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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 21, 2014

Title 34: Education


PART 656—NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTERS PROGRAM FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND AREA STUDIES OR FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES


Contents

Subpart A—General

§656.1   What is the National Resource Centers Program?
§656.2   Who is eligible to receive a grant?
§656.3   What activities define a comprehensive or undergraduate National Resource Center?
§656.4   What types of Centers receive grants?
§656.5   What activities may be carried out?
§656.6   What regulations apply?
§656.7   What definitions apply?

Subpart B—How Does One Apply for a Grant?

§656.10   What combined application may an institution submit?

Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Make a Grant?

§656.20   How does the Secretary evaluate an application?
§656.21   What selection criteria does the Secretary use to evaluate an application for a comprehensive Center?
§656.22   What selection criteria does the Secretary use to evaluate an application for an undergraduate Center?
§656.23   What priorities may the Secretary establish?

Subpart D—What Conditions Must Be Met By a Grantee?

§656.30   What are allowable costs and limitations on allowable costs?

Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122, unless otherwise noted.

Source: 61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General

§656.1   What is the National Resource Centers Program?

Under the National Resource Centers Program for Foreign Language and Areas Studies or Foreign Language and International Studies (National Resource Centers Program), the Secretary awards grants to institutions of higher education and consortia of institutions to establish, strengthen, and operate comprehensive and undergraduate Centers that will be national resources for—

(a) Teaching of any modern foreign language;

(b) Instruction in fields needed to provide full understanding of areas, regions, or countries in which the modern foreign language is commonly used;

(c) Research and training in international studies and the international and foreign language aspects of professional and other fields of study; and

(d) Instruction and research on issues in world affairs that concern one or more countries.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 7739, Feb. 16, 1999; 74 FR 35072, July 17, 2009]

§656.2   Who is eligible to receive a grant?

An institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education is eligible to receive a grant under this part.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 74 FR 35072, July 17, 2009]

§656.3   What activities define a comprehensive or undergraduate National Resource Center?

A comprehensive or undergraduate National Resource Center—

(a) Teaches at least one modern foreign language;

(b) Provides—

(1) Instruction in fields necessary to provide a full understanding of the areas, regions, or countries in which the modern foreign language taught is commonly used;

(2) Resources for research and training in international studies, and the international and foreign language aspects of professional and other fields of study; or

(3) Instruction and research on issues in world affairs that concern one or more countries;

(c) Provides outreach and consultative services on a national, regional, and local basis;

(d) Maintains linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center;

(e) Maintains important library collections;

(f) Employs faculty engaged in training and research that relates to the subject area of the Center;

(g) Conducts projects in cooperation with other centers addressing themes of world, regional, cross-regional, international, or global importance;

(h) Conducts summer institutes in the United States or abroad designed to provide language and area training in the Center's field or topic;

(i) Supports instructors of the less commonly taught languages; and

(j) Encourages projects that support students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to achieve foreign language proficiency.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[64 FR 7739, Feb. 16, 1999, as amended at 74 FR 35072, July 17, 2009]

§656.4   What types of Centers receive grants?

The Secretary awards grants to Centers that—

(a) Focus on—

(1) A single country or on a world area (such as East Asia, Africa, or the Middle East) and offer instruction in the principal language or languages of that country or area and those disciplinary fields necessary to provide a full understanding of the country or area; or

(2) International studies or the international aspects of contemporary issues or topics (such as international business or energy) while providing instruction in modern foreign languages; and

(b) Provide training at the—

(1) Graduate, professional, and undergraduate levels, as a comprehensive Center; or

(2) Undergraduate level only, as an undergraduate Center.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

§656.5   What activities may be carried out?

(a) A Center may carry out any of the activities described in §656.3 under a grant received under this part.

(b) The Secretary may make an additional grant to a Center for any one or a combination of the following purposes:

(1) Linkage or outreach between foreign language, area studies, and other international fields and professional schools and colleges.

(2) Linkage or outreach with 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.

(3) Linkage or outreach between or among—

(i) Postsecondary programs or departments in foreign language, area studies, or other international fields; and

(ii) State educational agencies or local educational agencies.

(4) Partnerships or programs of linkage and outreach with departments or agencies of Federal and State governments, including Federal or State scholarship programs for students in related areas.

(5) Linkage or outreach with the news media, business, professional, or trade associations.

(6) Summer institutes in area studies, foreign Language, and other international fields designed to carry out the activities in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) of this section.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 7739, Feb. 16, 1999; 74 FR 35072, July 17, 2009]

§656.6   What regulations apply?

The following regulations apply to this program:

(a) The regulations in 34 CFR part 655.

