[Federal Register: October 18, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 202)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 3815]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant
Proposals: U.S.-Based Training Program (USBT)
SUMMARY: The Educational Information and Resources Branch of the Office
of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the U.S. Based
Training Program for Overseas Educational Advisers and logistical
support for the annual meeting of the Department's Regional Educational
Advising Coordinators (REACs). Public and private non-profit
organizations meeting the provisions described in IRS regulations 26
CFR 1.501(c)(2)-1 through 1.501(c)(21)-2 may submit proposals to
training programs for Department of State-affiliated overseas advisers
to take place in spring and fall 2002. The basic function of an
overseas educational adviser is to provide accurate, objective
information to foreign audiences on U.S. study opportunities at
accredited academic institutions, and to guide students and
professionals in selecting a program appropriate to their needs. USBT
participants will be drawn from educational advisers working at
Department of State-affiliated overseas educational advising centers.
Each training program is intended for approximately fourteen
participants. The program must be approximately three weeks in duration
and must include workshops on advising issues of concern, visits to a
variety of U.S. academic institutions outside of the Washington, DC
metropolitan area and attendance at a national or regional NAFSA:
Association of International Educators Conference or similar
professional development opportunity. The Bureau anticipates awarding
up to $310,000 to one organization to administer this program.
The USBT program's objectives are twofold: To strengthen and
develop the skills of overseas educational advisers; and to build a
corps of knowledgeable advisers who are skilled trainers and can
advance the field of educational advising in their home countries with
new and current expertise, techniques and knowledge of applicable
Each component of the training program should be designed to
provide detailed, hands-on learning in areas such as facilitating
access to U.S. higher education, communicating cross-culturally, and
managing an advising center. Special attention should be given to the
use of technology, both as a necessary advising skill, and as a
potential tool to develop new and creative advising approaches.
Similarly, a significant emphasis should be placed on outreach,
partnership and cost-sharing strategies and skills development. The
logistical support sought for the annual Regional Educational Advising
Coordinators (REAC) meeting includes making lodging and other
arrangements for up to eight REACs and Educational Information and
Resources Branch (ECA/A/S/A) program staff for one week of
consultations in Washington, DC immediately before or after the 2002
NAFSA Conference. REACs provide training and needs assessment and serve
as the chief resource to the centers in their region on advising and
other educational issues. In addition, REACs serve as liaisons between
advising centers and U.S. colleges, universities, professional
associations and other organizations involved in international
For the purposes of this RFGP, eligible advisers are defined as
those who are currently working at a State Department-affiliated Center
and who have demonstrated the skills associated with the four major
components of overseas educational advising: (1) Basic knowledge of the
U.S. and home country educational systems; (2) basic knowledge of the
application process for individuals to enroll in U.S. higher
educational institutions; (3) demonstrated educational advising and
cross-cultural communication skills; and (4) demonstrated office
management skills as they relate to an overseas advising center. In
addition, each participant must demonstrate leadership and a commitment
to the profession. Approximately fourteen participants are expected for
each training program. Participants will be selected by the ECA/A/S/A
based on nominations from overseas posts.
2. Program Design
The Bureau invites organizations to submit creative and flexible
program plans which can be tailored, in close consultation with ECA/A/
S/A, to the selected advisers' individual needs. However, the proposal
should still include an overall project framework which identifies
objectives, an implementation plan and measurable, expected outcomes.
Possible topics to incorporate in the program include: Degree
equivalency and accreditation; international student admissions;
financial aid; standardized testing; ESL programs; immigration and visa
issues; fields of study; cultural adjustment; U.S. societal diversity;
specialized Internet usage; distance learning; proposal writing;
fundraising; public relations and marketing; determining appropriate
fees for advising services for students and others, given each host
country's environment; trends in advising center cost sharing and
training and management of volunteer staff.
3. Timing/Program Phases
The program should include attendance at, and active participation
in, an appropriate national or regional conference where workshops and
seminars address issues of current interest to international educators
and overseas advisers and where the opportunity to brainstorm and to
share information plays an important part. Advisers should have
opportunities to present and/or participate in panels and pre-
conference/conference workshops. In addition, the program should
include internship experiences and visits to a four-year public
university, a private college or university, a community college, an
Historically Black College or University (HBCU) or other minority-
serving institution, and a graduate or research institution. Ideally,
advisers should visit campuses while classes are in session to optimize
their experience through interaction with students.
