[Federal Register: August 19, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 160)]
[Page 53869-53871]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 53869]]


Part III

Department of Education


Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training--Vocational 
Rehabilitation Counseling; Notice

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Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training--
Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education 
and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority under the 
Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program. The 
Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal 
year (FY) 2003 and in later years. We take this action to focus on 
training in an identified area of national need. The purpose of this 
priority is to increase the partnership activities between 
rehabilitation counseling programs and State vocational rehabilitation 
(VR) agencies and to increase the number of rehabilitation counseling 
programs that provide for students experiential activities, such as 
formal internships or practicum agreements with State VR agencies. We 
intend the priority to increase the pool of qualified VR counselors 
available for employment with State VR agencies.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before September 18, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to 
Christine Marschall, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, 
SW., Switzer Building, Room 3325, Washington, DC 20202-2649. If you 
prefer to send your comments through the Internet, use the following 
address: Christine.Marschall@ed.gov.
    You must include the term ``Long-Term Training Program: Vocational 
Rehabilitation Counseling'' in the subject line of your electronic 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Marschall. Telephone: (202) 
205-8926 or via Internet: Christine.Marschall@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-8133.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 


Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority. 
We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements 
of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of reducing 
regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please 
let us know of any further opportunities we should take to reduce 
potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the 
effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed priority in room 3414, Switzer Building, 
330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 
p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule 
an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 
    The Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program provides financial 
assistance for--
    (1) Projects that provide basic or advanced training leading to an 
academic degree in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as 
identified by the Secretary;
    (2) Projects that provide a specified series of courses or program 
of study leading to award of a certificate in areas of personnel 
shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Secretary; and
    (3) Projects that provide support for medical residents enrolled in 
residency training programs in the specialty of physical medicine and 
    We propose this priority to increase the number of rehabilitation 
counseling programs that provide experiential activities for students, 
such as formal internships, practicum agreements, and other partnership 
activities with State VR agencies. This proposed priority supports a 
close relationship between the educational institution and the State VR 
agency by creating or increasing ongoing collaboration in order to 
increase the number of graduates who seek employment in State VR 
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority after considering 
responses to this notice and other information available to the 
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing or funding 
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this proposed priority, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting 
applications we designate the priority as absolute, competitive 
preference, or invitational. The effect of each type of priority 

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by either 
(1) awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent to 
which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or 
(2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an 
application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational 
priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the 
priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications 
(34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).


Proposed Priority--Partnership With the State VR Agency

    Background: According to State VR agency data in the annual 
submission of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) 
plan, a personnel survey conducted by the Council of State 
Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and the 
proceedings of the 2002 CSPD national meeting, State VR agencies 
throughout the nation are experiencing a personnel shortage of 
qualified VR counselors. Rates of retirement and attrition in State VR 
agencies reported in the annual CSPD plans indicate that this personnel 
shortage will increase. A review by the Rehabilitation Services 
Administration (RSA) of employment locations chosen by RSA-sponsored 
graduates, as reported by RSA training programs, indicates that only a 
small percentage of RSA graduates seek employment with State VR 
agencies. However, State VR agencies reported in the CSAVR survey and 
at the CSPD national meeting that individuals who are aware of the 
distinct role of the qualified VR counselor and benefits of employment

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within a State VR agency are more likely to seek employment with the 
    Priority: This priority supports projects that will increase the 
knowledge of students of the role and responsibilities of the VR 
counselor and of the benefits of counseling in State VR agencies. This 
priority focuses attention on and intends to strengthen the unique role 
of rehabilitation educators and State VR agencies in the preparation of 
qualified VR counselors by increasing or creating ongoing collaboration 
between institutions of higher education and State VR agencies.
    Projects funded under this priority must include within the degree 
program information about and experience in the State VR system. 
Projects must include partnering activities for students with the State 
VR agency including experiential activities, such as formal internship 
or practicum agreements. In addition, experiential activities for 
students with community-based rehabilitation service providers are 
    Projects must include an evaluation of the impact of project 

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive 
order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened 
federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State 
and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR parts 385 and 386.

Electronic Access to This Document

    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: 
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. 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://

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.129B 
Rehabilitation Long-Term Training--Vocational Rehabilitation 

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772.

    Dated: August 14, 2002.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 02-21025 Filed 8-16-02; 8:45 am]