(b) The regulations in this part 656.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

§656.7   What definitions apply?

The following definitions apply to this part:

(a) The definitions in 34 CFR part 655.

(b) Area studies means a program of comprehensive study of the aspects of a world area's society or societies, including study of history, culture, economy, politics, international relations, and languages.

(c) Center means an administrative unit of an institution of higher education that has direct access to highly qualified faculty and library resources, and coordinates a concentrated effort of educational resources, including language training and various academic disciplines, in the area and subject matters described in §656.3.

(d) Comprehensive Center means a Center that—

(1) Contributes significantly to the national interest in advanced research and scholarship;

(2) Offers intensive language instruction;

(3) Maintains important library collections related to the area of its specialization;

(4) Makes training available to a graduate, professional, and undergraduate clientele; and

(5) Engages in curriculum development and community outreach.

(e) For purposes of this section, intensive language instruction means instruction of at least five contact hours per week during the academic year or the equivalent of a full academic year of language instruction during the summer.

(f) Undergraduate Center means an administrative unit of an institution of higher education that—

(1) Contributes significantly to the national interest through the education of students who matriculate into advanced language and area studies programs or professional school programs;

(2) Incorporates substantial international and foreign language content into baccalaureate degree program;

(3) Makes training available predominantly to undergraduate students; and

(4) Engages in research, curriculum development, and community outreach.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

Subpart B—How Does One Apply for a Grant?

§656.10   What combined application may an institution submit?

An institution that wishes to apply for a grant under this part and for an allocation of fellowships under 34 CFR part 657 may submit one application for both.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Make a Grant?

§656.20   How does the Secretary evaluate an application?

(a) The Secretary evaluates an application for a comprehensive Center under the criteria contained in §656.21, and for an undergraduate Center under the criteria contained in §656.22.

(b) The Secretary informs applicants of the maximum possible score for each criterion in the application package or in a notice published in the Federal Register.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 13375, Mar. 21, 2005]

§656.21   What selection criteria does the Secretary use to evaluate an application for a comprehensive Center?

The Secretary evaluates an application for a comprehensive Center on the basis of the criteria in this section.

(a) Program planning and budget. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the activities for which the applicant seeks funding are of high quality and directly related to the purpose of the National Resource Centers Program;

(2) The extent to which the applicant provides a development plan or timeline demonstrating how the proposed activities will contribute to a strengthened program and whether the applicant uses its resources and personnel effectively to achieve the proposed objectives;

(3) The extent to which the costs of the proposed activities are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the program; and

(4) The long-term impact of the proposed activities on the institution's undergraduate, graduate, and professional training programs.

(b) Quality of staff resources. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which teaching faculty and other staff are qualified for the current and proposed Center activities and training programs, are provided professional development opportunities (including overseas experience), and participate in teaching, supervising, and advising students;

(2) The adequacy of Center staffing and oversight arrangements, including outreach and administration and the extent to which faculty from a variety of departments, professional schools, and the library are involved; and

(3) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

(c) Impact and evaluation. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the Center's activities and training programs have a significant impact on the university, community, region, and the Nation as shown through indices such as enrollments, graduate placement data, participation rates for events, and usage of Center resources; and the extent to which the applicant supplies a clear description of how the applicant will provide equal access and treatment of eligible project participants who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly;

(2) The extent to which the applicant provides an evaluation plan that is comprehensive and objective and that will produce quantifiable, outcome-measure-oriented data; and the extent to which recent evaluations have been used to improve the applicant's program;

(3) The degree to which activities of the Center address national needs, and generate information for and disseminate information to the public; and

(4) The applicant's record of placing students into post-graduate employment, education, or training in areas of national need and the applicant's stated efforts to increase the number of such students that go into such placements.

(d) Commitment to the subject area on which the Center focuses. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the institution provides financial and other support to the operation of the Center, teaching staff for the Center's subject area, library resources, linkages with institutions abroad, outreach activities, and qualified students in fields related to the Center.

(e) Strength of library. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The strength of the institution's library holdings (both print and non-print, English and foreign language) in the subject area and at the educational levels (graduate, professional, undergraduate) on which the Center focuses; and the extent to which the institution provides financial support for the acquisition of library materials and for library staff in the subject area of the Center; and

(2) The extent to which research materials at other institutions are available to students through cooperative arrangements with other libraries or on-line databases and the extent to which teachers, students, and faculty from other institutions are able to access the library's holdings.

