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Notice

Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP); Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.259A

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice of final requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.

SUMMARY:

The Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education establishes requirements, definitions, and selection criteria under the Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP). The Assistant Secretary may use these requirements, definitions, and selection criteria in competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2009 and later years.

Effective Date: These requirements, definitions, and selection criteria are effective April 23, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nancy Essey, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 11070, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-7241. Telephone: (202) 245-7789 or by e-mail: nancy.essey@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of Program: The Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program provides grants to eligible applicants to plan, conduct, and administer programs, or portions of programs, that are authorized by and consistent with the purposes of section 116 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Act) for the benefit of Native Hawaiians.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2326(a)-(h).

We published a notice of proposed requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program in the Federal Register on January 23, 2009 (74 FR 4155). That notice contained background information and our reasons for proposing the particular requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. We are not repeating that information in this notice.

There are no differences between the proposed requirements, definitions, and selection criteria we published on January 23, 2009 and these final requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.

Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we did not receive any comments on the proposed requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.

Final Requirements: Consistent with the Act, the Assistant Secretary establishes the following requirements for this program. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.

I. Authorized Programs, Services, and Activities

(a) Authorized Programs. In accordance with section 116(e) of the Act, under this program, NHCTEP projects must—

(1) Develop new programs, services, or activities or improve or expand existing programs, services, or activities that are consistent with the purposes of the Act. In other words, the Department will support “expansions” or “improvements” that include, but are not necessarily limited to, the expansion of effective programs or practices; upgrading of activities, equipment, or materials; increasing staff capacity; adoption of new technology; modification of curriculum; or implementation of new policies to improve program effectiveness and outcomes; and

(2) Fund a career and technical education program, service, or activity that—

(i) Is a new program, service, or activity that was not provided by the applicant during the instructional term (a defined period, such as a semester, trimester, or quarter, within the academic year) that preceded the request for funding under NHCTEP;

(ii) Will improve or expand an existing career and technical education program; or

(iii) Inherently improves career and technical education. A program, service, or activity “inherently improves career and technical education” if it—

(A) Develops new career and technical education programs of study for approval by the appropriate accreditation agency;

(B) Strengthens the rigor of the academic and career and technical components of funded programs;

(C) Uses curriculum that is aligned with industry-recognized standards and will result in students attaining industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees;

(D) Integrates academics (other than remedial courses) with career and technical education programs through a coherent sequence of courses to help ensure learning in the core academic and career and technical subjects;

(E) Links career and technical education at the secondary level with career and technical education at the postsecondary level, and facilitates students' pursuit of a baccalaureate degree;

(F) Expands the scope, depth, and relevance of curriculum, especially content that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of an industry and a variety of hands-on, job-specific experiences; or

(G) Offers—

(1) Work-related experience, internships, cooperative education, school-based enterprises, studies in entrepreneurship, community service learning, and job shadowing that are related to career and technical education programs;

(2) Coaching/mentoring, support services, and extra help for students after school, on the weekends, or during the summer so they can meet higher standards;

(3) Career guidance and academic counseling for students participating in career and technical education programs under NHCTEP;

(4) Placement services for students who have successfully completed career and technical education programs and attained a technical skill proficiency that is aligned with industry-recognized standards;

(5) Professional development programs for teachers, counselors, and administrators;

(6) Strong partnerships among grantees and local educational agencies, postsecondary institutions, community leaders, adult education providers, and, as appropriate, other entities, such as employers, labor organizations, parents, and local partnerships, to enable students to achieve State academic standards and attain career and technical skills;

(7) The use of student assessment and evaluation data to improve continually instruction and staff development; or

(8) Research, development, demonstration, dissemination, Start Printed Page 12342evaluation and assessment, capacity-building, and technical assistance related to career and technical education programs.

(b) Student stipends.

(1) A portion of an award under this program may be used to provide stipends (as defined elsewhere in this notice under the heading Definitions) to help students meet the costs of participation in a NHCTEP project.

(2) To be eligible for a stipend a student must—

(i) Be enrolled in a career and technical education project funded under this program;

(ii) Be in regular attendance in a NHCTEP project and meet the training institution's attendance requirement;

(iii) Maintain satisfactory progress in his or her program of study according to the training institution's published standards for satisfactory progress; and

(iv) Have an acute economic need that—

(A) Prevents participation in a project funded under this program without a stipend; and

(B) Cannot be met through a work-study program.

