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[Federal Register: October 18, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 202)]
[Page 52961-52964]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[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 
develop two

[[Page 52962]]

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.

Program Information


    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 
educational exchange.


1. Participants
    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.
4. Logistics
    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.
5. Evaluation/Follow-Up
    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.

[[Page 52963]]

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 

Budget Guidelines

    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 Please read all information 
before downloading.
    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.

Review Process

    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.

Review Criteria

    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

[[Page 52964]]

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.

10. Cost-Effectiveness

    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.

11. Cost-Sharing

    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]