How it Works

Our user-friendly online proposal form will ask for information you most likely already have available. Programs that show significant evidence of impact and effectiveness will be included in STEMworks. Every program that applies will receive feedback on its proposal.

The proposal submission period for the national STEMworks database is currently closed to applicants. Please consult the STEMworks application home page for information on individual states that are soliciting applications for STEMworks.

View a recording of a past webinar explaining the STEMworks proposal process.

The Proposal Process
The online proposal process has four steps:

  1. Register. Programs must register with the CTEq proposal site to gain access to the proposal site.
  1. Create a program profile. You will be asked to provide basic information about your program. If your program is included in the CTEq STEMworks Database, this information will be used to create your program's public online profile.
  1. Complete the prescreen checklist: Before you can begin the full proposal, you will be asked to upload some basic documents into the system. You must complete this step at least 24 hours before the final proposal deadline. Programs will be expected to have most, though not necessarily all, of these documents before they can complete a full proposal:
    • Strategic plan
    • Annual report
    • Budget report
    • List of partners
    • Evaluation plan
    • Organizational chart
    • Alignment to relevant standards (STEM content and/or practices)
    • Sample curriculum or program activities
Programs that do not provide sufficient documents will be referred back to the proposal website for examples of the types of evidence expected in a STEMworks proposal. All documents must be uploaded in PDF format. When you upload a file, you will be able to add a brief description.
  1. Complete the online program ratings: Programs must rate themselves as Accomplished, Developing, or Undeveloped on each of the ten CTEq Design Principles.
    • After you rate your program on each Design Principle, you will provide an explanation of your self-rating. This explanation will not only justify your self-assessment, it will provide reviewers with a clear understanding of how evidence you provided for the pre-screen checklist supports your self-rating. You will also select each uploaded evidence file that you refer to in your summary paragraph.
    • You may use the same evidence to support your claims for more than one Principle, but your summaries should clearly convey how each Principle is specifically supported by the evidence you cite.
    • The Rubric offers examples of evidence that can support each Design Principle.
    • You will be able to review and update you self-ratings and evidence at any time prior to submission.

Please review the CTEq Design Principles and Rubric thoroughly before starting the proposal.

See a brief orientation video: Introduction and Orientation to the STEMworks Proposal Process

Preview the proposal form
If you would like to see all the questions you will have to answer to submit a completed proposal, please download a PDF version of the complete online proposal form. This document is for information purposes only. All proposals must be submitted through the online STEMworks proposal form.

The Review Process
After you submit your complete proposal packet, a team of independent reviewers at WestEd will review it. The review process will determine if the evidence provided supports your program's self-ratings. Reviewers will contact you with questions if they need further clarification. In cases where reviewers identify discrepancies between your claims and the evidence you provide, they will describe how you can address those discrepancies. Each program will receive a complete reviewer report. Following initial reviews, programs not admitted to the STEMworks database will be able to re-submit revised proposals. Programs will receive final reviews and notifications in late June 2015.

Reviewers will place each successful program in one of three categories:

  1. Unsuccessful programs have not met the bar for Accomplished or Promising programs. Change the Equation will not reveal the names of programs that have submitted proposals but not been admitted to STEMworks
  2. "Promising programs" may be too new to present strong evaluation data, for example, but they show the potential to be accomplished with further development.
  3. "Accomplished programs" meet the STEMworks bar for admission.

How does Change the Equation define "Accomplished" and "Promising" programs?

Accomplished programs meet the following definition:

  • They do not receive an "Undeveloped" rating on any Design Principle
  • They receive "Developing" ratings on no more than three Design Principles
  • They receive an "Accomplished" rating on Principle A (Need) and at least one of the following principles: Principle G (Content); Principle H (STEM Practices); or Principle I (Inspiration).

Promising programs meet the following definition:

  • They receive "Undeveloped" ratings on no more than four Design Principles: Principle B (Evaluation); Principle C (Sustainability); Principle D (Replication); and Principle E (Partnerships).
  • They receive an "Accomplished" rating on Principle A (Need) and at least one of the following principles: Principle G (Content); Principle H (STEM Practices); or Principle I (Inspiration).

WestEd is available to answer any questions about the proposal process. You can contact WestEd at