The Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase

Task 4: Review Professional Learning Activities


Guideline: When reviewing professional learning programming the focus should be on developing highly qualified teachers able to use appropriate teaching methods with a curriculum aligned with the state's academic standards. This review should identify opportunities for improvement.

Highly Qualified Staff Members Data Elements

The chart, provides a checklist of data elements related to highly qualified staff members for inclusion in a school profile.

Staff Development Assessment Inventory

This Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council) survey is designed to help schools determine how their staff development programs measure up to their staff development standards.

A Framework for Reviewing Professional Development Policies and Practices

This article from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) Policy Brief lists key questions to ask during the review of professional development policies and practices. Each major question has a list of supporting questions to be addressed.


Current Models for Evaluating Effectiveness of Teacher Professional Development

This document lists recommendations to State Leaders from leading experts evaluation of professional development programs.


National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

This link is to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) website. As noted at its website, NBPTS "was formed in 1987 to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching, creating a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts." While the NBPTS standards focus on content mastery, they do not reflect on a formally designated teacher leader role.

Professional Development at the Middle School

This document reports on the lessons learned from a study conducted by the Center for Prevention Research and Development (CPRD) at the University of Illinois on professional development activities at middle schools. The lessons offered are important in understanding the differing perspectives that teachers and administrators have about professional development.

Element 1: Assess Organizational Needs and Basis for Desired Funding

Purpose: Writing a successful grant application begins with understanding the reason for seeking grant funding from a governmental agency or private foundation. If the grant seeker is a school, the organizational assessment undertaken for improvement planning may provide useful reasons for the desired funding.

The grant seekers organizational assessment must address the subject area the funding organization has an interest in supporting. In regards to a governmental grant proposal, the assessment must address the request for proposal's focus.

Element 1 outlines the tasks involved in creating an organizational assessment.

Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of Your Organization

Activity 2: Identify Broad Areas in Need of Improvement

Element 2: Outline the Project Ideas

Purpose: Developing innovative grant ideas that fulfill organizational needs is essential in a successful grant application. The successful grant application will be one that effectively matches the grant seeker's project ideas with the grant funder's interests or programmatic focus!

Activity 1: Create a Project Team

Activity 2: Conceptualize Project

Element 3: Organize for Action

Purpose: Prior to writing the grant application, the project lead should pre-plan how the application will be developed, a timeline for completing it, and an internal review process for the application. Element 3 outlines the steps in creating a road map for the application process.

Activity 1: Understand the Grant Requirements

Activity 2: Plan to Act

Element 4: Develop and Submit the Grant Proposal

Purpose: The grant proposal brings life to the project idea. It is the vehicle the grant seeker uses to sell their idea to the prospective funding sources. Element 4 outlines the steps to develop and submit a successful grant application. Once the application has been submitted, follow-up with the funder is essential.

Activity 1: Develop the Project Plan

Activity 2: Commit the Proposal to Paper

Activity 3: Review and Finalize the Proposal

Element 5: Implement the Grant

Purpose: Upon receiving the grant award it is necessary to have a process in place for administering and managing the grant. Element 5 outlines the steps involved with implementing the project and fulfilling the grant's administrative requirements.

Activity 1: Administer and Manage the Grant

Activity 2: Accomplish Change

Activity 3: Evaluate Project Outcomes