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US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

Functional Statements > Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

I. Mission and Responsibilities

II. Organization

III. Order of Succession

IV. Functions and Responsibilities of OCTAE Components

A. Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary

B. Adult Education and Literacy Division

C. Academic and Technical Education Division

V. Primary Delegations of Authority

 

I. MISSION AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education (Assistant Secretary) serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary on Departmental matters related to high school, career technical and adult education and life long learning as well as community colleges, workforce and economic development. The Assistant Secretary represents the Department at national and international meetings related to vocational and adult education. The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) administers, coordinates, and recommends policy for improving quality and excellence of programs that are designed to:

  • Prepare students for postsecondary education and careers through strong high school programs and career and technical education.
  • Provide opportunities to adults to increase their literacy skills.
  • Promote identification and dissemination of effective practice in raising student achievement in high schools, community colleges and adult education programs, and lead targeted research investments.
  • Promote collaboration, coordination and communication among the Department, states, local agencies, and organizations to ensure that programs and activities prepare youth and adults for postsecondary education and high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand occupations in current or emerging professions.
  • Insure the equal access of minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and disadvantaged persons to careers and technical education and adult education.
  • Insure that career and technical education students are held to the same challenging academic content and academic achievement standards established by the state under No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
  • Promote the implementation of education technology, as it applies to access and service delivery, as well as instructional methodology.

II. ORGANIZATION

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) is under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary who reports directly to the Secretary through the Under Secretary. The Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary provides overall direction, coordination, and leadership to the following divisions:

  • Adult Education and Literacy Division
  • Academic and Technical Education Division

In addition, two staff offices - the Administrative Staff and the Policy, Research and Evaluation Staff report directly to the Office of the Assistant Secretary.

In addition, OCTAE has external relationships and responsibilities on special projects and task force groups, working with other Federal agencies to accomplish OVAE’s mission and responsibilities, as described above.

III. ORDER OF SUCCESSION

In the event that the Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education dies, resigns or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, as defined by the Vacancies Act, and the President has not designated in writing another individual to act as the Assistant Secretary, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives, as the designated “first assistant” under the Vacancies Act, shall perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity. If both the offices of the Assistant Secretary and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives are vacant, or the time period during which the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives may serve in acting capacity has expired, the individuals listed below the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives, in the order shown, are authorized to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Assistant Secretary, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the Assistant Secretary or by someone officially acting in such capacity.

In instances where the office of the Assistant Secretary is filled, but the Assistant Secretary is absent, unavailable, otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the position, and/or there is a disruption in the normal channels of direction and communication, and there is no person officially serving in an acting capacity, and unless the Assistant Secretary or the Secretary, in writing, designates another individual to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary, the following officials, in the order shown, are delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Assistant Secretary, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the Assistant Secretary or by someone officially acting in such capacity:

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges

Executive Officer

Chief of Staff.

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Last Modified: 06/10/2014