[Federal Register: August 12, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 155)]
[Page 52458-52461]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



[CFDA No: 84.051B]

Office of Vocational and Adult Education; College and Career 
Transitions Initiative (CCTI)--Cooperative Agreement; Notice inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the college and career 
transitions initiative (CCTI) is to strengthen the role of community 
and technical colleges in easing student transitions between secondary 
and postsecondary education, and improving academic performance at both 
the secondary and postsecondary levels.
    Eligible Applicants: Consortia that include both: (1) a national or 
international, non-profit, private membership organization--chiefly 
comprised of institutions of higher education that offer a two-year, 
associate degree or certificate program-- and (2) two or more 
individual institutions of higher education that offer a two-year 
associate degree or certificate program.
    Applications Available: August 12, 2002.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 11, 2002.

[[Page 52459]]

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 11, 2002.
    Estimated Available Funds: $2,500,000.
    Estimated Amount of Award: $2,500,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1, in the form of a cooperative 

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 

    Project Period: Up to 60 months, depending upon the availability of 
appropriations in subsequent years under the current statutory 
    Applicable Statute and Regulations: (a) The relevant provisions of 
the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (the 
Act), 20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq., in particular section 114(c)(1)(A) of the 
Act (20 U.S.C. 2324(c)(1)(A)).
    (b) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This initiative is designed to support the 
principles established in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 by 
investing in strategies to (1) close the achievement gap, (2) create 
meaningful educational options that help students with diverse 
backgrounds and needs reach uniformly high standards, and (3) ensure 
that students attain these high standards at each level of their 
educational careers.
    The initiative will further the development, by postsecondary 
institutions in partnership with secondary schools, of academically 
rigorous programs of study organized around broad occupational areas. 
These programs of study, connecting course offerings at the secondary 
level with increasingly advanced academic and technical courses at the 
postsecondary level, will equip students with the skills and 
credentials required for success in high-demand, high-wage career 
    Anticipated outcomes for participating students include: Increased 
success rates for entry into, and completion of postsecondary 
education; acceleration of attainment of postsecondary certificate or 
degree; decreased need for remediation; and improved levels of academic 
and skill achievement.

Program Activities

    The consortium must carry out the following activities with the 
assistance provided under the cooperative agreement:
    (a) Proposal and Partnership with Promising Programs.
    (1)(i) The consortium must retain control of and responsibility for 
the Federal funds awarded under CCTI, and must be responsible for 
carrying out the various required activities specified in this notice.
    (ii) The consortium must propose in its application, and--in 
consultation with the Department--enter into at least 10 but no more 
than 20 partnerships, for the purpose of expanding promising career and 
college transition programs.
    (iii) These programs must focus on one or more broad, high-growth, 
occupational areas.
    (iv) The consortium must enter into partnerships at secondary or 
postsecondary sites, or both, to provide students with a coherent 
sequence of high-level academic and technical skills, ensure seamless 
connections between students' secondary and postsecondary coursework, 
and culminate in joint credit or a certificate.
    (v) Each partnership must be led by an institution of higher 
education that is a member of the consortium submitting the 
application, in partnership with (A) one or more secondary schools or 
local educational agencies (LEAs), and (B) two or more local employers.
    (vi) If the consortium regards it as beneficial to the project, the 
partnership may also include (A) the eligible State agency responsible 
for administering vocational and technical education, and (B) the State 
agency responsible for administering institutions of higher education 
that offer a two-year associate degree or certificate program.
    (vii) Of the partnerships entered into by the consortium--
    (A) Two must include a focus on health science;
    (B) Two must include a focus on information technology; and
    (C) The remaining partnerships must be focused on other 
occupational areas that are, at a minimum, high-growth and high-demand, 
and reflect the needs of national, State, or regional labor markets.
    (2)(i) If selection of partnerships is possible before the 
application deadline, the consortium must list in its application each 
proposed partnership, including--
    (A) The lead institution and all participating partners; and
    (B) The occupational focus area or areas of each from section 
(a)(1)(vii)(A)-(C) of this notice.
    (ii) If selecting partnerships is not possible before the 
application deadline, the consortium must state a specific timeframe 
within which it proposes to select partnerships.
    (iii) In either case, the consortium must clearly describe the 
criteria and process for selecting the partnerships, including, at a 
    (A) Evidence of high academic and technical standards calibrated to 
the most rigorous State standards for which the State holds students, 
teachers, and administrators accountable;
    (B) Evidence of curriculum alignment;
    (C) Evidence of existing articulation agreements among the 
postsecondary institution and its secondary partner or partners; and
    (D) Evidence of institutional commitment and capacity on the part 
of all partners to enhance and expand their programs of study in 
keeping with the requirements of this notice.
    (3) To the extent practicable, the consortium must ensure that 
selected partnerships represent geographical dispersion, a variety of 
delivery mechanisms, and a range of strategies to connect the secondary 
and postsecondary levels, to facilitate student transitions.
    (4) To solicit input from representatives of institutions of higher 
education, secondary schools, employers representing the selected broad 
occupational area or areas, and other relevant parties, the consortium 
may encourage each partnership to collaborate or consult with existing 
local advisory boards or business-education partnerships.
    (b) Project Activities. The consortium must do the following:
    (1) Describe in its application and implement on receipt of the 
CCTI cooperative agreement, a management plan.
    (i) The management plan must be designed to ensure effective 
implementation of activities conducted together with each partnership.
    (ii) The management plan must include, at a minimum, convening 
representatives of the partnerships--by telephone quarterly and in 
person yearly--possibly in coordination with other annual consortium 
events, to--
    (A) Discuss the progress of implementation and share promising 
practices and lessons learned;
    (B) Provide technical assistance to individual partnerships in 
addressing challenges and identifying successful strategies; and, if 
common needs are identified, to the partnerships as a group; and
    (C) Provide for regular electronic communications to and among the 
partnerships to ensure that relevant information, research, news, 
reminders and other items of interest are shared in a consistent 
    (2) (i) Through its collaboration with the partnerships, develop 
and refine practices that help students move effectively from high 
school to college by better aligning and improving the

