and then hit “Create Amendment.”
    • Please provide the following information in the fields listed in the Application Control Checklist:
      • Change in Project Director – This is an online form that should be completed.  Click “Enter Online.”  Then, on the “New Project Director” line, click “Add Project Director” (if this person has not previously been a project director for this program.  Otherwise, you can use the drop down menu to select them).  Enter all of the required fields (denoted with a red asterisk) with the new Project Director’s information.  After inputting all of this individual’s information, please validate the address by clicking “Validate Address.”  Once the address is validated, please click on “Save.”
      • SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance – This is an online form that should be completed.  Click “Enter Online.”  Complete all of the fields, remembering to update Section f “Name and contact information of person to be contacted on matters involving this application” with the name, telephone number and email address of the new Project Director.  Then, click “Save.”
      • Cover Letter Upload – Upload a letter on your organization’s official letterhead that provides the name, phone number and email address of the new Project Director.  This letter should be signed by the Authorized Representative.  You will upload this by clicking on “Upload Files” and following the instructions.
        • The resume of the new Project Director should also be uploaded in this section.  You will upload this by clicking on “Upload Files” and following the instructions.
    • Go to the Grant Solutions Getting Started page and follow the “Recipient User” guidance. Complete the Recipient/ Grantee User Account Request Form and Security Compliance Statement, and upload as an attachment by clicking on “Upload Files” and following the instructions. In addition, please send via email to the Grant Solutions Support Center (help@grantsolutions.gov).
    • Once you have performed the above mentioned tasks, you will click on “Verify Submission.”  Another box will pop up asking you to confirm that you want to complete this amendment, and you will select “yes” or “save.”
    • If you have any questions about this process, please contact your program specialist.

     

    To officially notify OFA and change the Authorized Representative (AO) for your grant, you will need to do the following:

    • Log in to GrantSolutions
    • Click on “Manage Amendments”
    • Click on “New”
    • On the page “Select Amendment Type,” you should choose “Change in Grantee Authorizing Official (Type 6)” and then hit “Create Amendment.”
    • Please provide the following information in the fields listed in the Application Control Checklist:
      • SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance – This is an online form that should be completed.  Click “Enter Online.”  Complete all of the fields, remembering to update #21 Authorized Representative with the name, telephone number and email address of the new Authorized Representative.  The Authorized Representative will need to sign this form by typing in their name in the “Signature of Authorized Representative” field and typing in the date. Then, click “Save.”
      • Cover Letter Upload – Upload a letter on your organization’s official letterhead that provides the name, phone number and email address of the new Authorized Representative.  This letter should be signed by the Authorized Representative (or another official that is higher ranking than the Authorized Representative).  You will upload this by clicking on “Upload Files” and following the instructions.
    • Go to the Grant Solutions Getting Started page and follow the “Recipient User” guidance. Complete the Recipient/ Grantee User Account Request Form and Security Compliance Statement, and upload as an attachment by clicking on “Upload Files” and following the instructions. In addition, please send via email to the Grant Solutions Support Center (help@grantsolutions.gov).
    • Once you have performed the above mentioned tasks, you will click on “Verify Submission.”  Another box will pop up asking you to confirm that you want to complete this amendment, and you will select “yes” or “save.”
    • If you have any questions about this process, please contact your program specialist.