(3) The amount of a stipend is the greater of either the minimum hourly wage prescribed by State or local law, or the minimum hourly wage established under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(4) A grantee may award a stipend only if the stipend combined with other resources the student receives does not exceed the student's financial need. A student's financial need is the difference between the student's cost of attendance and the financial aid or other resources available to defray the student's cost of attending a NHCTEP project.

(5) To calculate the amount of a student's stipend, a grantee must multiply the number of hours a student actually attends career and technical education instruction by the amount of the minimum hourly wage that is prescribed by State or local law or by the minimum hourly wage that is established under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The grantee must reduce the amount of a stipend if necessary to ensure that it does not exceed the student's financial need.

Example:

If a grantee uses the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum hourly wage of $7.25 and a student attends classes for 20 hours a week, the student's stipend would be $145 for the week during which the student attends classes ($7.25 × 20 = $145). If the program lasts 16 weeks and the student's total financial need is $2,000, the grantee must reduce the weekly stipend to $125, because the total stipend for the course would otherwise exceed the student's financial need by $320 (or $20 a week).

Note:

Grantees must maintain records that fully support their decisions to award stipends to students, as well as the amounts that are paid, such as proof of a student's enrollment in the NHCTEP project, stipend applications, timesheets showing the number of hours of student attendance that are confirmed in writing by an instructor, student financial status information, and evidence that a student could not participate in the NHCTEP project without a stipend. (See generally 20 U.S.C. 1232f; 34 CFR 75.700-75.702; 75.730; and 75.731.)

(6) An eligible student may earn a stipend when taking a course for the first time, although a stipend may not be provided to a student for a particular course if the student has already taken, completed, and had the opportunity to benefit from the course and is merely repeating the course.

(7) An applicant must include, in its application, the procedure it intends to use in determining student eligibility for stipends and stipend amounts, and its oversight procedures for the awarding and payment of stipends.

(c) Direct Assistance to Students. A grantee may provide direct assistance (as defined elsewhere in this notice under the heading Definitions) to a student only if the following conditions are met:

(1) The recipient of the direct assistance is an individual who is a member of a special population (as defined in section 3(29) of the Act) and who is participating in a NHCTEP project.

(2) The direct assistance is needed to address barriers to the individual's successful participation in a NHCTEP project.

(3) The direct assistance is part of a broader, more generally focused program or activity for addressing the needs of an individual who is a member of a special population.

Note:

Direct assistance to individuals who are members of special populations is not, by itself, a “program or activity for special populations.”

(4) The grant funds used for direct assistance must be expended to supplement, and not supplant, assistance that is otherwise available from non-Federal sources. For example, generally, a community-based organization could not use NHCTEP funds to provide child care for single parents if non-Federal funds previously were made available for this purpose, or if non-Federal funds are used to provide child care services for single parents participating in non-career and technical education programs and these services otherwise (in the absence of NHCTEP funds) would have been available to career and technical education students.

(5) In determining how much of the NHCTEP grant funds it will use for direct assistance to an eligible student, a grantee—

(i) May only provide assistance to the extent that it is needed to address barriers to the individual's successful participation in career and technical education; and

(ii) Considers whether the specific services to be provided are a reasonable and necessary cost of providing career and technical education programs for special populations. However, the Secretary does not envision a circumstance in which it would be a reasonable and necessary expenditure of NHCTEP project funds for a grantee to utilize a majority of a project's budget to pay direct assistance to students, in lieu of providing the students served by the project with career and technical education.

(d) Career and Technical Education Agreement. Any applicant that is not proposing to provide career and technical education directly to Native Hawaiian students and proposes instead to pay one or more qualified educational entities to provide such career and technical education to Native Hawaiian students must include with its application a written career and technical education agreement between the applicant and the educational entity. The written agreement must describe the commitment between the applicant and the educational entity and must include, at a minimum, a statement of the responsibilities of the applicant and the entity. The agreement must be signed by the appropriate individuals on behalf of each party, such as the authorizing official or administrative head of the applicant Native Hawaiian community-based organization.

(e) Supplement-Not-Supplant. Grantees may not use funds under NHCTEP to replace otherwise available non-Federal funding for “direct assistance to students” (as defined elsewhere in this notice under the heading Definitions) and family assistance programs. For example, NHCTEP funds must not be used to supplant non-Federal funds to pay the costs of students' tuition, dependent care, transportation, books, supplies, and other costs associated with participation in a career and technical education program.

