Request for Proposals (RFP)

Request for Proposals (RFP)
Funding Source: Yosemite Community College District
DSPS Program Accountability and Development Services contract
Funding Term: August 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
Funds Available: Up to $200,000
Project Title: An Evaluation of the Impact of DSPS Funding Reductions
I. Background
In fiscal year 2008-09, state funding for Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) in the
California Community Colleges was approximately $115,000,000. In 2009-10, efforts to balance
the state’s budget resulted in a substantial reduction in DSPS funding to approximately
$69,000,000. It has remained essentially unchanged at this level for subsequent years, through and
including the 2011-12 fiscal year. This amounts to a 39.8 percent reduction in DSPS funding.
As a result of these funding reductions, many colleges have been forced to reduce staffing,
eliminate services, curtail hours of operation, or take other measures to cut costs. Delays or service
reductions have the potential to disrupt the ability of students to achieve their educational
objectives and may put colleges at risk of violating state and federal nondiscrimination laws.
Although the Chancellor’s Office for the California Community Colleges has received anecdotal
accounts of such cutbacks and the California Association on Postsecondary Education and
Disability (CAPED) has conducted informal surveys that provide some limited information, there is
no comprehensive data available about the extent and nature of the reductions which colleges have
made or the impact such reductions have on students with disabilities.
Obtaining an accurate picture of the impact funding reductions have had on students with
disabilities will help college administrators and the Chancellor’s Office to better manage the
limited resources available. Such information will also assist legislators and policymakers in
determining the need for additional funding for DSPS.
Accordingly, the Chancellor’s Office for the California Community Colleges is seeking to obtain
accurate data and a comprehensive analysis of the impact of recent funding reductions. To
accomplish this, the Yosemite Community College District seeks proposals for a study to complete
the work described below.
II. Scope
Yosemite Community College District, in collaboration with the Chancellor’s Office for the
California Community Colleges, is seeking a subcontractor to conduct a system-wide study of the
scope and impact of the 2009-10 funding reductions for the DSPS program, and to report findings
back to the DSPS Unit in the Chancellor’s Office. The subcontractor who is selected for this study
will assess, document and thoroughly analyze the funding reductions, the resulting changes in
service delivery and the impact of those changes on students by collecting system-wide data and
intensively studying a representative sample of community colleges.
The expectation is that this study would be accomplished through a combination of student, staff,
and other stakeholder surveys (online or in person), interviews, statewide data analysis, information
gained from selected colleges that volunteer for site visits and sharing of additional data, college
level data analysis, an analysis of the shortcomings/vulnerabilities in unmet service levels relative
to the requirements for serving students with disabilities imposed by the relevant nondiscrimination
laws, and any other appropriate and effective research techniques to be specified in the proposals.
The Chancellor’s Office will initially be involved in reviewing and providing input on the survey
tool(s) that the contractor proposes to use, so as to avoid any duplication in data / information
already compiled internally. In addition, the Chancellor’s Office expects benchmark updates at
various points during the project. A description of these benchmarks should be included in your
proposal’s work plan. The completed final report shall be delivered to the Chancellor’s Office
no later than May 31, 2012. The Chancellor’s Office will assign a staff member to act as the
Project Monitor for this contract and to assist the subcontractor with reporting and invoicing.
The contractor will also be guided in the conduct of the study and preparation of the report by a
task force, which the contractor will select in consultation with staff from the DSPS unit in the
Chancellor’s Office. The task force should include, but not be limited to, students with disabilities,
DSPS professionals, other college faculty and staff who work with students with disabilities,
experts on legal requirements related to services for students with disabilities in higher education,
and CAPED representatives. The contractor should include in the proposed budget the cost of
staffing and supporting the task force (including travel costs for task force members) based on the
expectation of at least three task force meetings during the term of the contract. Copies of the final
report should be distributed also to the members of the task force.
