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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: June 27, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 124)]
[Page 43379-43382]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 4056]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Educational Advising in Mexico City

SUMMARY: The Educational Information and Resources Branch of the Bureau 
of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition 
to conduct educational advising in Mexico City about post-secondary 
educational opportunities in the U.S. Public and private non-profit 
organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code 
section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals for administering 
educational advising activities in Mexico City, Mexico. The educational 
advising effort in Mexico City would be part of the network of over 400 
Department of State-affiliated advising centers worldwide. These 
centers provide comprehensive and unbiased information and guidance to 
all interested students and scholars about accredited study 
opportunities in the U.S.

Program Information


    The size of the university population in Mexico City and its 
proximity to the U.S. make it a critical location for providing 
accurate, unbiased information about how to gain access to educational 
opportunities in the U.S. Services provided by the center must include 
group and/or individual advising informational sessions. The advising 
center should provide accurate

[[Page 43380]]

information and advising on the following topics: U.S. colleges, 
universities, and other accredited higher education institutions; the 
application process to U.S. universities; majors and fields of study; 
testing requirements; life in the U.S.; scholarship programs and 
financial aid; and pre-departure orientation. Advisers will be eligible 
for training opportunities sponsored by the Bureau, which will also 
provide a limited selection of reference books and materials to the 
    The proposal should describe in detail the center's location, 
facilities (including the size and capacity of its public spaces) and 
hours of operation, staffing pattern (including percentage of time each 
employee will devote to advising activities, and a description of their 
functions and responsibilities), an estimated budget for the office, 
and information delineating the services that will be provided by the 
center. The center should be capable of serving approximately 4,000 or 
more client inquiries per month, including visits, emails, faxes, and 
phone calls. The proposal should also include a description of what 
methods the center and its headquarters or sponsoring office will 
pursue to find additional sources of funding to supplement ECA funding 
for operating costs.
    The proposal should also include information about any websites 
that will be developed to support the overall educational advising 
effort in Mexico.
    In addition, the following elements should be addressed in the 
    The center is encouraged to reach a wider and more diverse audience 
by organizing lectures and events outside the center. These outreach 
activities should provide general information about study opportunities 
in the U.S. and about the additional services and resources that may be 
obtained by visiting the advising center. Proposals should include 
outreach programs for the center and a detailed description of 
activities along with a proposed schedule of visits. Outreach 
activities should include emphasis on reaching diverse and younger 
(secondary school age) populations.
    The center must submit monthly statistics on the numbers of clients 
served to the Mexico, Central American, and Caribbean (MCAC) Regional 
Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC). The statistics should track 
visitors to the center, phone calls, faxes, letters, emails, and 
website hits. The center must also be responsive to special requests 
for information from the MCAC REAC or the Bureau's Educational 
Information and Resources Branch. The proposal should also explain how 
the center will work with the Public Affairs and consular sections of 
the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to collect information on the usage of 
the center from applicants for student visas.
Fund-Raising/Cost Defrayment
    The proposal should explain what measures the advising center will 
take to generate income and to reduce operating costs. A general 
introduction to study opportunities in the U.S. and access to basic 
resources must be available to all interested persons free of charge. 
To help cover the costs of operation, the center may charge a fee for 
specialized services (such as individual advising or test preparation 
materials), that is reasonable by local standards to keep services 
accessible to the majority of the population. Examples of cost-
defrayment strategies which centers are encouraged to implement include 
using volunteers and charging for photocopying. The proposal should 
clearly indicate how savings/income will be applied to the operating 
costs of the advising center.
Coordination and Communication
    The Mexico City educational advising center should help to 
coordinate major events such as adviser training workshops and advising 
fairs with other educational advising centers in the region to prevent 
overlap and provide visiting representatives of U.S. institutions the 
opportunity to participate in multiple advising fairs on the same trip.
    The center should participate in appropriate listservs and maintain 
contact with other educational advisers in MCAC and other regions.
Professional Standards, Guidelines and Development
    Educational advisers should adhere to the OSEAS Standards of 
Ethical Conduct adopted by NAFSA: Association of International 


    Pending availability of funds, the period of this grant is October 
1, 2002 to September 30, 2003. Final awards cannot be made until funds 
have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through 
internal ECA Bureau procedures.
    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to 
Solicitation Package for further information.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant in the amount of $70,000 
to support program and administrative costs required to implement this 
program. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of 
cost-sharing and funding from private sources in support of its 
programs. Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four 
years of experience in conducting international exchange programs will 
be limited to $60,000. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget 
for the entire program, not to exceed $70,000. There must be a summary 
budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program 
    Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    (1) Salaries and benefits
    (2) Office supplies and expenses, including rent, communications, 
postage and shipping
    (3) Outreach and publicity costs
    (4) Indirect costs
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
Announcement Title and Number
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and number ECA/A/S/A-03-03.

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, telephone (202) 619-5434, 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 Sharen Sheehan 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 
website at Please read all 
information before downloading.

[[Page 43381]]

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 Thursday, August 
1, 2002. 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 6 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-03-03, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 
534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal on a 3.5'' diskette, 
formatted for DOS. These documents must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) 
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will 
transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section at 
the US Embassy for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it 
takes to get embassy comments for the Bureau's grants review process.

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 
grants 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. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Plan 
should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above.
    2. 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 
    3. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
    4. 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 (selection of 
participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content 
(orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities).
    5. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or 
project's goals.
    6. 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 applicants.
    7. 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.
    8. Cost-effectiveness: The overhead and administrative components 
of the proposal should be kept as low as possible. All other items 
should be necessary and appropriate.
    9. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through 
other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 


    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

[[Page 43382]]

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: June 20, 2002.
Rick A. Ruth,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-16155 Filed 6-26-02; 8:45 am]

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