Purpose of the RFP

The purpose of the Tennessee Grow Your Own Center’s (TNGYOC) Request for Proposals (RFP) is to continue to expand the teacher apprenticeship pathway into the education profession. TNGYOC will award subgrants to EPP partners who will use the funds in conjunction with other sources of institutional, state, and federal grant aid to cover all costs for tuition, textbooks, and Praxis exams on behalf of candidates selected by LEAs.

The goal of this competitive solicitation is to help lower financial barriers to entry for a more diverse pool of teacher candidates within the LEA community while maintaining a high bar for the quality preparation that those candidates receive.

Eligible Applicants

This RFP is open to any of the ten (10) EPPs currently approved by the Tennessee Department of Education for participation in the TNGYO program.

Award Details

For the 2024 – 2025 academic year, EPPs will apply for competitive funding awarded for either or both

  • (a) Pathway 1: Bachelor’s degree completion programs and/or
  • (b) Pathway 2: Single-year post-baccalaureate certificate programs

This RFP calculator can be used to calculate the total amount requested. The calculator provides the total dollar amount of grant funds you would be requesting along with the total estimate of tuition costs after typical sources of aid are applied.

We anticipate awarding subgrant amounts between $50,000 and $750,000 per EPP. This is a one-year subgrant renewable for up to one additional year for learners on Pathway 1.

2023-2024 RFP Schedule

  • September 7th, 2023: Preview for EPPs
  • September 15th, 2023: RFP guidelines and hallmarks released
  • October 2nd, 2023: Application process opens for EPPs
  • October 9th, 2023: TNGYOC provides written responses to questions
  • October 11th, 2023: Q & A period closes
  • October 12th, 2023: EPP Connect Meeting Q & A
  • November 17th, 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern: Proposals Due
  • December 8th, 2023: Decisions communicated by TNGYOC
  • December 22nd, 2023: Contracts finalized**
  • May 30th, 2024: Fall/Summer ’24 apprentices selected by LEAs & EPPs
  • August 1st, 2024: Grant period of performance start date
  • July 31st, 2025: Grant period of performance end date (renewal available)

**Note: All contract/MOU signature deadlines and proposed contract/MOU start dates are tentative and subject to all final approvals once final awardees are determined.

Hallmarks of High-Quality Teacher Apprenticeship

In May of 2023, the Tennessee Grow Your Own Center started establishing definitions for the hallmarks of a high-quality teacher apprenticeship program. Each team member contributed observations from the field after engaging with over 60 school districts and 250 teacher apprentices for five months. Team members also considered survey data and their considerable expertise as educators, school administrators, program evaluators, and educational consultants. Most of all, the team brought a deep desire to see high-quality teacher education pathways thrive. Persona development, data review, and even role-playing resulted in nine initial hallmarks of high-quality programs.

Simultaneously, the Pathways Alliance convened to establish a definition for teacher residences and standards for teacher apprenticeship. In July 2023 the Pathways Alliance released the the National Definition of Teacher Residences. Upon the document’s release, the GYO Center team spent considerable time crosswalking the TNGYOC drafted hallmarks with the national definition and found clear alignment.

In the interest of aligning to a national framework, the TNGYOC team is launching version 1.0 of Tennessee’s Hallmarks of High-quality Teacher Apprenticeship in alignment with the Pathways Alliance’s work.

The Tennessee’s Hallmarks of High-quality Teacher Apprenticeship rubric is designed to honor the starting places in this work while also providing goals to aspire toward. Each hallmark contains a set of criteria. For each criterion, an Entry Point (level 1) and an Ideal (level 3) are described.
Ex: Hallmark 1 is Partnership. Criterion 1.1 is Collaboration

The Entry Point (1) is meant to describe the minimally required expectation for the criteria. The Entry Point level is an acceptable place to start. The Ideal (3) is meant to describe a particularly strong version of the criterion. There is no expectation that an EPP would score Ideal on every criterion.

