Flash Edition - April 13, 2015

OCTAE Newsletter

Flash Edition 

April 13, 2015

Informational Webinar on First in the World and Evidence-Based Grant Competitions

This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to the Department of Education (ED) for its First in the World (FITW) Program grant competition, with a $16 million set aside for minority-serving institutions. 

The purpose of the FITW grant competition is to incentivize institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations to collaborate and help spur the development of innovative approaches and strategies that will improve educational access and outcomes.  To help grow the evidence base of effective educational practices, FITW is structured as an evidence-based grant competition that offers up to three tiers of grants – development, validation, and scale up.  Each tier requires a specific level of evidence underlying the proposed approach, and rigorous evaluation of each funded intervention 

To help prepare institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and others interested in applying for a FITW grant, on Wednesday, April 15th, from 4–5 p.m. EDT, ED will host an informational webinar on the overall goals of the competition.  It will also cover the general application requirements for applying to any of ED’s evidence-based grant competitions. 

Subsequent webinars will provide more detail on the FITW evidence tiers and specific 2015 priorities.  ED expects to announce these priorities in May 2015. Proposed priorities for the overall program were open for public comment in February and March 2015. 

To join the webinar:
1. Go to https://educate.webex.com/educate/j.php?MTID=m184c2fe07a9f1480cef27aac9af24c1f.
2. Enter your name/organization and email address. 
3. If you are prompted for a password, enter FITW 
4. Click "Join". 
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen. 

To view in other time zones or languages, please go to
https://educate.webex.com/educate/j.php?MTID=me66dc144a6cc9790ba997d4a84a0d23c
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To join the teleconference only:
Dial  888-790-1887
Enter passcode 60606
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For assistance: 
1. Go to https://educate.webex.com/educate/mc .
2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support". 

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For those not able to join the webinar, a recording and transcript will be posted within the following week under the “Tips and Assistance” section of the FITW Applicant Information page, found here. 

This competition is managed by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) office, at ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education. 

To learn more about the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) and its grant programs, please visit OPE’s website, or follow us on Twitter at @EDPostsecondary. 

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OCTAE Seeking Candidates for Available Vacancies

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) is seeking candidates to fill two available positions:

  • The Division for Academic and Technical Education (DATE) has a job opening for an education program specialist in its Accountability and Performance branch.


The successful candidate will be responsible for providing guidance and technical assistance to states, other agencies, and local institutions in designing, improving and maintaining state and local accountability systems for secondary, postsecondary, and career education.  

To view the complete announcement, including key requirements, qualifications, and how to apply, please click here. The closing date for applications is Monday, May 4, 2015.

  •  The Office of the Assistant Secretary is hiring a career Senior Executive Service (SES) deputy assistant secretary (DAS) for management and planning.  


The successful candidate will oversee and coordinate the operations and management of OCTAE’s planning, budget and resource allocations, organizational performance, technology strategy, and continuous improvement and innovation. Any individual selected for an initial appointment to the career SES must have his or her executive core qualifications certified by an Office of Personnel Management qualifications review board prior to appointment, and will be required to serve a one-year probationary period.

To view the complete announcement, including key requirements, qualifications, and how to apply, please click here. The closing date for applications is Monday, May 4, 2015.

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