Federal Educational Activities
Summary By Agency
An extensive network of departments and agencies has developed over the course of American history in response to the needs of the government and the nation. In 2001 the executive departments numbered fourteen. The most recent addition was in 1989 when the Veterans Administration was elevated to department-level status and renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs. The president shares the burden of implementing the policies and laws of the nation with these departments and a vast array of other agencies that deal with specific areas of national and international affairs. All departments are headed by a secretary, with the exception of the Department of Justice, which is headed by the attorney general. These department heads, who make up the president's cabinet, must first be nominated by the president and then confirmed by the Senate. These departments can be broken down into divisions, bureaus, offices, and services operating in thousands of locations both in the United States and abroad. The educational activities of these departments and other major agencies can be divided into two categories: those that serve employees of the government and those that serve people outside the government.
Legal Foundations of Government Employee Training
Government departments and agencies have always had the authority to deliver their own training programs. There are, however, a number of legal references that make up the foundation for government employee training and education. The Government Employee Training Act of 1958 (GETA) first outlined how departments and agencies would plan, develop, establish, implement, evaluate and fund these activities, which were designed to improve the quality and performance of the government workforce. This act has been amended many times since 1958. Legislative acts that prescribe action by federal departments and agencies are codified and published shortly after passage. Title 5 of the U.S. Code is dedicated to human resource issues, with chapter 41 being devoted to training.
In 1967 Executive Order No. 11348 provided agency and department heads information on how GETA should be carried out. This was amended in 1978 by Executive Order No. 12107, which provided further direction and clarification.
The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is the collected general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by executive departments and agencies. Part 410 of Title 5 of the C.F.R. details the general and specific policies and requirements for training in government agencies. Part 412 of the same title addresses the development of supervisors, managers, and executives. Parts 410 and 412 were both substantially restructured in 1996 to reflect changes to chapter 41 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code.
Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture assists American farmers and ranchers while providing a number of other services to the general public. The Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS) Mission Area comprises three entities, which are designed to protect the interests of American farmers and ranchers amid market and weather uncertainty: the Farm Service Agency, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the Risk Management Agency. These organizations attempt to strengthen the agricultural economy through delivery of commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance. FFAS also promotes expansion of export sales to foreign markets. Wide-ranging crop insurance programs and risk management tools are also offered.
The Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service (FNCS) administers the federal food assistance programs while coordinating policy and research on nutrition. The FNCS comprises two organizations: the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). Under the FNS umbrella are the following programs:
- Food Stamps Program
- School Breakfast Program
- School Lunch Program
- After-School Snacks Program
- Special Milk Program
- Summer Food Service Program
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (popularly known as WIC)
- Farmer's Market Nutrition Program, Food Distribution, and Team Nutrition
The CNPP was created in 1994 to link research with the nutritional needs of the public.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) works to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled. FSIS also works to provide resources on food safety for consumers, educators and health professionals.
The Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Mission Area is responsible for ensuring the health of the land through sustainable management. The NRE is composed of the Forest Service (FS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Each of the agencies assists with rural development and renders aid relative to natural resource concerns like erosion control, watershed protection, and forestry.
The Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Mission area disseminates information resources. The REE includes four services: the Agricultural Research Service, the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, the Economic Research Service, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce and Labor was created on February 14, 1903. Ten years later, separate department designations for labor and commerce were established. Through its numerous and diverse bureaus the modern Department of Commerce (DOC) has evolved to perform an widely varied range of education-related foreign and domestic services.
The Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) is involved in many areas of national security and high technology. Among other activities, the BXA provides technical assistance to Russia and other newly emerging countries to develop effective export control systems and to help convert their defense industries. Assisting foreign supplier countries establish export control systems helps ensure that U.S. industries will not be undercut.
