Chapter III: bridge program costs and funding.
Budgeting a Bridge Program
The bridge program budget will need to identify costs associated with implementation of the various bridge program components. The budget is not only a critical part of fundraising, it will also help the partners determine how to allocate financial responsibility for the program.
In general, costs will vary depending on the type of bridge program and the availability of institutional resources. For example, some bridge programs will require the purchase of occupational equipment such as a hospital bed or press machine. On the other hand, the program might be able to take advantage of existing and already-funded services such as college advising. The bridge program budget should include all the costs of the program, with institutional contributions indicated as revenue. Often resources can be leveraged through partnerships. For example, provided it is convenient for students, the program may be able to use a community technology center or community college computer lab for free during "off-hours."
Develop a Budget
There are two approaches to budgeting. One approach is to develop a budget according to institutional cost centers. This type of budget is often helpful to the lead institution for accounting purposes. Community colleges typically use three categories or "cost centers" to assign costs--direct instruction, instructional support, and administration. Regardless of the type of institution, the following is a list of typical "cost centers" that a bridge program would include:
* Staffing (salary or wage for all staff involved in program). Determine whether the individual will be part- or full-time and whether fringe benefits will be included. Examples of the types of staff needed to operate a bridge program are provided in "Staffing," pp. 76-80.
* Consulting services (curriculum development, fundraising, evaluation frameworks, applied research, e.g., on the labor market, local employers' needs, career ladders, etc.)
* Collateral materials (books, assessment testing materials, promotional materials, etc.)
* Facility, equipment, software (cost of rooms, computers, computer software such as a database, occupational equipment)
* Support services (e.g., transportation vouchers, assistance with purchasing uniforms). Include support services provided by program partners and student wage subsidies
* Miscellaneous (refreshments, staff and student field trips, etc.)
* Administrative overhead or indirect costs (Some institutions might require a contribution from every program toward management information systems, accounting, etc.)
The second approach to budgeting is to develop an activity or program budget. This sort of budget is useful for funders who are aksed to support a specific component of the program. An activity or program budget also can be used as support documentation for a cost-center budget, since it typically includes details as opposed to summary-level information. Program costs should total the same in both types of budgets; they are simply presented differently. The activity budget usually incorporates staffing-related costs into each activity, rather than as a separate line item. It is helpful to distinguish start-up costs from ongoing operating costs.
Start-up costs include:
* Staff recruitment and orientation (development of a training manual and staff-orientation process including field trips; include salary costs as determined by the percentage of time spent by staff to complete the task.)
* Program/curriculum development (calculate the time for all individuals involved in the identification of learning objectives, review of books and materials, development of lesson plans, etc. Do not double count with staffing costs if curriculum is considered part of the individual's job and is already included in program operations. Consider whether a curriculum-development consultant is necessary.)
* Partnership development, employer focus groups, etc.
* Facilities, equipment, and software (identification of space, purchase of computers, software, and other office or classroom support plus any technical assistance needed.)
* Coordination of partnership and program development
Ongoing costs include:
* Student recruitment (marketing materials, staff salaries calculated as percentage of time spent for staff involved)
* Employer recruitment (marketing materials, staff salaries calculated as percentage of time spent for staff involved)
* Project management (salary of manager, generation of program-update reports)
* Program operations (teaching salaries, books and materials, field trips, speakers, wages for work experience)
* Support services (include staff responsible for job placement, counseling, college advising, tutoring, and case management; transportation vouchers)
* Facilities (rental costs)
* Administrative overhead
Worksheets 12 and 13, pp. 68-69, will assist with the development of a cost center and program or activity budget.
Funding a Bridge Program
There are many existing resources that can be used and combined to pay for bridge programs. Because in most states there is no dedicated source of funding for bridge training, someone on the core team or a hired consultant will need to allocate time and energy to raise and/or encourage the redirection of funds.
The ultimate goal is to get the bridge program institutionalized so that it does not have to rely on discretionary or one-time project funding year after year. The program may have to run as a pilot for a year or two before it is generally seen as effective and is incorporated into an annual budget.
The discussion and examples in this section are designed to prepare the responsible program staff to answer the questions posed in worksheet 14, pp 72-73, and to complete the funding map in worksheet 15, p. 74.