(f) Quality of the Center's non-language instructional program. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The quality and extent of the Center's course offerings in a variety of disciplines, including the extent to which courses in the Center's subject matter are available in the institution's professional schools;

(2) The extent to which the Center offers depth of specialized course coverage in one or more disciplines of the Center's subject area;

(3) The extent to which the institution employs a sufficient number of teaching faculty to enable the Center to carry out its purposes and the extent to which instructional assistants are provided with pedagogy training; and

(4) The extent to which interdisciplinary courses are offered for undergraduate and graduate students.

(g) Quality of the Center's language instructional program. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the Center provides instruction in the languages of the Center's subject area and the extent to which students enroll in the study of the languages of the subject area through programs or instruction offered by the Center or other providers;

(2) The extent to which the Center provides three or more levels of language training and the extent to which courses in disciplines other than language, linguistics, and literature are offered in appropriate foreign languages;

(3) Whether sufficient numbers of language faculty are available to teach the languages and levels of instruction described in the application and the extent to which language teaching staff (including faculty and instructional assistants) have been exposed to current language pedagogy training appropriate for performance-based teaching; and

(4) The quality of the language program as measured by the performance-based instruction being used or developed, the adequacy of resources for language teaching and practice, and language proficiency requirements.

(h) Quality of curriculum design. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the Center's curriculum has incorporated undergraduate instruction in the applicant's area or topic of specialization into baccalaureate degree programs (for example, major, minor, or certificate programs) and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for a Center in this subject area and will result in an undergraduate training program of high quality;

(2) The extent to which the Center's curriculum provides training options for graduate students from a variety of disciplines and professional fields and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for a Center in this subject area and result in graduate training programs of high quality; and

(3) The extent to which the Center provides academic and career advising services for students; the extent to which the Center has established formal arrangements for students to conduct research or study abroad and the extent to which these arrangements are used; and the extent to which the institution facilitates student access to other institutions' study abroad and summer language programs.

(i) Outreach activities. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the Center demonstrates a significant and measurable regional and national impact of, and faculty and professional school involvement in, domestic outreach activities that involve—

(1) Elementary and secondary schools;

(2) Postsecondary institutions; and

(3) Business, media, and the general public.

(j) Degree to which priorities are served. If, under the provisions of §656.23, the Secretary establishes competitive priorities for Centers, the Secretary considers the degree to which those priorities are being served.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0068)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 13375, Mar. 21, 2005; 74 FR 35073, July 17, 2009]

§656.22   What selection criteria does the Secretary use to evaluate an application for an undergraduate Center?

The Secretary evaluates an application for an undergraduate Center on the basis of the criteria in this section.

(a) Program planning and budget. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the activities for which the applicant seeks funding are of high quality and directly related to the purpose of the National Resource Centers Program;

(2) The extent to which the applicant provides a development plan or timeline demonstrating how the proposed activities will contribute to a strengthened program and whether the applicant uses its resources and personnel effectively to achieve the proposed objectives;

(3) The extent to which the costs of the proposed activities are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the program; and

(4) The long-term impact of the proposed activities on the institution's undergraduate training program.

(b) Quality of staff resources. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which teaching faculty and other staff are qualified for the current and proposed Center activities and training programs, are provided professional development opportunities (including overseas experience), and participate in teaching, supervising, and advising students;

(2) The adequacy of Center staffing and oversight arrangements, including outreach and administration and the extent to which faculty from a variety of departments, professional schools, and the library are involved; and

(3) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

(c) Impact and evaluation. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the Center's activities and training programs have a significant impact on the university, community, region, and the Nation as shown through indices such as enrollments, graduate placement data, participation rates for events, and usage of Center resources; the extent to which students matriculate into advanced language and area or international studies programs or related professional programs; and the extent to which the applicant supplies a clear description of how the applicant will provide equal access and treatment of eligible project participants who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as members of racial or ethnic minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly;

(2) The extent to which the applicant provides an evaluation plan that is comprehensive and objective and that will produce quantifiable, outcome-measure-oriented data; and the extent to which recent evaluations have been used to improve the applicant's program;

(3) The degree to which activities of the Center address national needs, and generate information for and disseminate information to the public; and

(4) The applicant's record of placing students into post-graduate employment, education, or training in areas of national need and the applicant's stated efforts to increase the number of such students that go into such placements.

(d) Commitment to the subject area on which the Center focuses. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the institution provides financial and other support to the operation of the Center, teaching staff for the Center's subject area, library resources, linkages with institutions abroad, outreach activities, and qualified students in fields related to the Center.