The grantee organization will be responsible for arrangements
associated with this program. These include organizing a coherent
progression of activities, providing international and domestic travel
arrangements for all advisers, making lodging and local transportation
arrangements, orienting and debriefing advisers, preparing any
necessary support material, and recruiting host campuses. The
organization should work with host campuses and experts in the field of
higher education and overseas advising to achieve maximum program
effectiveness, by providing participants with hands-on applications and
training and direct involvement in the administration of practices and
policies in institutions of higher education.
The proposal must include a detailed evaluation and follow-up plan.
Special emphasis should be given to designing a program which
incorporates outcome measurement strategies that assess its ultimate
6. Visa/Insurance/Tax Requirements
The program must comply with applicable visa regulations.
Participant health and accident insurance will be provided to the
overseas advisers by the Bureau; the recipient organization will be
responsible for enrolling participants in the Bureau's insurance
program and providing any necessary assistance should medical care be
needed. Administration of the program must be in compliance with
reporting and withholding regulations for federal, state, and local
taxes as applicable. Recipient organizations should demonstrate tax
regulation adherence in the proposal narrative and budget.
7. Printed Materials
Drafts of all printed materials developed for this program should
be submitted to ECA/A/S/A for review and approval. All official
documents should highlight the U.S. government's role as program
sponsor and funding source. The Bureau requires that it receive the
copyright use and be allowed to distribute this material as it sees
Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four years
of experience in conducting international exchange programs will be
limited to $60,000. The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant in the
amount of $310,000 to support program and administrative costs required
to implement this program. Therefore, organizations with less than four
years of experience in conducting international exchange programs are
ineligible to apply for this grant. The Bureau encourages applicants to
provide maximum levels of cost-sharing and funding from private sources
in support of its programs.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire
program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns
reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may
provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase,
location, or activity to provide clarification.
Allowable costs for the program include the following:
(1) Salaries and fringe benefits; travel and per diem;
(2) Other direct costs, inclusive of rent, utilities, etc.;
(3) Indirect expenses (except against participant program
expenses), auditing costs;
(4) Participant program costs; i.e., international/domestic travel,
per diem, conference attendance. Please refer to the Solicitation
Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
Programs must comply with visa regulations. Please refer to
Solicitation Package for further information.
Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau
concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Educational Information and
Resources Branch, ECA/A/S/A, room 349, U.S. Department of State, 301
4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, phone: 202-260-6936, fax: 202-
401-1433 to request a Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package
contains detailed award criteria, required application forms, specific
budget instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation.
Please specify Bureau Program Officer Dorothy Mora on all other
inquiries and correspondence.
Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants
until the proposal review process has been completed.
To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire
Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at
http://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. Please read all information
Deadline for Proposals: All proposal copies must be received at the
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, DC
time on Friday, November 16, 2001. Faxed documents will not be accepted
at any time. Documents postmarked the due date but received on a later
date will not be accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the
proposals are received by the above deadline.
Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation
Package. The original and eight copies of the application should be
sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/S/A-02-05, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM,
Room 534 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines
Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to
adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program
administration and in program content. Please refer to the review
criteria under the `Support for Diversity' section for specific
suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public
Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of educational and
cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom
and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take appropriate steps to provide
opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and
democracy leaders of such countries.''
Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries
described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection
process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their
program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will
review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed
ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein
and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be
reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section
overseas where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to
compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and
forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may
also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other
Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of
the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and
Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards for
cooperative agreements resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
1. Quality of the Program Idea
Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and
relevance to the Bureau's mission.
2. Program Planning
Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate
substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda and plan
should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above.
3. Ability To Achieve Program Objectives
Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals
should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's
objectives and plan.
4. Multiplier Effect/Impact
Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding,
including maximum sharing of
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual
5. Support of Diversity
Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's
policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited
in both program administration (program venue and program evaluation)
and program content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program
meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities).
6. Institutional Capacity
Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate
and appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals.
7. Institution's Record/Ability
Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful
exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full
compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as
determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past
performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new
8. Follow-On Activities
Proposals should provide a plan for continued follow-on activity
(without Bureau support) ensuring that Bureau supported programs are
not isolated events.
9. Project Evaluation
Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity's success,
both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. A draft
survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a
methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives is
recommended. Successful applicants will be expected to submit
intermediate reports after each project component is concluded or
quarterly, whichever is less frequent.
The overhead and administrative components of the proposal,
including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible.
All other items should be necessary and appropriate.
Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector
support as well as institutional direct funding contributions.
Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-
256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of
the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United States to increase
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the
people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us
with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural
interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United
States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of
friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States
and the other countries of the world.'' The funding authority for the
program above is provided through legislation.
The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be
binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment
on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce,
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of
the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject
to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.
Dated: October 5, 2001.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S.
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-26120 Filed 10-17-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
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