Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

ITQ State Agency Higher Education Grants


The Improving Teacher Quality State Agency for Higher Education grants program (ITQ SAHE) is a federal program, established under Title II, Part A of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 – Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 84.367. The purpose of Title II, Part A is to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality and ensure that all teachers are highly qualified. The ITQ SAHE supports partnerships of postsecondary institutions and “high-need” kindergarten through grade twelve local educational agencies to provide high-quality, sustained professional learning to teachers and principals, with the goal of improved student achievement. The ITQ SAHE was funded by a 2.5 percent mandatory set-aside of federal funding, ending in 2018, via a competitive grant process pursuant to Title II, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. A description of the ITQ SAHE grant programs administered by the Educator Excellence and Equity Division are as follows.

California Mathematics Readiness Challenge Initiative (2016-18)

The California Mathematics Readiness Challenge Initiative (CMRCI) is currently providing in-depth professional learning opportunities for collaborative teams of secondary educators, their school-site administrator, and faculty from their partner institution(s) of higher education to support the implementation and evaluation of grade 12 experiences that are designed to prepare pupils for placement into college-level courses in mathematics. Grants end on September 30, 2018. Five awards, totalling $6,400,000, were made to institutions of higher education.

Teacher-based Reform Pilot Project (2009-18)

Teacher-based Reform (T-BAR) Pilot Project provided access to teacher selected professional learning that was both flexible in its design, embraced by site administrators, and embedded trusted intermediaries (institutions of higher education, county offices of education, California Subject Matter Projects, and other external partners) in the localized implementation model. Early findings showed that T-BAR project sites were building the instructional capacity of their participating teachers (i.e., increased confidence of teachers, improvements in curricula, and improved leadership skills). The T-BAR sites were augmented, referred to as TBAR 2, to pay specific attention paid towards the conditions and resources that are needed to improve teaching and instructional leadership. One remaining T-BAR site remains active and funded with ITQ SAHE support to build upon TBAR 2 for the purpose of refining and piloting capacity-building prototypes.

California Elementary Mathematics and Science Professional Learning Initiative (2015-17)

The California Elementary Mathematics and Science Professional Learning Initiative (CEMSPLI) is currently providing in-depth professional learning opportunities in mathematics and science for collaborative teams of elementary educators, teachers and their school-site administrator, to improve instructional practice and leadership. The grant period ended on December 31, 2017. Twelve awards, totalling $8,847,523.50, were made to institutions of higher education.

California Education Leadership Professional Learning Initiative (2014-16)

The California Education Leadership Professional Learning Initiative (CELPLI) provided in-depth professional learning opportunities for a cohort of teacher leaders and practicing and aspiring California school administrators that resulted in a self-assessment tool that may be used to improve educator leader readiness and program quality. One award, totalling $997,894 was made to the University of San Diego.

Publications and Research

Publications and research regarding the ITQ SAHE initiatives can be located on the ITQ SAHE Digital Chalkboard Web page External link opens in new window or tab.. To join the ITQ SAHE Digital Chalkboard Web page, please register for an account and add the ITQ SAHE group to your profile.

Moving Toward a Common Approach to California’s NO one size fits all Professional Learning System External link opens in new window or tab. prepared by the State Teacher-Based Reform Design Team (October 2015)

Technical Assistance Resources

Title II Part A Non-Regulatory Guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
The Title II Part A Non-Regulatory Guidance explains how State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and State agencies for higher education can effectively and correctly use Title II, Part A funds to ensure that all teachers are qualified and effective. The section relative to the ITQ SAHE grant program begins on p. 36 of the guidance documents and is titled, Federal Awards to the State Agency for Higher Education.

Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards External link opens in new window or tab.
The Uniform Guidance was published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014, and became effective for new and continuation awards issued on or after December 26, 2014.

Questions: Teacher & Leader Policy Office | itqsahe@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-7331 
Last Reviewed: Monday, December 09, 2019
Recently Posted in Professional Standards
  • Equity: E3 Project (added 13-Oct-2020)
    Learn about how Chula Vista Elementary School District and San Diego County Office of Education support equity in the E3 Project.
  • PL Stories: Equity (added 13-Oct-2020)
    Quality professional learning focuses on equitable access, opportunities, and outcomes for all students, with an emphasis on addressing achievement and opportunity disparities between student groups.
  • CLSD SBE Agenda Items and Memos (added 30-Sep-2020)
    State Board of Education (SBE) agenda items and informational memoranda related to the Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant.
  • ELSB Grant Eligible Schools (added 30-Sep-2020)
    List of schools eligible to apply for the Early Literacy Support Block (ELSB) Grant.