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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 16, 2014

Title 34Subtitle BChapter IV → Part 411


Title 34: Education


PART 411—VOCATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH PROGRAM


Contents

Subpart A—General

§411.1   What is the Vocational Education Research Program?
§411.2   Who is eligible for an award?
§411.3   What activities may the Secretary fund?
§411.4   What regulations apply?
§411.5   What definitions apply?

Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Make a Grant?

§411.20   How does the Secretary evaluate an application?
§411.21   What selection criteria does the Secretary use?
§411.22   What additional factors may the Secretary consider?
§411.23   How does the Secretary evaluate unsolicited applications?
§411.24   How does the Secretary select an unsolicited application for funding?

Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2401 and 2402, unless otherwise noted.

Source: 57 FR 36776, Aug. 14, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General

§411.1   What is the Vocational Education Research Program?

The Vocational Education Research Program is designed to—

(a) Improve access to vocational educational programs for individuals with disabilities, individuals who are disadvantaged, men and women who are entering nontraditional occupations, adults who are in need of retraining, single parents, displaced homemakers, single pregnant women, individuals with limited English proficiency, and individuals who are incarcerated in correctional institutions;

(b) Support research and development activities that make the United States more competitive in the world economy by developing more fully the academic and occupational skills of all segments of the population by concentrating resources on improving educational programs leading to academic and occupational skill competencies needed to work in a technologically advanced society;

(c) Improve the competitive process by which research projects are awarded;

(d) Encourage the dissemination of findings of research projects assisted under the Act to all States; and

(e) Support research activities that are readily applicable to the vocational education setting and are of practical application to vocational education administrators, counselors, instructors, and others involved in vocational education.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2401)

§411.2   Who is eligible for an award?

(a) Any individual or public or private agency, organization, or institution may apply for an award under this part.

(b) Any individual researcher, community college, State advisory council, or State or local educator may submit an unsolicited research application.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2402(a), (b))

§411.3   What activities may the Secretary fund?

The Secretary may directly, or through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts, conduct applied research on aspects of vocational education that are specially related to the Act, including the following:

(a) Applied research on—

(1) Effective methods for providing quality vocational education to individuals with disabilities, disadvantaged individuals, men and women in nontraditional fields, adults, single parents, displaced homemakers, single pregnant women, individuals with limited English proficiency, and individuals who are incarcerated in correctional institutions;

(2) The development and implementation of performance standards and measures that fit within the needs of State boards of vocational education or eligible recipients as defined in 34 CFR 400.4 in carrying out the provisions of the Act and on the relationship of those standards and measures to the data system established under section 421 of the Act. Research may include an evaluation of existing performance standards and measures and dissemination of that information to State boards of vocational education and eligible recipients;

(3) Strategies for coordinating local, State, and Federal vocational education, employment training, and economic development programs to maximize their efficacy and for improving worker training and retraining;

(4) The constructive involvement of the private sector in public vocational education;

(5) Successful methods of reinforcing and enhancing basic and more advanced academic and problem-solving skills in vocational settings;

(6) Successful methods for providing students, to the maximum extent practicable, with experience in and understanding of all aspects of the industry those students are preparing to enter; and

(7) The development of effective methods for providing quality vocational education to individuals with limited English proficiency, including research related to bilingual vocational training.

(b) An evaluation of the use of performance standards and measures under the Act and the effect of those standards and measures on the participation of students in vocational education programs and on the outcomes of students in those programs, especially students who are members of special populations as defined in 34 CFR 400.4.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2402(a))

§411.4   What regulations apply?

The following regulations apply to the Vocational Education Research Program:

(a) The regulations in this part 411.

(b) The regulations in 34 CFR part 400.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2401 and 2402)

§411.5   What definitions apply?

The definitions in 34 CFR 400.4 apply to this part.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2401 and 2402)

Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Make a Grant?

§411.20   How does the Secretary evaluate an application?

(a) The Secretary evaluates an application for a grant or cooperative agreement on the basis of the criteria in §411.21.

(b) The Secretary may award up to 100 points, including a reserved 15 points to be distributed in accordance with paragraph (d) of the section, based on the criteria in §411.21.

(c) Subject to paragraph (d) of this section, the maximum possible score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses after the heading for each criterion.

