[Federal Register: June 27, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 124)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 4055]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant
Proposals: Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (MCAC) Regional
Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) Program
SUMMARY: The Educational Information and Resources Branch (ECA/A/S/A)
of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an
open competition for the Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
(MCAC) Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) Program. 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. The REAC organization facilitates the provision of expertise
and information through the regional coordinator to educational
advisers in the region in consultation with U.S. Embassies and ECA. The
REAC program works to support educational information centers in the
region and to assist in their professional development. These
activities include the sharing of information and materials with the
region's advising centers, communicating trends in U.S. education and
regional exchange, disseminating information on the latest developments
in technology and providing direct guidance through site visits,
internships, training and workshops in Mexico, Central America and the
Caribbean. The region contains 46 advising centers in the U.S.
Department of State-affiliated network. These centers provide
comprehensive and unbiased information to interested students,
scholars, and other individuals about study opportunities in the U.S.
The Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) organization
will be responsible for providing on-site technical assistance and
training to centers in the Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
Region (MCAC) and for coordinating the establishment of any new
advising centers, as directed by individual embassies in consultation
with the Branch. The REAC will support all U.S. Department of State-
affiliated centers located in the following countries and locations:
Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Nicaragua, Panama, Guyana, Suriname, Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas,
Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican
Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, St.
Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and
Tobago. The MCAC REAC organization should work impartially with all
non-governmental organizations, binational centers (such as the
Instituto Guatemalteco-Americano or Centro Cultural Costarricense-
Norteamericano), Public Affairs Sections located in U.S. embassies and
consulates overseas, universities, libraries, etc. involved in
educational advising to enable advisers to provide accurate and timely
information on U.S. higher educational opportunities. The REAC must
work closely with the Branch and Public Affairs Sections throughout the
region to help establish priorities for educational advising.
Responsibilities for organization for the MCAC REAC will include:
1. Making site visits to advising centers to provide training and
conduct needs assessment;
2. Providing information and guidance in response to specific
questions related to educational advising, as requested by advising
3. Production of a newsletter, electronic bulletin board or other
methods of sharing information among centers, and oversight of regional
4. Organization and oversight of internship training programs for
beginning and intermediate advisers to be held in one of the larger,
well-staffed, well-trained advising centers, as necessary;
5. Conducting in-country and sub-regional workshops as needed, as
determined in consultation with Branch and Public Affairs Sections;
6. Consultations with Embassies and the Branch on the direction and
priorities of educational advising;
7. Evaluation and Follow-up
Qualifications required for the coordinator position within the
REAC organization include all of the following:
1. Fluent Spanish language ability;
2. Knowledge of educational advising programs and centers;
3. Experience living and traveling in the region, and a
demonstrated willingness and ability to undertake an ambitious travel
4. Knowledge of the system of higher education in the U.S.,
including such issues as accreditation, distance learning, the
admissions process, standardized testing, and financial aid;
5. Organizational skills needed to administer both the internship
programs and conferences;
6. Excellent time management skills, communication skills, and
7. Experience in public speaking and in professional training
8. U.S. Citizenship.
The coordinator should plan a rigorous travel schedule at the
beginning of his or her tenure in consultation with the Branch and with
advising centers/embassies to be visited, in order to conduct site
visits consistent with Branch and Public Affairs Section priorities.
The proposal should contain a tentative travel plan and should clearly
delineate the ability of the organization to make reliable travel
arrangements under adverse conditions as well as the willingness and
ability of the REAC to undertake a rigorous itinerary.
The proposal should describe all members of the REAC organization's
proposed program staff, clearly demonstrating appropriate expertise.
Provisions which the organization will take to maintain communication
between the coordinator, the advising centers, and ECA/A/S/A should be
Pending awarding 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 procedures.
Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to
Solicitation Package for further information.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire
program, not to exceed $56,000. 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. The Bureau
encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost-sharing and
funding from private sources in support of its programs.
Allowable costs for the program include the following:
(1) Salary and benefits
(2) Budget for REAC travel and per diem
(3) Costs for training materials
(4) Costs for training events
(5) Office supplies and expenses
(6) 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/
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, email@example.com 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 http://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. 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 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-03-02, 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 U.S. 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.
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 grants 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. 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
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. 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).
4. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 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 25, 2002.
Rick A. Ruth,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-16156 Filed 6-26-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
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