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Fund for Excellence and Innovation

The Fund for Excellence and Innovation was established during the 2016 General Assembly session to stimulate collaboration among public school divisions, community colleges and public universities to create and expand affordable student pathways and to pursue shared services and other efficiency initiatives at colleges and universities that lead to measurable cost reductions.  SCHEV administers the Fund and provides grant opportunities to help carry out it's charge. Current funding opportunities are noted below. 

Call for Concept Papers

We are pleased to announce a Call for Concept Papers under the Fund for Excellence and Innovation. This year, SCHEV will support funding in three main areas:

1.  Development of Transfer Pathways/Academic Program Maps (Expected Funding Range: $10,000-$20,000)

SCHEV seeks collaborative partnerships between community colleges and baccalaureate granting institutions in Virginia to develop program maps that align community college credits to baccalaureate programs. The intent of this effort is to provide clearly defined maps to students to reduce the number of excess credits a student may take, reduce time-to-degree and support the implementation of the transfer legislation passed during the 2018 general assembly session.

2.  Identification of methods or implementation of strategies to improve access and student completion (Expected Funding Range: up to $75,000)

SCHEV seeks proposals from institutions that support planning, implementation or expansion of activities that will increase enrollment or completion rates for underrepresented students. This could be through partnerships with pre-K-12 to better inform students of opportunities to make more informed choices on their postsecondary education that may affect their higher education costs or through activities at an institution that improve completion.

3.  Identification or implementation of administrative efficiencies (Expected Funding Range: up to $75,000)

SCHEV seeks institutions interested in collaborating to identify or implement strategies that could support greater efficiencies, including the use of a shared service model.

Please review the Call for Concept Papers for more details on each of the three funding areas. 

Award Amount

The total annual amount available through the Fund for Excellence and Innovation is $225,000. Funding amounts are expected to range from $10,000 to $75,000 depending on the priority area, complexity and level of partnership/collaboration identified in the proposal. Expected amounts for each are noted above. Funds will be awarded in the form of a grant, with a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the lead institution.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible lead applicants are public institutions of higher education in Virginia. A lead institution may submit no more than one proposal per priority area.

Use of Funds

Use of funds can vary based on the priority area. Funds and proposals are expected to focus on one-time funding without the expectation of ongoing support. Funds are not expected to support indirect institutional costs.

Application Process

  • Submission of Concept Papers: As a first phase in the process, SCHEV seeks institutions to provide a concept paper. Additional instructions are provided below.
  • Due date: December 20, 2018
  • Submit concept papers to: Paula Robinson, Assistant Director of College Access and PK12 Outreach,
  • Notification of interest to fund proposals: January 14, 2019
  • Estimated Start Date: January 31, 2019
  • Length of Award: Projects must be completed no later than June 30, 2020

Concept Paper Submission Information


2018-2020 Funding

Call for Concept Papers
Concept Paper Summary form

2016-2018 Funding

Affordable Pathways Partnership Grants

Contact Information
Paula Robinson

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