Next Generation Learning Challenges: Grants for K-12 Education


OVERVIEW: The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) network is driven to improve student outcomes through innovative strategies for teaching, learning and assessment. It is especially interested in ensuring college readiness and completion, and its four program areas are focused on K-12 and university education.

IP TAKE: For K-12 funders, the key programs to look at are K-12 Breakthrough Models and K-12 Tech Innovation. Open grants can be reviewed at the network’s Grants Opportunities page.

PROFILE: Next Generation Learning Challenges describes itself as “a network of educators, innovators, technologists, and philanthropic foundations” focused on “tapping the potential of technology to improve college readiness and completion, particularly for low-income young adults.” Funded mainly by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NGLC’s many partners include heavy hitters in the education world such as the Dell and Broad foundations.

For K-12 grantseekers, NGLC’s main funding stream, K-12 Breakthrough Models, seeks out exactly what it sounds like: innovative educational models among public and charter schools to make learning more personalized, assessment and progression more competency base, and K-12 education more engaging and transparent while maintaining high standards, lowering the achievement gap, and ensuring that students are college-ready.

NGLC also offers grants under its K-12 Tech Innovation program, which seeks out “educators to create interactive learning modules and embedded assessments designed to improve mastery of seventh to ninth grade level Common Core State Standards in math and literacy.” Its most recent round of grantmaking in this area was titled "Building Blocks for College Readiness,” but this program has since ended.

The NGLC’s commitment to university education breaks down along similar lines as that for its K-12 funding, with programs in both Breakthrough Models (focused on personalization and affordability in postsecondary education) and Tech Innovation, which looks towards “scaling the adoption of open course courseware, blended learning programs, learning analytics, and tech-enabled deeper learning to help students pass courses and get degrees.”

Teaching, learning, and assessment strategies NGLC supports are varied and include project-based, experiential, game-based, and competency-based learning as well as “design thinking,” the use of data analytics in evaluating student performance, and more. Take a look at the NGLC Grant Recipients interactive map for more information about specfic awardees.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the NGLC’s guiding principles remain consistent, its specific funding projects appear to change somewhat frequently, so it is important to keep up-to-date on open Grant Opportunities either by visiting the site directly or by signing up for the newsletter.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)