The Economic and Statistics Administration (ESA) is responsible not only for producing and analyzing some of the nation's most important demo-graphic and economic data, but also for the dissemination of that data to the American public. Major offices under the ESA are the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and STAT-USA. The Bureau of Census conducts the decennial census of population and is a world leader in statistical research and methodology. The Bureau of Census makes its statistics available in a variety of media and offers assistance to data users from its headquarters in Suitland, Maryland, as well as through the twelve other regional offices. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) generates a number of important economic reports including a monthly "Survey of Current Business," a quarterly report on Gross Domestic Product, and regional, domestic, and international economic accounts. The BEA also generates occasional reports on travel, tourism, and international transactions.
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) targets economically distressed communities to generate new employment, industry, and commerce. A portion of these efforts involves skill training as well as job retraining.
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the lead unit for trade in the DOC. The Trade Development area of ITA is organized by industry and provides analysis and advice on trade and investment issues to U.S. businesses, counseling U.S. exporters and service providers about marketing their products globally, and provides literature centers and seminars. The U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service employs trade specialists that assist companies wishing to enter into new markets. These specialists also lend support through alerting businesses to distribution channels, pricing, relevant trade shows, and available trade finance programs.
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) promotes growth and competitiveness of the nation's minority and Native American–owned businesses. The agency has counseling centers located in areas with large concentrations of minority populations and businesses, offering management and technical assistance in all areas of establishing and operating a business.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to predicting and protecting the environment. NOAA has five divisions: the National Weather Service (NWS), the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The National Weather Service (NWS) works with federal, state, and local agencies to protect life and property as the official source of all watches and warnings of severe weather for the United States. The NWS also provides data, products, and services to private meteorologists. NOAA funds scientists and university researchers through the National Sea Grant College Program and the National Undersea Research Program to solve critical weather-related environmental problems such as tornadoes, hurricanes, El Niño-driven storms, solar storms, and other severe weather. The National Ocean Service conducts research on the health of the U.S. coasts and provides expertise during oil and hazardous chemical spill cleanup operations, as well as other duties.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) assists the administration, Congress, and other regulatory agencies by addressing diverse technical and policy questions relative to telecommunications. The agency comprises six offices: the Office of Policy Coordination and Management (OPCM), the Office of Policy Analysis and Development (OPAD), the Office of International Affairs (OIA), the Office of Spectrum Management (OSM), the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), as well as the Telecommunications Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP). Employees of this agency include policy analysts, computer scientists, electronic engineers, attorneys, economists, mathematicians, and other specialists. The ITS office serves as the federal government's primary research laboratory for telecommunications science and engineering.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was established in 1978 to protect the American public's interests and investments in the Department of Commerce. The office is authorized to conduct audits, investigations, and an array of inspections, systems evaluations, and other reviews of the Department of Commerce. The OIG provides timely, useful, and reliable information and advice to department officials.
The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is the federal mechanism that protects new ideas and investments. The PTO encourages innovation in American industry through providing patent and trademark protection. A substantial portion of this protection results from the clerical functions of the office, which includes preservation, classification, and distribution of information. Since its establishment in 1790, the PTO has accumulated the largest collection of applied technical information in the world. The Patent Office Search Room and the Trademark Office Search Room are both located in Arlington, Virginia, and are open to the public. In addition, the PTO publishes Basic Facts About Patents, Basic Facts About Trademarks, along with weekly publications describing registered patents and trademarks.
The Technology Administration (TA) was established in 1988 and consists of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), and the Office of Technology Policy (OTP). NIST laboratories specialize in electronics and electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemical science and technology, physics, materials science and engineering, building and fire research, and information technology. NTIS is the repository for all U.S. government research and development results. The NTIS collection is in excess of 3 million titles. These titles are organized, maintained, and disseminated in a variety of media formats. NTIS has also developed an online information dissemination system called Fed World, which is recognized as a comprehensive electronic source for government information.
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense (DoD), so named in 1949, evolved from the Department of War, which was established by the first Congress. The mission of the DoD is to "provide military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country." The DoD consists of three military departments, fourteen defense agencies, nine unified combatant commands, and seven field activities. The three military departments are the army, the navy, and the air force (the Marine Corps is a second armed service in the Department of the Navy).
