116-74.45. Grant applications; priority.

(a) Application Requirements. - Subject to the availability of funds for this purpose, the Commission shall issue a request for proposal with guidelines and criteria for applying for a grant. An eligible entity that seeks a grant shall submit to the Commission an application at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Commission may require. Eligible entities may create partnerships to develop and establish school leader preparation programs and apply jointly to be a grant recipient. An applicant shall include at least the following information in its application for consideration by the Commission:

(1) The extent to which the entity has a demonstrated record of preparing school leaders who implement school leadership practices linked to increased student achievement.

(2) The extent to which the entity has a rigorous school leader preparation program design that includes the following research-based programmatic elements:

a. A proactive, aggressive, and intentional recruitment strategy.

b. Rigorous selection criteria based on competencies that are predictive of success as a school leader, including, but not limited to, evidence of significant positive effect on student learning growth in the classroom, at the public school level, professional recommendations, evidence of problem solving and critical thinking skills, achievement drive, and leadership of adults.

c. Alignment to high-quality national standards for school leadership development.

d. Rigorous coursework that effectively links theory with practice through the use of field experiences and problem-based learning.

e. Full-time paid clinical practice of at least five months and 750 hours in duration in an authentic setting, including substantial leadership responsibilities where candidates are evaluated on leadership skills and effect on student outcomes as part of program completion.

f. Multiple opportunities for school leader candidates to be observed and coached by program faculty and staff.

g. Clear expectations for and firm commitment from school leaders who will oversee the clinical practice of candidates.

h. Evaluation of school leader candidates during and at the end of the clinical practice based on the North Carolina School Executive Evaluation Rubric.

i. A process for continuous review and program improvement based on feedback from partnering local school administrative units and data from program completers, including student achievement data.

j. Established relationship and feedback loop with affiliated local school administrative units that is used to inform and improve programmatic elements from year to year based on units' needs.

(b) Application Priority. - The Commission shall evaluate the applicants for grants by giving priority to an eligible entity with a record of preparing principals demonstrating the following:

(1) Improvement in student achievement.

(2) Placement as school leaders in eligible schools.

(3) A proposed focus on and, if applicable, a record of serving high-need schools, high-need local school administrative units, or both.

(4) A detailed plan and commitment to share lessons learned and to improve the capacity of other entities in reaching similar outcomes.

(5) A service area that is underserved by existing principal preparation programs or demonstrates unmet need despite current available programs. (2019-60, s. 1(l).)