[[Page 52460]]

quality of secondary and postsecondary programs in high-demand career 
    (ii) Specifically, the consortium and the partnerships must 
implement and enhance strategies such as--
    (A) Curriculum development and course sequencing;
    (B) Rigorous instructional strategies based on appropriate existing 
State standards;
    (C) Regular, high-quality professional development for teachers;
    (D) Academic assessments, assessment of employability skills, and 
industry-based assessments and certifications;
    (E) Dual or concurrent enrollment for academic and technical 
    (F) Academic and career-related counseling and other student 
support services;
    (G) Distance learning using computer-based and internet-based 
technologies; and
    (H) Articulation with postsecondary baccalaureate programs.
    (3) Issue a contract for the documentation of program outcomes. 
This includes the following:
    (i) The use of existing data sources or the establishment of 
systems for collecting data about participating students on a set of 
identified anticipated outcomes, including, at a minimum--
    (A) Enrollment and persistence in postsecondary education;
    (B) Academic and skill achievement;
    (C) Rates of remediation;
    (D) Postsecondary certificate or degree attainment; and
    (E) Entry into employment.
    (ii) Rigorous case studies of each partnership, describing each of 
the partners, selected occupational program or programs of study, and 
development and implementation activities. Each case study must 
include, but is not limited to, a description of the following:
    (A) Governance structures.
    (B) Faculty development.
    (C) Strategies to coordinate activities among secondary, 
postsecondary, and other partners.
    (D) Efforts to align postsecondary requirements to the State's 
established standards for secondary school students.
    (E) Facilitators and barriers to project implementation.
    (c) Advisory Working Group and Outside Consultation.
    (1)(i) In carrying out the CCTI project, the consortium must 
establish an advisory working group to provide ongoing input to the 
project partners regarding the project activities.
    (ii) The advisory working group must include among its members a 
representative of the Department, representatives of secondary and 
postsecondary career occupational areas, representatives of business 
and industry, and researchers whose expertise and counsel may 
contribute to the success of the project .
    (iii) At a minimum, the consortium must convene the advisory 
working group in person at least once annually, and must make use of 
technology to ensure regular, timely, and cost-effective communication.
    (iv) The advisory working group must--
    (A) Provide advice to the consortium on the implementation of the 
    (B) Help ensure that the project results are useful to a larger 
    (C) Make recommendations to the consortium and the Department on 
possible enhancements;
    (D) Review and comment on draft evaluation instruments and 
consortium products; and
    (E) Advise on dissemination activities listed in section (d) of 
this notice.
    (d) Dissemination. As the project progresses, the consortium must 
do the following:
    (1) Package and disseminate the findings of the case studies in 
formats appropriate for each audience to interested entities, such as: 
postsecondary and secondary institutions and their representative 
organizations; employer organizations; State agencies responsible for 
secondary education; State agencies responsible for vocational and 
technical education; LEAs; and secondary schools.
    (2) (i) Assist institutions of higher education that offer a two-
year degree or certificate and LEAs to implement or adapt promising 
programs and strategies developed by the partnerships in ways that meet 
local needs.
    (ii) The consortium may accomplish this through such means as--
    (A) Offering professional development activities for States and 
outlying areas;
    (B) Developing training institutes and materials designed to 
promote the replication of these activities by other partnerships 
across the country;
    (C) If appropriate, organizing a limited number of site visits for 
practitioners, policymakers, and other interested parties, to 
demonstrate how these activities work in practice; and
    (D) Hosting sessions at conferences, workshops, and other events 
that provide opportunities to share the promising practices and 
implementation approaches developed through this cooperative agreement.
    (3) Link this project with other efforts of the Department of 
Education, the Department of Labor, and the National Science Foundation 
to improve the preparation of individuals for postsecondary and career 
    (e) Evaluation. At the Department's request, the consortium and its 
partnerships must make available the data collected under section 
(b)(3)(i)(A)-(E) and (ii)(A)-(E), and participate in all evaluation 
activities the Department conducts related to this initiative.
    (f) Interim Reports. Within 45 days after the conclusion of each 
project year-- except for the final project year in which a final 
report must be submitted as described in paragraph (g) of this notice-- 
the consortium must prepare and submit to the Department a progress 
report that--
    (1) Provides an update on the completion of project goals and 
    (2) Offers baseline and updated data on project participants;
    (3) Outlines major challenges to achieving project goals, and 
strategies for addressing these challenges; and
    (4) Describes major changes, if any, in project activities.
    (g) Final Report. Within six months after the conclusion of the 
cooperative agreement, the consortium must prepare and submit to the 
Department a final technical report that--
    (1) Outlines the activities and accomplishments of the 
    (2) Provides evidence of the promising practices developed through 
the cooperative agreement;
    (3) Includes the findings of the case studies and products based on 
these findings;
    (4) Offers final data on student participants; and
    (5) Includes the plan for disseminating the products and knowledge 
gained from the project, to appropriate audiences.