The National Defense University (NDU) is the nation's premier joint professional military educational institution. Its component colleges and centers include the following: the Joint Forces Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Information Resources Management College, the Institute for National Strategic Studies, the National War College, and the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. The NDU also offers a variety of other educational programs separate from these colleges and centers.
Military service academies provide officer education through precommission and reserve training. These academies include the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Ongoing education and training opportunities for individuals are available immediately upon enlistment in any of the armed services. Military education typically begins with eight to thirteen weeks, depending upon the service, of basic training and continues afterwards with individual job training, which continues throughout enlistment. As men and women are promoted within their job specialty, training becomes more sophisticated. In 2001 there were more than 300 military training centers offering more than 10,000 courses (of which 68 percent were certified for college credit) to train men and women in some 4,100 separate job specialties (of which 88 percent had civilian counterparts).
The military also offers a wide variety of programs that help recruits earn college credit, attend college while in the service, and/or provide cash for college tuition. Department of Defense statistics indicate that in 1999 more than 26,000 military members participated in Servicemember Opportunity Colleges (SOC), which is a group of approximately 1,400 colleges and universities that agree to transfer credits among themselves for military members and their families. In addition, most Base Education Centers will grant course credit to enlisted men and women who can pass available examinations and tests on subjects ranging from mathematics to Western civilization.
The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) allows its enlisted personnel to earn an associate degree in a job-related field. Beyond one's job specialty, each CCAF degree requires coursework in leadership, management, military studies, general education, and physical education.
Programs of educational financial support include tuition assistance, Montgomery G.I. Bill, college fund programs, and loan repayment programs. The terms and amounts of financial assistance from theses programs differ slightly depending on one's branch of service and military status.
The DoD also offers pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade education through a system of schools in the United States and abroad for dependents of military personnel and civilian employees of the military. This activity is divided between two programs: the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS). The DDESS serves an estimated 36,000 students in seventy schools across seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The DoDDS serves an estimated 76,000 students in 154 schools in thirteen countries.
Department of Education
One of the Department of Education's earliest historical roles that has remained prominent involves collecting and sharing information on education. Since 1966 the department has operated the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), which is the world's largest education database. ERIC is accessible through the Department of Education web-site. Prominent annual publications include the Digest of Education Statistics and the Condition of Education. The department funds the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which serves as "the nation's report card." The department also funds ten regional educational laboratories aimed at assisting state and local decision makers by providing the most recent teaching and learning knowledge.
Federal financial assistance for postsecondary education is a significant area of department activity. The department prints and processes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which students use to apply for financial assistance. Federal aid comes in a variety of formats and is administered through a assortment of programs including the Federal Pell Grant Program, the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, the Federal Family Education Loan Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program, and the Federal Work-Study Program.
The department manages the distribution of many formula-based grants that target districts and students with special educational needs. Most federal funding of education is authorized under either the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 or Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997. Funding for advancement and innovation in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education are made available through competitive grant programs.
The department provides vocational and lifelong learning opportunities through an assortment of programs developed to maintain American competitiveness in an emerging global economy. These program activities range from providing localities with School-to-Work Opportunities Act seed money designed to prepare students for a first job, to awarding state grants to fund vocational training and rehabilitation. Additional grant programs target literacy, high-school equivalency certification, and English language proficiency.
Department of Energy
The educational activities of the Department of Energy (DOE) are aligned with its longstanding goals of dissemination of energy-related information and increasing the American science and technology base. Department of Energy partnerships with schools such as the Energy Smart Schools Program focus on increasing awareness of energy-related issues, reducing energy consumption, and reinvesting energy cost savings.
The department's website serves as the chief portal for energy-related education resources. The DOE website offers teachers and students from elementary to postsecondary levels links to topics such as energy efficiency, alternative fuels, atmospheric research, and the Human Genome Project. The department serves as an information clearinghouse on internships and fellowships in all areas of endeavor in science and technology. The DOE also sponsors energy-related contests and competitions.
Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the primary healthcare and social service agency of the federal government. The department is divided among twelve major operating divisions, which administer more than 300 programs covering a wide range of activities. In fiscal year 2001 the agency employed more than 63,000 employees, provided in excess of 60,000 grants, and had a budget in exceeding $429 billion.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the division responsible for the economic and social well being of children, individuals, families, and communities. Programs in the ACF target welfare, refugee assistance, repatriation, foster care, adoption assistance, independent living assistance, low-income energy needs, mental retardation, family preservation, family support, child abuse, child-care, child support enforcement, developmental disabilities, and Native Americans. The most prominent ACF education-related activity is the national Head Start program. Grants are awarded to public or private nonprofit entities at the local level to provide comprehensive developmental services to children between the ages of three and five from low-income families. Legislation in 1994 created the Early Head Start program, expanding the benefits to include children under three and pregnant women. American Indian Head Start and Migrant Head Start offer identical services, but modify delivery of services to better meet the needs of these special populations.
The Administration on Aging (AOA) is the division charged with administering various programs mandated by the Older Americans Act of 2000. In keeping with the many titles of this act, the division is the primary federal advocate for older Americans and their concerns. The educational activities of this division include making resources available on the following: caregiver support, antifraud initiatives, elder abuse prevention, long-term care, retirement information, finance counseling, job vacancies, disaster assistance, and legal advice. The AOA also compiles, storehouses, and disseminates information and statistics on aging.
The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) is the division responsible for administering Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The HCFA offers a number of learning resources on its Internet site relative to health insurance. These resources inform interested parties of changes and progress in the range of coverage offered through HCFA. One such resource is the Medicare Learning Network, which provides health care professionals and others appropriate information on topics such as proper submission of Medicare claims and appropriate payment to Medi-care beneficiaries for services rendered. Medicare Learning Network users may also subscribe to an array of electronic mailing lists that provide emerging information on specific areas of health coverage.
Two of the more prominent public health divisions are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which protects the public's health by screening consumer products before they reach the market using a blend of law and science, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which attempts to uncover new knowledge through the research and training conducted at its multiple centers and institutes. The National Library of Medicine is also under the NIH umbrella.
Six of the seven remaining divisions are also considered public health divisions designed to meet the physical and mental health needs of the population. They include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
The twelfth working division of HHS is the Program Support Center (PSC); it serves the various administrative functions of the department.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
While HUD was created as a cabinet-level position within the executive branch of the federal government in 1965, its history extends all the way back to the passage of the National Housing Act of 1935. Aside from orientation of department personnel, education and training activities conducted by HUD are products of its awarding of grants whose scope of activity fulfills the mission of the department. Several examples of such activities during the decade of the 1990s follow.
Youthbuild was authorized as the "Hope for Youth" program as a part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. The program provides HUD grants on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations assisting high-risk youth between the ages of sixteen to twenty-four to learn housing construction skills. The program also helps participating youth complete their high school education. Skills development takes places as participants assist in the construction of housing for low-to-moderate-income persons.
HUD provided the Philadelphia Housing Authority with an Apprenticeship Demonstration Grant to provide hands-on training in the removal of asbestos, in lead abatement, and for driver's education training. Participants were eighteen to twenty-four years old and high school dropouts. This grant was coordinated with the welfare-to-work initiatives of the Department of Labor. That same housing authority received additional funding to conduct nurse's assistant training and adult basic education.
HUD has also provided training in the K–12 arena. An education advocacy project was funded through Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Tutors were trained to provide academic remedial and enrichment services in the critical areas of reading, mathematics, and science to improve the academic performance of students from low-income groups and ethnic minority groups who have consistently experienced low academic achievement. Tutors were taught techniques for supporting students in their grasp of procedural, declarative, and conditional knowledge.
Department of the Interior
The Department of Interior is composed of eight bureaus and more than twenty-five offices and committees. Education initiatives generated within the department range from the operation of support of local tribal school systems to support for minority higher education institutions to K–12 programs.
The Office of Educational Partnerships was established in 1994 to advance support of minority higher education institutions and the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and other related activities that support K–12 education.
