The African Programs Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 2004 Summer Institute for English Language Educators from South Africa. Accredited, post-secondary educational institutions meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to provide a six-week academic training program for approximately 28 English language educators form South Africa. Subject to availability of funds, one grant will be awarded to conduct the 2004 Institute.
This Request for Grant Proposals contains language in the “Shipment and Deadline for Proposals” section that is significantly different from that used in the past. Please pay special attention to procedural changes as outlined.Start Printed Page 74283
American institutions of higher education having an acknowledged reputation in the field of English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and in curriculum design may apply to develop and deliver a six-week summer program for approximately twenty-eight English language educators from South Africa. The Summer Institute should be programmed to encompass about 45 days and should begin on or about June 14, 2004. A variation in start date, up to one week beyond June 14, 2004, will be considered if it is necessitated by the host institution's academic calendar. The first five weeks of the program will consist of academic coursework specializing in project-based ESL materials development/delivery focusing on three content-based areas: HIV-AIDS, civic education and civil society, and economics/entrepreneurship). The Institute will include instruction in classroom management and curriculum design to support these ESL content-based projects at the secondary and tertiary levels. Participants, with the help of the host institution, will develop a web site for all projects. The sixth week will consist of an escorted cultural and educational tour of Washington DC.
The 2004 Summer Institute for English Language Educators from South Africa will provide participants with intensive training in the fundamentals of content-based ESL materials development/delivery, continuous assessment, classroom management and curriculum design. These four areas are critical in South Africa where educators are attempting to create a new English curriculum in a context of educational transformation and Outcomes Based Education (OBE). Given the need to teach content-based English across the South African curriculum, English language educators are key personnel for quality learning. Presently, there exists a severe shortage of skilled classroom educators. South African teachers will need to produce and deliver culturally appropriate and pedagogically sound content-based materials in a multi-cultural setting.
The Summer Institute will also provide structured exposure to U.S. culture and the diversity of America. The challenges of teaching in a multi-cultural society should be a component of the program. The program should maintain a relative balance among discussion sessions, lectures and collaborative workshops. A web site is recommended for participants' projects. Lengthy lectures should be kept to a minimum. Participants should be given ample opportunity to work together and learn from each other as well as from their American instructors. Given the project-based orientation exploring the themes of HIV-AIDS, civic education and civil society, and economics/ entrepreneurship, participants will be able to share not only content but relevant ESL materials with their colleagues and home institutions. Participants will receive an educational materials allowance.
Few participants will have visited the United States previously. In view of this, an initial orientation to the university community and a brief introduction to U.S. society and education should be an integral part of the Institute and should be held on the first two to three days of the program.
Applicants should design a two-part program:
(1) A five-week academic program supporting South Africa's goal of education transformation through the delivery of intensive training in content-based materials development, classroom management, continuous assessment and curriculum design for Outcomes Based Education (OBE) and ESL learning (English across the curriculum) at the secondary and tertiary levels. Division of the group into 3-4 manageable project teams, each with a selected thematic/content focus and each targeting the particular needs of the secondary and tertiary levels is essential. Training should be sensitive to any special needs of the South African participants.
(2) A one-week escorted visit to Washington, DC, planned, arranged, and conducted by the Institute Program Director and principal Institute staff. The Washington program should be seen as an integral part of the Summer Institute, complementing and reinforcing both the academic and thematic content. This escorted visit should take place at the end of the Institute. Programming in Washington will include a half-day briefing session at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State. Additionally, visits to such organizations as TESOL, a regional university, local school systems and teacher resource centers, are encouraged. A visit to the Embassy of South Africa should also be planned. Proposals may include cultural and educational visits en route to Washington, if such stops contribute to program quality and are cost-effective. The participants will return to South Africa at the conclusion of the Washington program.
Specific areas to address in the Institute are:
1. Materials development/delivery with an emphasis on content-based ESL instruction. Techniques for continuous assessment should also be addressed. Thematic issues should include HIV-AIDS, civic education and civil society and entrepreneurship/economics.