While the contractor or the task force may identify other or different topics to be addressed by the
study, examples of the types of information and data being sought, and questions to be answered in
the report may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
1. How does the percentage of students currently served in programs for students with disabilities
compare with the percentage served in 2008-09?
2. Have funding reductions led to longer wait times than in the past for students to receive
requested accommodations such as sign language interpreters, materials in Braille or large print,
access to adaptive equipment, test proctoring, or other needed services? If so, what effect has
this had on their academic performance?
3. Have some colleges eliminated certain services and, if so, what impact has this had on students
with disabilities?
4. Have funding reductions led colleges to develop more cost effective or streamlined methods for
delivering services?
5. Have funding reductions led colleges to provide new types of services which are equally
effective as those they replaced?
6. Have colleges found it necessary to limit the hours or locations where services are available to
students with disabilities? If so, have colleges devised strategies, such as collaboration with
other programs, to ensure that students continue to have equal access to critical services?
7. How many full-time equivalent staff have been laid-off or positions eliminated through attrition
in DSPS programs since July of 2009?
8. Do staff who are hired or assigned to work in DSPS meet minimum qualifications as specified in
the regulations adopted by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges?
9. Have funding reductions or staffing changes by DSPS resulted in other college programs, faculty
or staff increasing the extent to which they provide accommodations to students with
disabilities? How has this increase impacted their workload?
10. Have funding reductions or staffing changes impacted the academic achievement of students
with disabilities or delayed their transfer or graduation?
11. Have colleges developed more innovative ways of better coordinating the delivery of services
to students with disabilities who are also eligible for services from other programs such as
EOPS, Financial Aid, Veteran’s Affairs, etc.?
12. What type of guidance should the Chancellor’s Office provide to colleges to assist them with
satisfying the accommodation requirements of state and federal law to the greatest extent
possible given the limited resources available?
13. What methods can be utilized by the Chancellor’s Office to disseminate information to colleges
about new approaches to serving students with disabilities with limited resources?
14. How many full-time equivalent staff would need to be hired by DSPS programs in order to
appropriately serve the number of students with disabilities who need services or
III. Proposal Outline
Written proposals should include:
A. A description of your interest in the project.
B. A proposed budget not to exceed $200,000.
C. A detailed description of your work plan to include: a description of the research methodologies
and tools to be utilized, how the data will be collected and analyzed, how and when you will
provide the Chancellor’s Office with benchmark updates, how you will maintain appropriate
documentation of the work completed, how and when you will present the report and any findings.
D. A description of your organization’s staff qualifications to successfully conduct this study and to
complete the required report, e.g., a narrative clearly outlining your staff’s experience using various
research techniques and methodologies, and data collection strategies, as well as a description of
your technical background, knowledge of MIS data systems and Community College reporting
requirements and, preferably, your direct experience with California’s higher education system and
with students with disabilities.
IV. Evaluation
A. Clarity and detail in the demonstration of your interest in this project - 10 points.
B. Clarity, detail and feasibility of your proposed budget - 20 points.
C. Quality of work plan and the demonstrated ability to complete the project and provide
deliverables by May 31, 2012, - 40 points.
D. Qualifications and experience necessary to complete this project - 30 points.
V. Calendar of Key Events
Release date: October 17, 2011
Deadline for submitting proposal to YCCD: November 11, 2011 (See Item VII below)
Scoring of proposals by review panel: November 16-17 2011
Notice of Intent to Award: November 18, 2011
Deadline to file protest: November 28, 2011
Contract finalized and work begins: December 1, 2011
VI. Contacts for Information / Questions
Scott Berenson
DSPS Program Coordinator
California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office
1102 “Q” Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-6549
(916) 322-3234
Scott Valverde
DSPS Specialist
California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office
1102 “Q” Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-6549
(916) 445-5809
VII. Please mail three (3) original copies of your proposals to:
Dorothy Pimentel
Yosemite Community College District
2201 Blue Gum Avenue
P.O. Box 4065
Modesto, CA 95358