Use Existing Funding Streams Innovatively
One fundraising option is to redirect existing funding sources to support a bridge pilot program. For example, in Wisconsin, a pilot is under way to enrich remedial programs with contextualized academic and vocational material already recognized by the college. These programs are credit-bearing, and therefore students can use Pell grants to pay for them. Additionally, federal work-study funds help subsidize the work experience for up to 19 hours a week. (13) As another example, the Illinois Community College Board used Workforce Investment Act incentive funds earned by the high performance of Illinois' adult education and Carl Perkins vocational education programs to provide support to community colleges in partnership with community-based organizations to develop bridge programs in health care and transportation, warehousing, and logistics occupations. Similarly, supportive institutional leadership may be able to make discretionary funds available to pilot the program. The advantage of using existing institutional resources is once the program proves effective, the core team can advocate for the financing to become a permanent way to support the program.
Explore Public Funding Options
Another funding option is to apply for public funding. It is important to note that public funding comes with many different eligibility requirements, including what type of institution can apply, what type of student can benefit, and what kind of activities can be supported. It is very important to pay close attention to the guidelines before applying to make sure the funding is a right fit for the particular bridge program. Also, public funding streams are implemented differently state by state, depending on established policies and priorities. Worksheet 14 will help map potential funds. ***
Find Private-Sector Contributions and Foundation and Corporate Giving Programs
Employer partners often contribute to programs. These contributions can take the form of in-kind or non-cash donations such as assistance with curriculum development, loaning employees to help teach or present to the class, lending classroom space, providing company tours for students, allowing employees to be "shadowed" by students, providing internships with the company, and lending or donating equipment. Employer partners will sometimes contribute resources directly to the program or provide tuition assistance or paid release time for incumbent workers who want to improve their skills and advance.
Foundations and corporate giving programs are also important sources of funds. However, it will be difficult to rely on foundation support for program operation over the long term because foundations often change priorities and/or limit funding to a certain number of years. Therefore, foundations should be considered for upfront or one-time expenses such as program development, convening of program partners and other stakeholders, evaluation, technical assistance, and tools such as literacy testing and computer software to assist with student tracking. A foundation or corporate giving program may also be interested in funding the program pilot, but will likely ask for plans for sustaining the program.
Worksheet 14: Funding the Components of Bridge Programs, pp. 72-73, will help identify potential funding sources for the various components of bridge programs. Worksheet 15: Mapping Bridge Program Funds, p. 74, presents a format for organizing funding stream information. For an example of a completed diagram for the state of Illinois, along with funding-stream definitions and potential funding scenarios, see www.womenemployed.org and www.cjc.net.
Funding and Supporting an Ongoing Bridge Program
The bridge program's ability to demonstrate positive program outcomes will be essential to securing ongoing financial support. The earliest funders will pay close attention to program outcomes to determine whether they want to make an ongoing or multi-year investment. New funders will likely provide support if they can see the program's success in helping low-skilled individuals find good jobs or advance in their careers. Finally, because the bridge program concept will likely be relatively new to public agencies, one or two successful programs may sway them to dedicate a larger amount of funds to bridge programs throughout the state or in the country. Holding an event to showcase the program's success--for example, an open house, reception, or graduation ceremony--can build wider support and encourage continued funding, and can also interest new funders. Conducting an evaluation is a good way to document outcomes in a credible way (see "Bridge Program Evaluation and Continuous Improvement," pp. 83-88).
The Career Pathways program at Madisonville Community College provides individualized one-on-one and small-group tutoring to help individuals who wish to enter the college's CNA, LPN, or RN programs, existing students who need additional academic support, and students who are trying to move from one rung to the next on the nursing career ladder. Two program enhancements are available to qualifying CNA students, both funded through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The You Make A Difference CNA program pays for tuition, uniforms, books, supplies, and certification fees for 15 CNA students per year. The Workforce Connections program offers a three-day employability skills workshop and then places graduates of the CNA program into subsidized work experience positions at the Trover Foundation/ Regional Medical Center, area nursing homes, and physicians' offices, with WIA funds paying their first 500 hours of salary.
Instituto del Progreso Latino funds the Manufacturing Technology Bridge through many sources, including the Workforce Investment Act, North American Free Trade Agreement/Trade Adjustment Act (NAFTA/TAA), and the Illinois Job Training and Economic Development program. Empowerment Zone funding was important in establishing the program. Each program has different eligibility requirements. NAFTA/TAA provides the most options for training and permits a longer and more comprehensive ESL component. In addition, Instituto provides customized training for employers for a fee. As with most community-based organizations, it also seeks support from foundations.