2. Classroom management (for secondary levels).
3. Education Technology:
(a) Introduction and/or enrichment of computer-based word processing and appropriate software for participants who lack these skills. Introduction to computer networks for ESL professionals.
(b) Introduction and/or enrichment of knowledge of e-mail and the Internet as pedagogic and research tools.
4. Visits to:
(a) Local institutions and organizations related to thematic areas.
(b) On-going ESL classes at the host institution, other universities, and in local educational or community centers, providing participants with opportunities to observe ESL methodology, materials, and multi-cultural classrooms featuring content-based language learning across the curriculum.
5. Involvement of participants in American culture through community/cultural activities. This should include interaction with Americans from a variety of backgrounds.
6. Formative evaluation and adjustment of program components accordingly, as well as summative evaluation of the entire Institute upon its completion.
In accordance with the objectives of the Summer Institute, participants will concentrate on their thematic program projects. However, the academic program should provide time for interaction with American students, faculty, and school administrators, and the local community to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and South Africa. In this regard, the Institute should incorporate cultural features such as community and cultural activities, field trips to places of local interest; home stays with families in the area (with other educators if possible), and events that will bring the participants into contact with Americans from a variety of backgrounds.
Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information. Start Printed Page 74284
Participants, to be selected by Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, will be South African educators involved with English language instruction. Professionally, they can be teacher-trainers, subject advisors, curriculum developers, and learning facilitators/coordinators. The selected participants will be drawn from public and private sectors including the national and provincial departments of education, teacher resource centers, non-governmental organizations, university departments of education and teacher training colleges.
Minimum qualification for all participants will be a three-year teacher-training diploma with preference given to candidates with university degrees. Recruitment will concentrate on English language educators who are actively involved at secondary and tertiary levels, some of whom may be relatively inexperienced but are identified as having leadership potential. Depending upon availability of funds, approximately 28 participants from South Africa will participate in the Institute.
The proposal should be designed to support the following specific activities:
1. Pre-program communication among participants and the U.S. institution to facilitate an exchange of ideas developed for the Institute. Communication should be e-mail based.
2. Creation of a Web site identifying the program goals/syllabus and on-going participant thematic projects. The site should be a dynamic resource, with weekly updates during the duration of the program, and regular updates in South Africa following program completion. The web site should display each of the three completed theme-based projects. The participants should develop site content, while site construction and Internet hosting should be provided by the grantee institution. All Institute participants should receive a CD-ROM of their Web site creation.
3. A five-week academic program comprising coursework on
—Project-based English for content-based instruction,
—Theory and practice of continuous assessment,
—Use of the Internet and web resources for educators,
—Leadership training to enable participants to conduct workshops upon return to their countries. Training should meet the special needs of participants from South Africa.
4. Cultural activities facilitating interaction among the South African participants, American students, faculty, and administrators and the local community to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of South Africa, planned within the five-week academic program.
5. A one-week, escorted, cultural and educational visit to Washington, DC, complementing and reinforcing the academic material. The visit will be planned, arranged and conducted by the Institute Program Director and staff.
6. Follow-on communication among participants and the U.S. institution to continue exchanges of ideas developed during the Institute.
7. Assistance to participants in selecting, purchasing and shipping materials to use in follow-on activities and training projects in South Africa.
Orientation: The host institution should plan to conduct either a pre-program needs assessment if time allows, or a needs assessment upon the arrival of the participants. The Institute Director should be prepared to adjust program emphasis as necessary to respond to participants' professional concerns.
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy, Pretoria, will hold a pre-departure orientation for all participants in South Africa. The grantee institution will be expected to provide general orientation materials for this meeting. This material might include a tentative program outline with suggested goals and objectives, relevant background information about the U.S. institutions and individuals involved in the project, and information about the local housing, climate, and available services.
All Summer Institute programming and administrative logistics, management of the academic program and the educational tour, and on-site arrangements will be the responsibility of the grantee institution.