Selection Criteria

    The Department will apply the following selection criteria in 
evaluating cooperative agreement applications under this competition.
    The maximum total score any applicant may receive is 100 points.
    The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses.
    (a) Local Partner Support. (20 points)
    (1) (i) The extent to which the applicant has in place a network of 
institutions that demonstrate capacity and support for the project.
    (ii) The extent to which the applicant has demonstrated its 
capacity to obtain commitments and support from each partnership, such 
as support from eligible agencies, participating institutions of higher 
education, secondary schools, LEAs, and local employers.

[[Page 52461]]

(b) Technical Approach. (50 points)

    (1) The extent to which the applicant presents--
    (i) A clear justification for the occupational areas selected;
    (ii) A clear delineation of academic and skill standards calibrated 
to the most rigorous State standards; and
    (iii) The purpose and scope of the project. (15 points)
    (2) The extent to which the applicant comprehensively addresses in 
its application each required activity, clearly defining the functions 
to be undertaken to accomplish each activity. (10 points)
    (3) The extent to which the applicant--
    (i) Identifies potential improvements in design and additional 
activities that may enhance the proposed project; and
    (ii) Describes any anticipated problems and recommends solutions to 
these problems. (10 points)
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project demonstrates its 
capacity to gather baseline and annual data on program participants 
under each partnership. (15 points)

(c) Management Plan. (20 points)

    (1) The extent to which--
    (i) The applicant includes a description, in a clear and sequential 
fashion, of the plan for managing the project; and
    (ii) The plan provides credible evidence that the management of 
personnel, physical resources, activities, and work production will 
result in orderly and timely completion of work within the project 
performance period. (15 points)
    (2) The extent to which the time commitments of the Project 
Director for the overall project and the time commitments of project 
personnel at each site are appropriate to the tasks assigned. (5 

(d) Project Management. (10 points)

    The extent to which the Project Director for the overall project 
and project personnel at each site have clearly identified and 
documented qualifications, competencies, and experiences that are 
appropriate for the tasks to be carried out under this cooperative 


    The definitions in section 3 of the Act apply to this competition. 
Specifically, the term ``institution of higher education'' has the 
meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 
    In addition, the term ``occupational area'' means a group of 
related jobs and occupations within an industry sector, such as the 
    (a) Health Science. (1) This term comprises courses or programs or 
both related to planning, managing, and providing diagnostic, 
therapeutic, information, and environmental services in health care.
    (2) The term includes the following programs of study: Therapeutic 
Services, Diagnostic Services, Information and Communication Services, 
Environmental Supportive Services, and Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical 
    (b) Information Technology. (1) This term comprises courses or 
programs or both related to the design, development, support, and 
management of hardware, software, multimedia, and systems integration 
    (2) This term includes the following programs of study: Network 
Systems, Information and Support Services, Interactive Media, and 
Program and Software Development.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations and selection criteria. However, in 
order to make timely cooperative agreement awards in FY 2002, the 
Assistant Secretary has decided to issue this application notice with 
program requirements and selection criteria without first publishing 
the notice for public comment. These requirements and criteria will 
apply to the FY 2002 cooperative agreement competition only. The 
Assistant Secretary takes this action under authority of section 
437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA).
    Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA exempts from formal rulemaking 
requirements regulations governing the first grant competition under a 
new or substantially revised program authority (20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1)). 
The program authority for Vocational Education Research Activities (20 
USC 2324 (c)) was substantially revised on October 31, 1998 by Pub. L. 
105-332. This is the first competition under section 114(c)(1)(A) of 
the Act. Any requirements or criteria that the Department establishes 
in future years related to this authority will be published in proposed 
form in the Federal Register with an opportunity for interested parties 
to comment.
    For Applications and Further Information Contact: Scott Hess, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4332, Mary 
Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-7241. Telephone: (202) 205-9422, 
or via Internet: Scott.Hess@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR 
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternative format by contacting that person. However, 
the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the 
standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Department

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
    You may also view this document and the application package in text 
or PDF at the following site: www.ed.gov/offices/OVAE. To use PDF you 
must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at either of 
the previous sites. If you have questions about using PDF, call the 
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or 
in the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 2324 (c)(1)(A).

    Dated: August 7, 2002.
Carol D'Amico,
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.
[FR Doc. 02-20359 Filed 8-9-02; 8:45 am]