(d) For each competition as announced through a notice published in the Federal Register, the Secretary may assign the reserved points among the criteria in §411.21.

(e) The Secretary awards five points to applications submitted by public or private postsecondary institutions.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2402)

§411.21   What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate an application:

(a) National need. (20 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the project would make a contribution of national significance, as measured by such factors as—

(1) The need for the project in relation to any program priority announced in the Federal Register; and

(2) The likelihood that the project will make an important contribution to vocational education.

(b) Plan of operation. (25 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the plan of operation for the project, including—

(1) High quality in the design of the project;

(2) An effective plan of management that ensures proper and efficient administration of the project;

(3) A clear description of how the objectives of the project relate to the purposes of the program;

(4) The quality of the applicant's plans to use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective; and

(5) How the applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

(c) Key personnel. (15 points) (1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of key personnel the applicant plans to use on the project, including—

(i) The qualifications of the project director;

(ii) The qualifications of each of the other key personnel to be used in the project;

(iii) The appropriateness of the time that each one of the key personnel, including the project director, will commit to the project; and

(iv) How the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

(2) To determine personnel qualifications under paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, the Secretary considers—

(i) Experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project;

(ii) Experience and training in project management; and

(iii) Any other qualifications that pertain to the quality of the project.

(d) Budget and cost effectiveness. (10 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which—

(1) The budget for the project is adequate to support the project activities; and

(2) Costs are reasonable and necessary in relation to the objectives of the project.

(e) Evaluation plan. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the evaluation plan for the project, including the extent to which the applicant's methods of evaluation—

(1) Are clearly explained and appropriate to the project;

(2) To the extent possible, are objective and produce data that are quantifiable;

(3) Includes activities during the formative stages of the project to help guide and improve the project, as well as a summative evaluation that includes recommendations for replicating project activities and results;

(4) If appropriate, identifies expected outcomes of the project participants and how those outcomes will be measured;

(5) If appropriate, will provide a comparison between intended and observed results, and lead to the demonstration of a clear link between the observed results and the specific treatment of project participants; and

(6) To the extent possible, include a third party evaluation.

(f) Adequacy of resources. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the adequacy of the resources that the applicant plans to devote to the project, including facilities, equipment, and supplies.

(g) Dissemination plan. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the dissemination plan for the project, including—

(1) The extent to which the project is designed to yield outcomes that can be readily disseminated;

(2) A clear description of the project outcomes; and

(3) A detailed description of how information and materials will be disseminated, including—

(i) Provisions for publicizing the project at the local, State, and national levels by conducting or delivering presentations at conferences, workshops, and other professional meetings and by preparing materials for journals articles, newsletters, and brochures;

(ii) Provisions for demonstrating the methods and techniques used by the project to others interested in replicating these methods and techniques; and

(iii) Provisions for assisting others to adopt and successfully implement the project or methods and techniques used by the project.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under Control No. 1830-0013)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2402)

§411.22   What additional factors may the Secretary consider?

After evaluating the applications according to the criteria in §411.21 the Secretary may select other than the most highly rated applications for funding if doing so would—

(a) Improve the geographical distribution of projects funded under this program; or

(b) Contribute to the funding of a variety of approaches for carrying out the activities under this part.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2401 and 2402)

§411.23   How does the Secretary evaluate unsolicited applications?

(a) At any time during a fiscal year, the Secretary may accept and consider for funding an unsolicited application that has not been submitted under a competition announced in the Federal Register for that fiscal year, if the project proposes activities described in §411.3.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of 34 CFR 75.100, the Secretary may fund an unsolicited application without publishing an application notice in the Federal Register.

(c) The Secretary may select an unsolicited application for funding in accordance with the procedures in §§411.20(e) and 411.24.

(d) The Secretary assigns the 15 points reserved under §411.20(b) as follows:

(1) Ten points to the selection criterion in §411.21(a)—national need.

(2) Five points to the selection criterion in §411.21(b)—plan of operation.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2402)

§411.24   How does the Secretary select an unsolicited application for funding?

(a) After evaluating an unsolicited research application on the basis of the criteria in §411.21, the Secretary compares that application to other unsolicited research applications the Secretary has received.

(b) The Secretary may fund an unsolicited research application at any time during the fiscal year.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2402)



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