Employer partners contribute significant resources to the Greater Cincinnati Health Professions Academy. Participating employers provide tuition reimbursement for incumbent workers and, in some cases, pre-pay tuition so upfront costs will not be a barrier to employee participation. Industry also provides subsidies for 50 percent of the Academy space, in-kind donation of supervisors' time for clinicals, and funding for a career advisor.
Worksheet 12: Cost Center Budget COST CENTER TYPE OF COST Direct Instruction Staffing # of FT staff x salary + fringe # of PT staff x hrly. wage # of students x hrly.wage/stipend Instructional Support Consultants Promotional material design Curriculum development General Materials # of books x students and Supplies per year Assessment testing materials # of promotional materials x printing/copying cost Facility, Room cost Equipment, Software Lab cost # of computers Computer software (3 of licenses?) Support Services Transportation voucher amount x # of students x length of program Cost of uniforms x # of students Other Refreshments Cost of food/drinks x # of students x # of class days Cost of food/drinks x # of students and guests for graduation Administration Administrative % of institution's budget Overhead TOTAL (sum of subtotals) COST CENTER ACTUAL COST CENTER TOTAL COST SUBTOTALS (INSERT IN GREY BOX) Direct Instruction Instructional Support Administration TOTAL (sum of subtotals) Worksheet 13: Program or Activity Budget TYPE OF ACTIVITY SALARY BENEFITS CONTRACTUAL SERVICES Start-Up Costs Staff Recruitment and Orientation Program Development Equipment and Software Fundraising TOTAL START-UP COSTS Ongoing Program Operation Costs (define a time period) Student Recruitment Employer Partnerships Project Management Program Operation: Bridge Skills Support Services Facilities Fundraising Total Ongoing Costs TOTAL PRG. OPERATION GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE OTHER MATERIAL EXPENSES AND/OR EXPENDI- AND SUPPLIES CAPITAL OUTLAY * TURES Start-Up Costs Staff Recruitment and Orientation Program Development Equipment and Software Fundraising TOTAL START-UP COSTS Ongoing Program Operation Costs (define a time period) Student Recruitment Employer Partnerships Project Management Program Operation: Bridge Skills Support Services Facilities Fundraising Total Ongoing Costs TOTAL PRG. OPERATION SUBTOTALS TOTAL Start-Up Costs Staff Recruitment and Orientation Program Development Equipment and Software Fundraising TOTAL START-UP COSTS Ongoing Program Operation Costs (define a time period) Student Recruitment Employer Partnerships Project Management Program Operation: Bridge Skills Support Services Facilities Fundraising Total Ongoing Costs TOTAL PRG. OPERATION * Sometimes calculated as percentage of total budget
Worksheet 14: Funding the Components of Bridge Programs A step-by-step process to identifying resources to support bridge programs in your state
Create a list of federal, state, and local funds that are available for workforce development in your state. Standard federal streams may include Perkins, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) (including the governor's discretionary grant and any performance or incentive grants), and federal financial aid programs such as Pell. One resource for this type of research is the staff at your state or local workforce investment board. * Your state likely has dedicated funding for workforce development that may be available for bridge programs. Often these funds are administered by the state economic-development and/or higher-education agencies. The National Network of Sector Partners has conducted a state-by-state analysis of economic-development funds usable for sector-focused programming that may be useful in finding this information. (14) Your state's community college association or agency may have information about appropriate educational grants. Finally, you will need to investigate any local funds that can be used to support workforce development.
Using the questions provided below, determine whether each stream can support bridge programs, and if so, what components of bridge programs. A note about federal funds: since federal regulations for these funding streams are interpreted differently by state and even by local area, you should look at how answers to these questions would be interpreted in your area. The examples given under each question demonstrate how state interpretations may or may not make funds amenable to supporting bridge programs. You might consider meeting with your local workforce board to discuss the possibility of exceptions or waivers. Answer these questions for each stream that you have identified.
1. What are the population eligibility guidelines required by the funding stream? To be useful for a bridge program, people with limited literacy or individuals without a high school diploma or GED must be eligible.
