Now in its second year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Learning Anytime, Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP) supports large-scale collaborative projects linking colleges and universities with other partners, including technology companies, publishers, and school districts. The program’s goal is to foster the development of e-learning initiatives for certificate and degree programs and to help already established programs increase their reach to new audiences.

The program’s FY 2000 guidelines highlighted priorities to develop “portable, interactive courseware that address widespread faculty adoption,” as well as new ways to “package courses and programs.” Other LAAP priorities include creating new models for credit transfers, sharing core curriculum, providing basic and English-as-a-second language skills, and serving the needs of physically- and learning-challenged adults.

The LAAP grant application is a two-staged process. In stage one, grant seekers must submit a preliminary application of up to seven pages, which includes the need for the project, solutions and strategiesfor meeting this need, and a preliminary evaluation plan. Those that pass the preliminary review can address the strengths and weaknesses of their applications in stage two. Here, applicants must include more detailed analysis of the project’s significance and design, as well as the management plan, quality of the personnel, adequacy of resources, and the budget and its narrative.

In its first round, LAAP received 653 preliminary applications, of which 120 were invited to submit final applications, and 29 received awards totalling $10 million (with individual projects funded at between $150,000 and $700,000 annually for three to five years). For round two, LAAP received 395 preliminary applications and invited 50 to submit final applications. Eleven projects were funded. For more information, call (202) 502-7500, eMail LAAP@ed.gov, or go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/FIPSE/LAAP.