Further, funds under NHCTEP may not be used to replace Federal student financial aid. The Act does not authorize the Secretary to fund projects that serve primarily as entities through which students may apply for and receive tuition and other financial assistance. Start Printed Page 12343

II. Evaluation Requirements

To help ensure the high quality of NHCTEP projects and the achievement of the goals and purposes of section 116(h) of the Act, each grantee must budget for and conduct an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of its project. An independent evaluator must conduct the evaluation. The evaluation must—

(a) Be appropriate for the project and be both formative and summative in nature; and

(b) Include—

(1) Collection and reporting of the performance measures for NHCTEP that are identified in the Performance Measures section of this notice; and

(2) Qualitative and quantitative data with respect to—

(i) Academic and career and technical competencies demonstrated by the participants and the number and kinds of academic and work credentials acquired by individuals, including their participation in programs providing skill proficiency assessments, industry certifications, or training at the associate degree level that is articulated with an advanced degree option;

(ii) Enrollment, completion, and placement of participants by gender, for each occupation for which training was provided;

(iii) Job or work skill attainment or enhancement, including participation in apprenticeship and work-based learning programs, and student progress in achieving technical skill proficiencies necessary to obtain employment in the field for which the student has been prepared, including attainment or enhancement of technical skills in the industry the student is preparing to enter;

(iv) Activities, during the formative stages of the project, to help guide and improve the project, as well as a summative evaluation that includes recommendations for disseminating information on project activities and results;

(v) The number and percentage of students who obtained industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees;

(vi) The outcomes of students' technical assessments, by type and scores, if available;

(vii) The rates of attainment of a proficiency credential or certificate, in conjunction with a secondary school diploma;

(viii) The effectiveness of the project, including a comparison between the intended and observed results and a demonstration of a clear link between the observed results and the specific treatment given to project participants;

(ix) The extent to which information about or resulting from the project was disseminated at other sites, such as through the grantee's development and use of guides or manuals that provide step-by-step directions for practitioners to follow when initiating similar efforts; and

(x) The impact of the project, e.g., follow-up data on students' employment, sustained employment, promotions, further and continuing education or training, or the impact the project had on Native Hawaiian economic development or career and technical education activities.

III. Performance Measures

The Assistant Secretary establishes the following core factors and measures for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the NHCTEP and projects supported under this program.

(a) Number of Secondary, Postsecondary, and Adult Projects. The number of secondary, postsecondary, and adult programs that—

(1) Apply industry-recognized skill standards so that students can earn skill certificates in those projects; and

(2) Offer skill competencies, related assessments, and industry-recognized skill certificates in an area of study offered by secondary and postsecondary institutions.

(b) Secondary Projects. The percentage of participating secondary career and technical education students who—

(1) Meet or exceed State proficiency standards in reading/language arts and mathematics;

(2) Attain a secondary school diploma or its State-recognized equivalent, or a proficiency credential in conjunction with a secondary school diploma;

(3) Attain career and technical education skill proficiencies aligned with industry-recognized standards; and

(4) Are placed in postsecondary education, advanced training, military service, or employment in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations or in current or emerging occupations.

(c) Postsecondary Projects. The percentage of participating postsecondary students in career and technical education programs who—

(1) Receive postsecondary degrees, certificates, or credentials;

(2) Attain career and technical education skill proficiencies aligned with industry-recognized standards;

(3) Receive industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees;

(4) Are retained in postsecondary education or transfer to a baccalaureate degree program; and

(5) Are placed in military service or apprenticeship programs, or are placed in employment, receive an employment promotion, or retain employment.

(d) Adult Projects. The percentage of participating adult career and technical education students who—

(1) Enroll in a postsecondary education or training program;

(2) Attain career and technical education skill proficiencies aligned with industry-recognized standards;

(3) Receive industry-recognized credentials, certificates, or degrees; and

(4) Are placed in employment, receive an employment promotion, or retain employment.

Note:

All grantees must submit an annual performance report addressing these performance measures, to the extent feasible and to the extent that they apply to each grantee's NHCTEP project.

Final Definitions

The Assistant Secretary establishes the following definitions for NHCTEP program terms not defined in the Act. We may apply these definitions in any year in which this program is in effect.

Acute economic need means an income that is at or below the national poverty level according to the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines.

Coherent sequence of courses means a series of courses in which career and academic education is integrated, and that directly relates to, and leads to, both academic and occupational competencies. The term includes competency-based education and academic education, and adult training or retraining, including sequential units encompassed within a single adult retraining course that otherwise meets the requirements of this definition.

Direct assistance to students means tuition, dependent care, transportation, books, and supplies that are necessary for a student to participate in a project funded under this program.

