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Office of the Under Secretary

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OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY

This Office, under the leadership of the Under Secretary, assists the Secretary in the discharge of Secretarial duties and responsibilities. 

The Under Secretary coordinates policies, programs, and activities related to vocational and adult education, postsecondary education, college aid, and the President’s financial reforms for the Pell Grant program.

The Under Secretary is responsible for the administration of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Programs, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (EEAA) Staff is responsible for the Department’s implementation of the Executive Order of July 26, 2012 which is designed to improve Federal efforts to develop, monitor, and coordinate executive branch efforts to improve the quality of life of EEAs through increased participation in Federal programs.  The Staff is responsible for providing advice and assistance to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In performing its responsibilities, the Staff:      

  • Provides staff support to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
  • Develops and implements activities designed to respond to specific mandates of the Executive Order.
  • Serves as the focal point for collection of Federal agency plans that are designed to improve the quality of life of  EEAAs through increased participation in Federal programs where EEAAs may be unrepresented.

White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Staff

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Staff is responsible for the Department’s implementation of the Executive Order of October 14, 2009 which is designed to improve Federal efforts to develop, monitor, and coordinate executive branch efforts to improve the quality of life of AIPIs through increased participation in Federal programs.  The Staff is responsible for providing advice and assistance to the Secretary in performing his duties as Co-Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In performing its responsibilities, the Staff:      

  • Provides staff support to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • Develops and implements activities designed to respond to specific mandates of the Executive Order.
  • Serves as the focal point for collection of Federal agency plans that are designed to improve the quality of life of AIPIs through increased participation in Federal programs where AIPIs may be unrepresented.

Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Programs

The Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Programs coordinates the Department’s efforts to eliminate regulatory, contracting, and other programmatic obstacles to the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the provision of social services.

In performing its responsibilities, the Center:

  • Conducts, in coordination with the White House OFBCI, a department-wide audit to identify all existing barriers to the participation of faith-based and other community-based organizations in the delivery of social services by the Department, including but not limited, to regulations, rules, orders, procurement, and other internal policies and practices, and outreach activities that either facially discriminate against or otherwise discourage or disadvantage the participation of faith-based and other community based organizations in Federal programs.
    • Coordinates a comprehensive Department effort to incorporate faith-based and other community organizations in Department programs and initiatives to the greatest extent possible.
    • Proposes initiatives to remove barriers identified pursuant to section 3(a) of Executive Order 13198, including but not limited to reform of regulations, procurement, and other internal policies and practices, and outreach activities.
    • Proposes the development of innovative pilot and demonstration programs to increase the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in Federal as well as State and local initiatives.
    • Develops and coordinates Department outreach efforts to disseminate information more effectively to faith-based and other community organizations with respect to programming changes, contracting opportunities, and other Department initiatives, including but not limited to Web and Internet resources.
    • Carries out other functions designed to achieve the purposes described above.

White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Staff

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Staff oversees a comprehensive government wide initiative of analytic and capacity building activities designed to enhance the participation of historically black colleges and universities in all Federally sponsored programs. In consultation with the Office of Management and Budget and the heads of other executive agencies, the staff establishes annual goals for each agency to increase the capabilities of historically black colleges and universities.

In performing its responsibilities, the Staff:

  • Reviews legislation, regulations, procedures, and practices of all executive agencies.
  • Notifies heads of executive agencies of potential regulatory or procedural barriers that hamper the participation of historically black colleges and universities in the particular agency's programs.
  • Reviews program assessment studies conducted under government auspices to measure progress toward the elimination of procedural and regulatory barriers.
  • Develops and implements a program information system to keep historically black colleges and universities apprised of all Federal programs from which they might benefit.
  • Prepares an annual report from the Secretary of Education to the President on the levels of participation by historically black colleges and universities and makes appropriate recommendations for improving the Federal effort.

White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities Staff

The White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities Staff administers Executive Order 13270 (July 3, 2002), Tribal Colleges and Universities. The Executive Order seeks to ensure: Tribal Colleges are more fully recognized as accredited institutions and that they have access to opportunities afforded to other higher education institutions; federal resources are committed to Tribal Colleges on an ongoing basis and that mechanisms are established for increasing access by the Tribal Colleges to federal resources; promotion of access to high-quality educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged students; promotion of the preservation and revitalization of native languages and cultures; and encouraging innovative linkages between the Tribal Colleges, early childhood programs and elementary and high schools.

The Staff provides support to the President’s Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities, made up of 15 individuals from Tribal Colleges, the private sector, foundations, and the education community, who make annual recommendations for assisting the Tribal Colleges in key areas; encourage public-private partnerships to benefit the Tribal Colleges; and monitor the federal governments progress in implementing the Executive Order.

In performing its responsibilities, the Staff:

  • Helps ensure, through a coordinated public-private effort, that greater federal and private sector resources are available to the Tribal Colleges on an ongoing basis.  This includes the expansion of existing federal programs and opportunities and the creation, through legislation, regulation, or contract, new programs for the Tribal Colleges.
  • Advocates for Tribal Colleges to federal agencies and the private sector, and advocates for the federal government to the Tribal Colleges. To fulfill this duty, mechanisms must be established to facilitate, coordinate, and ensure the flow of information about the Tribal Colleges to the public and private sectors and to the Tribal Colleges about federal resources and opportunities.
  • Creates, encourages, and fosters public-private partnerships to help Tribal Colleges bring economic development to their reservations and improve the quality of American Indian higher education.
  • Coordinates the overall implementation of the Executive Order and the development of the federal three-year plan and annual agency reporting, and hold agencies accountable for fulfilling requirements of Executive Order, submitting plans, conducting inventories, and addressing emerging needs of the Tribal Colleges.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans Staff

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans Staff is responsible for the Department’s implementation of Executive Order 13230 (October 12, 2001) which is designed to improve Federal efforts to promote quality education for Hispanic Americans. In performing its responsibilities, the Staff:

  • Provides staff support to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
  • Develops and implements activities designed to respond to specific mandates of the Executive Order.
  • Promotes Federal agency initiatives to increase parental involvement in education, improve language skills among the very young, and enhance opportunities in adult education.
  • Assures that Federal departments and agencies collect appropriate data on participation rates of Hispanics in Federal education programs.
  • Directs and coordinates Federal efforts to highlight and encourage the efforts of volunteers and the private sector to improve the quality of education for Hispanics.

ORDER OF SUCCESSION

In the event that theUnder Secretary dies, resigns or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office, and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, the Deputy Under Secretary shall temporarily perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity. 

In instances where the office is not vacant, but the Assistant Secretary for Managementis absent, the following officials, in the order shown, shall perform the functions and duties of the office: 

Deputy Under Secretary (NC-SES)
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.


 
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Last Modified: 12/16/2013