The grantee institution is responsible for arrangements for lodging, food, maintenance and local travel for participants while at the host institution and in Washington. The host institution should strive to balance cost-effectiveness in accommodations and meal plans with flexibility for differing diets and personal habits among the participants. Single rooms or housing in residential suites, which offer privacy, are preferable.
The Bureau will provide the grantee institution with participants' curricula vitae and travel itineraries and will be available to offer guidance throughout the Institute. The Bureau will arrange participants' international travel. The participants will arrive directly at the Institute site from their home countries. It is expected that the Institute program staff will make arrangements to have participants met upon arrival at the airport nearest the host campus. Departures will be from Washington, DC. Participants will be given international tickets, which will include the leg from the host institution to Washington, DC, if necessary. The Institute staff will plan for ground transportation to and from Washington area airports.
Proposals should describe the available health care system and the plan to provide health care access to Institute participants. The Department of State will provide limited health insurance coverage to all participants. The host institution will be responsible for enrolling the participants in the insurance program with materials supplied by the Department.
Budget Guidelines: Applicants must submit a comprehensive line-item budget for the entire program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity in order to provide clarification.
The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant in an amount not-to-exceed $175,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this program. Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange programs are limited to $60,000. Therefore, such organizations are ineligible for this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost-sharing and funding from private sources in support of its programs.
Allowable costs for the program include the following:
1. Instructional costs (for example: instructors' salaries, honoraria for outside speakers, educational course materials);
2. Lodging, meals, and incidentals for participants;
3. Expenses associated with cultural activities planned for the group of participants;
4. Administrative costs as necessary.
5. U.S. ground transportation costs to U.S. appointments, meetings and to/from airports.
Proposals should maximize cost sharing through private sector support Start Printed Page 74285as well as institutional direct funding contributions.
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/E/AF-04-01.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
The African Programs Branch, ECA/A/E/AF, Room 232, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Tel: (202) 619-5376 and fax (202) 619-6137, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. Please specify Bureau Program Officer, Ellen Berelson on all other inquiries and correspondence.
Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.
To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. Please read all information before downloading.
New OMB Requirement: An OMB policy directive published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 27, 2003, requires that all organizations applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements must provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for all Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. The complete OMB policy directive can be referenced at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/062703_grant_identifier.pdf. Please also visit the ECA Web site at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps/menu.htm for additional information on how to comply with this new directive.
Shipment and Deadline for Proposals
The deadline for this competition is Friday, February 6, 2004. In light of recent events and heightened security measures, proposal submissions must be sent via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.) and be shipped no later than the above deadline. The delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for consideration under this competition. It is each applicant's responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered.
Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and 8 copies of the application should be sent to:
U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/E/AF-04-01, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
Applicants must also submit the “Executive Summary” and “Proposal Narrative” sections of the proposal in text (.txt) format on a PC-formatted disk. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy for its review.
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines
Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. “Diversity” should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the “Support for Diversity” section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that “in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,” the Bureau “shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.”
Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is placing renewed emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by grantees and sponsors to all regulations governing the J visa. Therefore, proposals should demonstrate the applicant's capacity to meet all requirements governing the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR 62, including the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements. ECA will be responsible for issuing DS-2019 forms to participants in this program.
A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD—SA-44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 401-9810, FAX: (202) 401-9809.
The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for grants resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer. Start Printed Page 74286
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
1. Quality of the program idea: Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's mission. Proposals should demonstrate effective use of community and regional resources to enhance the cultural and educational experiences of participants.
2. Program planning: Relevant work plan and a detailed calendar should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Plan and calendar should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above. The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives.
3. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve a substantive academic program and effective cross-cultural communication with South African participants. Proposal should show evidence of strong on-site administrative capabilities with specific discussion of how logistical arrangements will be undertaken.
4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages.
5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited in both program administration and program content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities).
6. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
7. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
8. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives are recommended.
9. Cost-effectiveness: The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate.
10. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions.
Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is “to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries* * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations* * *and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.” The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation.
The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.Start Signature
Dated: December 17, 2003.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 03-31579 Filed 12-22-03; 8:45 am]
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