Functional Statements > Office of Communications and Outreach


Operations, Agency Services, and Employee Engagement provides customized services to Principal Offices across the Department and, in particular, to the Office of the Secretary. The unit serves as the administrative arm of OCO, performing the “inherently governmental” work of managing clearances and overseeing adherence to policy, accuracy of communications content, and program improvement. The unit is responsible for OCO’s Organizational Performance Review, overall product quality assurance, as well as employee quality of life. The group works across the Department to create teams to manage a variety of long-term and short-term, high visibility events and communications efforts.  These projects are often one-time, fast-turnaround outreach vehicles produced at the request of the Secretary and other Senior Department Officials.  Projects include interagency commemorative activities, as well as work pertaining to Memorandums of Understanding among federal agencies. The unit is managed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations, Agency Services and Employee Engagement.

OCO Services

OCO Services provides administrative services to the units across the Office and on behalf of OCO for the Department, including intranet site management, Congressional request management in coordination with the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Freedom of Information Act request management, Controlled Correspondence responses, Executive Secretariat clearances, grant document clearances, and acquisitions management. To coordinate projects across OCO, the unit also provides logistics, outreach, mail management, data entry, planning and implementation services, and travel and time and attendance guidance on an as-needed basis.

Conference Policy and Operations

Conference Policy and Operations provides a full range of events management services, including event planning, venue selection, transportation, logistics, on-site registration, etc., to create high-quality conferences and meetings that communicate national educational priorities and explain the Department’s programs and policies. The unit ensures fiscal responsibility by reviewing event plans and schedules from Principal Offices across the Department to assure cost effectiveness and content integrity. In addition, the unit oversees the solicitation of contributions to the Department to support various programs, events and functions where government funds may not be used.

Editorial Policy, Print and Art Services

Editorial Policy, Print and Art Services develops Department policies and standards for written products, both in hard copy and electronic for quality assurance; codifies them in the Department’s guide to publishing; and provides training and guidance to ED’s Principal Offices on implementing these policies and standards, including the principles of Plain Language. The unit works with CAM to require contractors to adhere to Department publishing guidelines. The unit provides customer service to Department offices by reviewing manuscripts for conformance to ED policies and standards.  Such manuscripts will result in hard copy or online publications, including articles for journals and magazines that are distributed to the public.  The unit manages the Department’s relationship with GPO for printing, e-books, and other forms of publishing; serves as the technical advisor for the production of written materials; and is ED’s liaison with the Joint Congressional Committee on Printing and the National Archives and Records Administration.  The unit also creates visual design according to Department graphics standards to support written documents and manages the student art outreach and exhibit program.

Internal Communications Team

The Internal Communications Team plays a key Department role by advising senior leaders on strategies to engage, inform and educate employees, and implementing internal communications plans in collaboration with senior leaders and the Department Chief of Staff. The Team supports efforts to engage employees in the overall mission of the Department, improve the work culture to enhance employee satisfaction and convey information about Department initiatives to ED employees. The Team produces communications products and events in response to employee needs. 

Special Projects Team

The Special Projects Team works across the agency to plan high visibility events both for external and internal customers. These events are often in locations outside of Washington, DC and are of mass media interest. They are often in response to requests from the White House and other government agencies.  This Team is responsible for maintaining relationships with other federal government agencies by organizing commemorative events, compiling information about education programs across government, and providing information to other agencies about the Department’s policies, programs, and priorities.