Project Firstline: Infection Control in Community College Curriculum




Request for Proposals

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the roles and needs of frontline health care workers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Project Firstline is a collaborative of diverse health care and public health partners that aims to provide engaging, innovative, and effective infection control training for millions of frontline U.S. health care workers as well as members of the public health workforce. Every frontline health care worker deserves to understand infection control principles and protocols and to feel that they can confidently apply them to protect themselves, their patients, their facility, their family, and their community.

The League for Innovation in the Community College has joined this effort, and in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) via Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) and CDC, invites U.S. community and technical colleges to apply to participate in a Project Firstline initiative focused on strengthening the alignment of infection control practice across education, experiential learning, and workplace settings in health care and allied fields.

Up to 20 community and technical college existing programs will be selected in four discipline areas to

  • review and enhance their programs' infection control curriculum components using CDC materials and underlying scientific and implementation best practice;
  • teach the enhanced components in program courses in fall 2021; and
  • evaluate and refine the curricular components as needed.

The four discipline areas are:

  • Nursing/Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Paramedic/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Allied Health*

A community and technical college/district may apply to one or more of these four discipline areas; however, a separate application must be completed and submitted for each area.

*A college/district may apply in one Allied Health program (e.g., respiratory therapy, phlebotomy), which must be specified on the application.

Find helpful resources at the bottom of this page.


Community and technical colleges in the United States are eligible to apply to participate in the project. The League seeks community and technical colleges from geographically diverse settings (tribal, rural, suburban, and urban) that have existing institutional strengths to review, reimagine, and implement team-based infection training into existing hands-on (and high-level virtual) experiential learning in health care and public health settings. Eligible programs should have existing, committed local health care partnerships and mentorships. Certificate and degree programs are eligible, including year-round programs.

Community and technical college programs that are selected to participate will meet the following criteria:

  • Have an existing nursing/LPN/CNA, environmental health and safety, paramedic/EMT, and/or allied health program that would be enhanced by this work;
  • Have established connections with hospitals and/or other acute care and pre-hospital settings to support college faculty and preceptors who oversee students in these experiential learning sites;
  • Identify up to four faculty members with at least two years of teaching experience and with knowledge of existing infection control training in the program, who agree to review and enhance their curriculum during June and July 2021, and to implement, evaluate, and refine (as needed) the enhanced curriculum in Fall 2021;
  • Designate a dean or comparable level administrator to coordinate administrative aspects of the project with project staff;
  • Provide a letter of support from at least one existing experiential learning site partner whose preceptor(s) will participate in project experiential learning opportunities;
  • Provide a letter of support from an executive level administrator at the college;
  • Commit to participate in project activities beginning with an initial online convening on June 21-22, 2021, and continuing through December 2021. Sample activities include introduction and orientation to the project objectives, outcomes, activities, and timeline; orientation to CDC materials and underlying science; meetings and work sessions with curriculum coaches and other project staff; and biweekly convenings of a project community of practice for presentations and demonstrations, and for sharing information, experiences, and lessons learned.


Participating colleges will receive financial support as well as other benefits for participating in the project:

  • Up to $50,000 to support project work per discipline area, to be used for faculty stipends* ($10,000 per faculty member for up to four faculty members working in June and July 2021); materials and supplies for implementing enhanced or revised curriculum (up to $5,000); and administrative or other costs (up to $5,000).
  • The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across the country on an issue of critical importance to health care settings and to public health both locally and nationally.
  • The opportunity to contribute to professional development resources that will influence health outcomes and the health care field.
  • Recognition as a leading college in aligning infection control curriculum across academic, experiential learning, and workplace settings.

*Funds designated for faculty are to be used to compensate faculty for specific Project Firstline work, such as enhancing designated program curriculum, participating in the project’s community of practice and discipline cohort sessions, and participating in meetings with project staff and consultants. Please note that certain clarifications have been made regarding faculty participation, which is not limited to off-contract faculty. If you have questions, please send them to

General Project Timeline*

  • Application Due Date: May 14, 2021
  • Notification of Application Status: May 28, 2021
  • Initial Meeting: June 21-22, 2021
  • Curriculum Review/Enhancement: June 21-July 31, 2021
  • Curriculum Implementation, Review, Revision: August 15-October 15, 2021
  • IPC Curriculum Workshops: October 18-November 18, 2021
  • Continued Data Collection and Reporting: November 18-December 17, 2021

*dates may be subject to change

Submission Process

  1. Download and complete the Project Firstline Application (located at the top of this page). Save it as a PDF with a file name using the following format: Program Full Name_College Full Name_Project Firstline.pdf (example: Certified Nursing Assistant_Sample Community College_Project Firstline.pdf).
  2. Provide a letter of support from an executive level administrator at your college. Save it as a PDF with a file name using following format: Administrator Letter_College Full Name_Project Firstline.pdf (example: Administrator Letter_Sample Community College_Project Firstline.pdf).
  3. Provide a letter of support from an existing experiential learning site for students in your program. Save it as a PDF with a file name using the following format: Site Letter_College Full Name_Project Firstline.pdf (example: Site Letter_Sample Community College_Project Firstline.pdf).

Submit the application and letters of support PDFs as attachments to an email addressed to

See the League's Project Firstline page here.


Project Firstline: Information for Applicants Webinar Slides

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 11:59 p.m. PDT, May 14, 2021

Questions? Please email questions to