Comprehensive Centers Program
Program and Grantee Support Services
Discretionary Grants - Cooperative Agreements
The Comprehensive Centers program supports the establishment of not less than 20 Comprehensive Centers (CCs) to provide capacity-building services to State educational agencies (SEAs), regional educational agencies (REAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools that improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of instruction.
By statute, the Department is required to establish at least one center in each of the 10 geographic regions served by the Department’s Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs).
The 2019 cohort of Comprehensive Centers, which received initial awards in 2019, includes 19 Regional Centers and 1 National Center. An additional content center, funded in response to 2016 appropriations language and a new authority in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), focuses on students at risk of not attaining full literacy skills due to a disability.
Each Comprehensive Center must develop a 5-year plan for carrying out authorized activities. The plan of each center is developed to address the needs of SEAs in meeting ESEA student achievement goals, as well as priorities established by the Department and the States. Each center has an advisory board, with representation from SEAs, LEAs, institutions of higher education, educators, administrators, policymakers, researchers, and business representatives, that advises the center on: (1) allocation of resources, (2) strategies for monitoring and addressing the region’s educational needs (or the regional centers’ needs in the case of the content centers), (3) maintaining a high standard of quality in the performance of its activities, and (4) carrying out the center’s activities in a manner that promotes progress toward improving student academic achievement.
Types of Projects
Centers develop annual service plans for carrying out authorized activities that address State and regional needs.
Regional Centers provide high-quality intensive capacity-building services to State clients and recipients to identify, implement, and sustain effective evidence-based practices that support improved educator and student outcomes. These services include:
- Carrying out approved Consolidated State Plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESEA)
- Implementing and scaling-up evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions that address the unique educational obstacles faced by rural populations
- Identifying and carrying out capacity-building services to clients that help States address corrective actions or results from audit findings and monitoring, conducted by the Department, that are programmatic in nature, at the request of the client
- Working with the National Center to identify trends and best practices, and develop cost-effective strategies to make their work available to as many REAs, LEAs, and schools in need of support as possible
The National Comprehensive Center provides high-quality universal and targeted capacity-building services to address common high-leverage problems, services to address programmatic monitoring reports and audit findings, implementation challenges, and emerging national education trends. Services include:
- Implementing approved ESEA Consolidated State Plans
- Implementing and scaling evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions that directly benefit entities that have high percentages or numbers of students from low-income families as referenced in Title I, Part A of the ESEA (ESEA sec. 1113(a)(5) and 1111(d)) and recipients that are implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities as referenced in Title I, Part A of the ESEA (ESEA sec. 1111(d))
- Implementing and scaling-up of evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions that address the unique educational obstacles faced by rural populations
- Implementing effective strategies for reaching and supporting as many SEAs, REAs, LEAs, and schools in need of services as possible
For information about current Comprehensive Center projects, visit https://compcenternetwork.org/states.