Example: State interpretations of federal guidelines
Although there is nothing in the federal regulations that prevent WIA Title I Training Funds (Individual Training Accounts [ITAs]) from being used for people with limited literacy, some local areas have chosen to require a high school diploma to be eligible for an ITA. Therefore, ITAs may not be available to support bridge programs. Another example can be found in the federal income eligibility guidelines for Title XX Community Services Block Grant Funds. These funds are amenable for use in bridge programs that target public-aid recipients and other low-income groups.
2. Do the laws or regulations restrict the types of services that can be offered (what can the money be spent on)? Determine whether there are funds that can support the various components of bridge programs: curriculum development, program operation, work experience, and support services. Because bridge programs offer a unique mix of literacy and occupational instruction, you also need to determine whether the funds will support one or both of these types of services. Finally, if you are developing a bridge program that does not offer college credit, you need to determine whether funds are available for non-credit programming.
Example: State interpretations of federal guidelines
Federal Perkins funds could support program operation, curriculum development, and support services depending on state interpretation. Likewise, some states use federal WIA Title II (Adult Education) dollars to support vocational adult education services, while others have a stricter interpretation and do not allow for funding any occupational programming. Finally, federal Pell Grants can be used only for credit programs, while some states may have a state need-based grant that allows for use in non-credit programs.
3. Do the laws or regulations limit the provider type (who can administer the funding stream)? It is necessary to determine whether the funds are accessible to community colleges, community-based organizations, proprietary schools, or other training agencies depending on who will administer your program.
Example: State interpretations of federal guidelines
Some states competitively bid TANF Employment and Training contracts with little restriction regarding provider type. On the other hand, states sometimes have state-funded job-training funds that are limited to community-based organizations and employer partnerships. This type of funding would not be available to support bridge programs at community colleges.
4. What are the regulations on how the funding is administered (formula, competitively bid, etc.)? Bridge providers need to be aware of what is competitively bid so that they do not miss out on proposal opportunities. Typically, colleges plan what to do with formula funding during a budget cycle. This requires advanced planning and requesting. Your state Workforce Investment Board might be able to help you find the answers to these questions.
Complete a chart that lists each bridge program component and identifies funding streams that can support that component. List any caveats, special opportunities and circumstances, or provider limitations. Use worksheet 15: Mapping Bridge Program Funds, p. 74.
* See www.nawb.org to identify a contact for your state or local board information.
Worksheet 15: Mapping Bridge Program Funds PROGRAM PROGRAM CURRICULUM OPERATION: COORDINATION DEVELOPMENT LOWER-LEVEL BRIDGE Federal Funds Federal Work- Study WIA Title I WIA Title II Perkins CSBG TANF Other (including incentive and discretionary) State Funds Child Care Subsidy Job Training Adult Education Local Funds Grants: Foundation and Corporate Giving PROGRAM OPERATION: WORK HIGHER-LEVEL EXPERIENCE BRIDGE Federal Funds Federal Work- Study WIA Title I WIA Title II Perkins CSBG TANF Other (including incentive and discretionary) State Funds Child Care Subsidy Job Training Adult Education Local Funds Grants: Foundation and Corporate Giving SUPPORT NOTES: CAVEATS, SERVICES STIPULATIONS Federal Funds Federal Work- Study WIA Title I WIA Title II Perkins CSBG TANF Other (including incentive and discretionary) State Funds Child Care Subsidy Job Training Adult Education Local Funds Grants: Foundation and Corporate Giving
** One cost study showed that programs serving academically unprepared students tend to cost $2,500-$3,500 per student in addition to tuition. The Costs of Serving Non-Academically Prepared Students: A Study of Three Community College of Denver Programs, Elaine Baker. Funded by the Ford Foundation's Bridges to Opportunity Initiative.
*** A detailed funding streams diagram can be found at:www.cjc.net/publications/02_Bridge_Programs_PDFs/bridge_funding.pdf and: www.womenemployed.org/docs/Bridge%20Funding%20Diagram.pdf
Toni Henle, Women Employed Institute
Davis Jenkins, University of Illinois at Chicago Great Cities Institute
Whitney Smith, Chicago Jobs Council
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|Title Annotation:||Women Employed Institute|
|Publication:||Bridges to Careers for Low-Skilled Adults: A Program Development Guide|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2005|
|Previous Article:||Chapter II: bridge program development.|
|Next Article:||Chapter IV: bridge program implementation and management.|