It is possible to select Progressing (2) on each criterion. For Progressing (2), the EPP would describe how they meet the entry-level and are approaching the ideal but have not accomplished the ideal yet. We assume that if an EPP is demonstrating the Ideal level on a criterion, they have also accomplished the Entry Point level.

To ensure a high-quality experience for apprentices, programs that do not yet meet the Entry Point (1) criteria are encouraged to develop that component before launching a pathway. Finally, the expectation is that if an EPP selects a level for a criterion, that level has been achieved for all programs or pathways offered by that EPP.

EPPs, in partnership with LEAs, should use the Tennessee’s Hallmarks of High-quality Teacher Apprenticeship to serve as a self-assessment tool. Evaluators of RFPs will use the hallmarks rubric to evaluate proposals.

The 2023-24 academic year represents the first academic year that leaders will have access to the hallmarks rubric, released in September 2023. There are certainly elements of Tennessee’s Hallmarks of High-quality Teacher Apprenticeship that will need to be improved for future RFPs. TNGYOC is committed to collecting feedback from our EPP and LEA partners, state leaders, and national organizations throughout the year. With the annual release of a new round of RFPs, the center will publish updated versions of the Hallmarks. We welcome constructive feedback on the process or the framework at growyourown@tennessee.edu.


Proposal Submission and Evaluation

Questions about the RFP process or hallmarks will be collected until the question submission deadline. Responses will be provided here for all applicants to view.

Download 2023 RFP Q&A Document
Proposal submissions will occur through each EPP’s shared Google Folder. Folders are shared by TNGYOC with EPP Contact(s). The folder will contain a submission instructions checklist and a blank Hallmarks rubric. Applicants will upload their

  • completed Tennessee’s Hallmarks of High-quality Teacher Apprenticeship rubric,
  • supporting artifacts
  • RFP calculator sheet
  • and program offering one-pager information

into their folder. Program offering one-pager information will be pre-filled for each EPP based on information the TNGYOC already has available.

Once an EPP has completed their submission, they should email growyourown@tennessee.edu to inform TNGYOC that their submission has been completed. TNGYOC will respond to confirm that all documents are in the Google folder and that each document can be opened and readable. Late submissions will not be accepted. Please ensure that you have received a confirmation email ensuring successful submission.

EPPs may make changes to their submission until the submission deadline when access to the shared folder will be removed.

Late submissions will not be accepted. Please ensure that you have received a confirmation email ensuring successful submission.

After the proposal submission deadline, members of the TNGYOC team and TDOE will conduct independent evaluations of each proposal using the Hallmarks rubric. Every proposal will be evaluated and scored by at least three reviewers with additional reviewers invited to evaluate proposals when any 2 of the reviewers’ scores differ by more than 5 points. Proposals must earn a minimum of 30 points to be considered and may earn a maximum of 100 points for Hallmarks and their associated artifacts. (30 criteria, 3 pts/each max= 90 points + 10 points possible for updating the available programs of study and providing supporting artifacts).

Additionally, two bonus point areas will be awarded. Proposals will receive up to 10 points if they represent the sole provider of a licensure area (that has a significant need by LEAs) as well as an additional 10 points possible if their programs are highly accessible (i.e. hybrid/online).

The scoring template can be viewed here. Scores will not be shared publicly. The TNGYOC will meet individually with EPPs to discuss the rationale for allocations.

The information in the following documents is available either on this webpage or in the grant application/submission folders. They are also provided here for easy access and downloading as needed.

Background, Purpose, and Supporting Research

2023 RFP Schedule & Award Details

Tennessee’s Hallmarks of High-quality Teacher Apprenticeship- Rubric

How to Prepare and Submit a Proposal

Eligibility and Scope of Work

RFP Calculator Tool

RFP Evaluation Template (Scores will not be publicly available)

2023 Questions and Answers

Reporting and Invoicing