Stipend means a subsistence allowance—

(a) For a student who is enrolled in a career and technical education program funded under the NHCTEP;

(b) For a student who has an acute economic need that cannot be met through work-study programs; and

(c) That is necessary for the student to participate in a project funded under this program.

Final Selection Criteria

The Assistant Secretary establishes the following selection criteria for evaluating an application under this Start Printed Page 12344program. We may apply one or more of these criteria in any year in which this program is in effect. In the notice inviting applications or the application package, or both, we will announce the maximum possible points assigned to each criterion.

(a) Quality of the Project Design. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, we consider the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to and will successfully address the needs of the target population or other identified needs (as evidenced by such data as local labor market demand, occupational trends, and surveys).

(2) The extent to which goals, objectives, and outcomes are clearly specified and measurable. (For example, we look for clear descriptions of proposed student career and technical education activities; recruitment and retention strategies; expected student enrollments, completions, and placements in jobs, military specialties, and continuing education/training opportunities; the number of teachers, counselors, and administrators to be trained; and identification of requirements for each program of study to be provided under the project, including related training areas and a description of performance outcomes.)

(3) The extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies (e.g., community, State, and other Federal resources) and organizations providing services to the target population in order to improve services to students and strengthen outcomes for the proposed project.

(4) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project will create and offer activities that focus on enabling participants to obtain the skills necessary to gain employment in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations in emerging fields or in a specific career field.

(5) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project will create opportunities for students to acquire skills identified by the State at the secondary level or by industry-recognized career and technical education programs for licensure, degree, certification, or as required by a career or profession.

(6) The extent to which the proposed project will provide opportunities for high-quality training or professional development services that—

(i) Are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among instructional personnel;

(ii) Will improve and increase instructional personnel's knowledge and skills to help students meet challenging and rigorous academic and career and technical skill proficiencies;

(iii) Will advance instructional personnel's understanding of effective instructional strategies that are supported by scientifically based research; and

(iv) Include professional development plans that clearly address ways in which learning gaps will be addressed and how continuous review of performance will be conducted to identify training needs.

(b) Quality of the Management Plan. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, we consider the following factors:

(1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and the milestones and performance standards for accomplishing project tasks.

(2) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and other key project personnel, including instructors, are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.

(3) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.

(c) Quality of Data Collection Plan. In determining the quality of the data collection plan, we consider the following factors:

(1) The adequacy of procedures and methods for collecting data.

(2) The adequacy of the data collection plan in allowing comparison with other similar secondary, postsecondary, and adult career and technical education programs.

(d) Quality of Project Personnel. In determining the quality of project personnel, we consider the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

(2) The qualifications, including relevant training, expertise, and experience, of the project director.

(3) The qualifications, including relevant training, expertise, and experience, of key project personnel, especially the extent to which the project will use instructors who are certified to teach in the field in which they will provide instruction.

(4) The qualifications, including training, expertise, and experience, of project consultants.

(e) Adequacy of Resources. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, we consider the following factors:

(1) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization(s) and the entities to be served, including the evidence and relevance of commitments (e.g., articulation agreements, memoranda of understanding, letters of support, or commitments to employ project participants) of the applicant, local employers, or entities to be served by the project.

(2) The extent to which the budget is adequate and costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives and design of the proposed project.

(3) The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends.

(f) Quality of the Project Evaluation. In determining the quality of the evaluation, we consider the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation proposed by the grantee are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.

(2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and the performance measures discussed elsewhere in this notice and will produce quantitative and qualitative data, to the extent possible.

(3) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and continuous improvement toward achieving intended outcomes.

(4) The quality of the proposed evaluation to be conducted by an external evaluator with the necessary background and technical expertise to carry out the evaluation.

This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria for future competitions, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

Note:

This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use these requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866: This notice has been reviewed in accordance with Start Printed Page 12345Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits of this final regulatory action.

The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and efficiently.

In assessing the potential costs and benefits—both quantitative and qualitative—of this final regulatory action, we have determined that the benefits of the final requirements, definitions, and selection criteria justify the costs.

We have determined, also, that this final regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and Tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

We fully discussed the costs and benefits of this regulatory action in the notice of proposed requirements, definitions and selection criteria.

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Electronic Access to this Document: You can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

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://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

Start Signature

Dated: March 19, 2009.

Dennis L. Berry,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.

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[FR Doc. E9-6441 Filed 3-23-09; 8:45 am]

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