(e) Strength of library. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The strength of the institution's library holdings (both print and non-print, English and foreign language) in the subject area and at the educational levels (graduate, professional, undergraduate) on which the Center focuses; and the extent to which the institution provides financial support for the acquisition of library materials and for library staff in the subject area of the Center; and

(2) The extent to which research materials at other institutions are available to students through cooperative arrangements with other libraries or on-line databases and the extent to which teachers, students, and faculty from other institutions are able to access the library's holdings.

(f) Quality of the Center's non-language instructional program. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The quality and extent of the Center's course offerings in a variety of disciplines;

(2) The extent to which the Center offers depth of specialized course coverage in one or more disciplines of the Center's subject area;

(3) The extent to which the institution employs a sufficient number of teaching faculty to enable the Center to carry out its purposes and the extent to which instructional assistants are provided with pedagogy training; and

(4) The extent to which interdisciplinary courses are offered for undergraduate students.

(g) Quality of the Center's language instructional program. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the Center provides instruction in the languages of the Center's subject area and the extent to which students enroll in the study of the languages of the subject area through programs offered by the Center or other providers;

(2) The extent to which the Center provides three or more levels of language training and the extent to which courses in disciplines other than language, linguistics, and literature are offered in appropriate foreign languages;

(3) Whether sufficient numbers of language faculty are available to teach the languages and levels of instruction described in the application and the extent to which language teaching staff (including faculty and instructional assistants) have been exposed to current language pedagogy training appropriate for performance-based teaching; and

(4) The quality of the language program as measured by the performance-based instruction being used or developed, the adequacy of resources for language teaching and practice, and language proficiency requirements.

(h) Quality of curriculum design. The Secretary reviews each application to determine—

(1) The extent to which the Center's curriculum has incorporated undergraduate instruction in the applicant's area or topic of specialization into baccalaureate degree programs (for example, major, minor, or certificate programs) and the extent to which these programs and their requirements (including language requirements) are appropriate for a Center in this subject area and will result in an undergraduate training program of high quality; and

(2) The extent to which the Center provides academic and career advising services for students; the extent to which the Center has established formal arrangements for students to conduct research or study abroad and the extent to which these arrangements are used; and the extent to which the institution facilitates student access to other institutions' study abroad and summer language programs.

(i) Outreach activities. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the Center demonstrates a significant and measurable regional and national impact of, and faculty and professional school involvement in, domestic outreach activities that involve—

(1) Elementary and secondary schools;

(2) Postsecondary institutions; and

(3) Business, media and the general public.

(j) Degree to which priorities are served. If, under the provisions of §656.23, the Secretary establishes competitive priorities for Centers, the Secretary considers the degree to which those priorities are being served.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0068)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 70 FR 13375, Mar. 21, 2005; 74 FR 35073, July 17, 2009]

§656.23   What priorities may the Secretary establish?

(a) The Secretary may select one or more of the following funding priorities:

(1) Specific countries or world areas, such as, for example, East Asia, Africa, or the Middle East.

(2) Specific focus of a Center, such as, for example, a single world area; international studies; a particular issue or topic, e.g., business, development issues, or energy; or any combination.

(3) Level or intensiveness of language instruction, such as intermediate or advanced language instruction, or instruction at an intensity of 10 contact hours or more per week.

(4) Types of activities to be carried out, for example, cooperative summer intensive language programs, course development, or teacher training activities.

(b) The Secretary may select one or more of the activities listed in §656.5 as a funding priority.

(c) The Secretary announces any priorities in the application notice published in the Federal Register.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

Subpart D—What Conditions Must Be Met By a Grantee?

§656.30   What are allowable costs and limitations on allowable costs?

(a) Allowable costs. Except as provided under paragraph (b) of this section, a grant awarded under this part may be used to pay all or part of the cost of establishing, strengthening, or operating a comprehensive or undergraduate Center including, but not limited to, the cost of—

(1) Faculty and staff salaries and travel;

(2) Library acquisitions;

(3) Teaching and research materials;

(4) Curriculum planning and development;

(5) Bringing visiting scholars and faculty to the Center to teach, conduct research, or participate in conferences or workshops;

(6) Training and improvement of staff;

(7) Projects conducted in cooperation with other centers addressing themes of world, regional, cross-regional, international, or global importance; and

(8) Summer institutes in the United States or abroad designed to provide language and area training in the Center's field or topic.

(b) Limitations on allowable costs. The following are limitations on allowable costs:

(1) Equipment costs exceeding 10 percent of the grant are not allowable.

(2) Funds for undergraduate travel are allowable only in conjunction with a formal program of supervised study in the subject area on which the Center focuses.

(3) Grant funds may not be used to supplant funds normally used by applicants for purposes of this part.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1122)

[61 FR 50193, Sept. 24, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 7739, Feb. 16, 1999]



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