January 28, 2020 OCATE Connection Flash Edition

Octae Connection

OCATE Connection Flash Edition

January 28, 2020

Save the Date: Rural Community College Grants Convening

Dear Colleague,

This spring the Department of Education and the American Association of Community Colleges are co-hosting another convening designed to help rural community colleges identify, plan, and design projects for federal grant applications. Activities will include facilitated workshops and information from a variety of federal agencies with upcoming opportunities. Please save the date for a team from your community to attend on March 19 and 20, 2020, at the Community College of Denver (800 Curtis St., Denver, CO 80204) . A link will be sent out in an upcoming OCTAE Connection for the registration site.

Based on demand, future offerings of this event may take place in other locations. Please email Erin Berg, Community College Specialist, at erin.berg@ed.gov if you cannot make the March event and specify which region and time of year might be convenient. The content of this convening is the same as the past offerings in Wisconsin and Mississippi.


Save the Date: Webinar on Ability to Benefit via an Approved State Process

Through the “Ability to Benefit” (ATB) provisions of the Higher Education Act, a student without a high school diploma or its equivalent can become eligible for title IV federal student aid by completing at least one of three ATB alternatives: 1) Take and receive an acceptable score on one of several Department-approved standardized tests, 2) Complete at least 6 credit hours/225 clock hours of an eligible postsecondary program, or 3) Be admitted through an “approved State process” (34 CFR §668.156). To date, no such state process has been approved by the Department.

To inform states and other stakeholders, the Department of Education will host a webinar that will provide an overview of the application requirements for an approved state process on Feb. 11, 2020, at 2:00PM (EST). The webinar will provide more information about the state process alternative for a student without a high school diploma or its equivalent to access title IV aid to enroll as either a regular student in any eligible program (if first admitted before July 1, 2012) or in an eligible career pathway program (all students first admitted on or after July 1, 2012).

To register for this webinar, please use this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7825630378171287563

PowerPoint slides will be provided to registrants after the session. Participants will not have an opportunity to ask verbal questions during the event; however, questions can be typed into the webinar chat box. We will try and answer as many questions that are typed into the webinar chat as possible during the presentation. The Department will post answers to any unanswered questions after the presentation.

We look forward to your participation. If you have questions about this webinar, please send a message to atbstateprocess@ed.gov and copy aaron.washington@ed.gov and erin.berg@ed.gov.