The most extensive education initiative undertaken by Department of the Interior is through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Present statutory law allows the BIA to either support local tribal school systems or to actually operate the education enterprise for the local tribal government.
The Department of Interior also conducts management development programs to provide upgrade training to bureau personnel in a variety of occupational specialties who have limited field experience. Orientation programs are also conducted within the various bureaus and departments. Several of the bureaus provide training for foreign personnel in such diverse fields as irrigation project operation and topographic mapping.
Department of Justice
The Department of Justice represents the citizens of the United States in enforcing the federal laws that have been passed in the public interest. There are thirty-eight components within the department, and a number of those components have specialized education and training responsibilities. Such programs include employee training, programs for inmates of penal and correctional institutions, and training of law enforcement officers. Many of the training and technical assistance initiatives are designed to bring about changes in the law enforcement profession and to enhance the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
One of the major training activities undertaken by the Department of Justice is the operation of the FBI National Academy through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI carries the charge of providing leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies. The academy provides initial training of all new special agents as well as refresher training for all agents. It also provides specialized, needs-based training for full-time law enforcement officials from local, county, and state levels. Officials from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are also provided opportunities for training.
Like the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service operates training programs for its border patrol law enforcement personnel. These law officers are charged with maintaining the integrity of the borders of the United States from illegal immigration. The U.S. Federal Marshals Service conducts training of U.S. marshals and provides other training opportunities through regional meetings and conferences.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is charged with the responsibility of developing and operating correctional programs that are balanced between punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Inmate programs range from high school equivalency to college level courses to help provide for successful reintegration of inmates into society. Vocational training in semiskilled to skilled trades is coordinated by the Federal Prison Industries, Inc., a wholly owned government corporation founded in 1934. Additionally, the National Institute of Corrections is charged with the responsibility of providing training to state and local correctional agency personnel to advance a broad agenda of correctional practices.
The Community Relations Service is the single federal agency with the responsibility to help state and local government agencies, public and private organizations, and community groups resolve and prevent community racial conflicts. Technical assistance is provided to help communities address conflicts arising out of actions, policies, and practices perceived to be discriminatory.
The Office of Justice Programs, created in 1984, is responsible for providing training and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments and community groups. Assistance is designed to reduce crime, enforce drug laws, and improve the function of the criminal justice system.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is charged with creating change in the police profession. The Training and Technical Assistance Division operates through Regional Community Policing Institutes, the Community Policing Consortium, targeted training initiatives, and training conferences and workshops.
Department of Labor
In addition to the Office of the Secretary, the Department of Labor includes more than twenty additional agencies, one independent corporation, and related committees and commissions. A variety of education and training programs are made available to both federal employees and private sector workers and employers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to advise and assist the Secretary of Labor on all matters related to the policies and programs that are designed to assure safe and healthful working conditions for the working men and women of the nation, and to provide executive direction to the occupational safety and health program. OSHA education and training services include federal agency personnel, programs and assistance for small businesses, and training of workers in nonprofit organizations. The primary scope of all such training is to train individuals to recognize, avoid, and prevent safety and health hazards. Programs in the nonprofit sector are conducted under Susan Harwood Training Grants. Grantees develop pertinent training and educational programs that address OSHA-selected topics. Federal agency training is conducted through a number of educational centers that include the Naval Safety Training Center, the Air Force Safety School, and NASA sites nationwide. The OSHA Outreach Training Program authorizes individuals completing the training to teach courses in general industry or construction safety and health standards. The primary arm within OSHA for coordinating education and training programs is the Office of Education and Training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a fellowship program in conjunction with the American Statistical Association (ASA), under a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Senior Research Fellow Program's objective is to bridge the gap between academic scholars and government social science research.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management conducts the Senior Executive Service (SES) Forum Series. The Senior Executive Service provides convenient, cost-effective learning opportunities for top-level government officials. Forums cover a wide range of topics relevant to the major missions and programs of federal departments and agencies.
The Employment and Training Administration operates programs for both adults and youth. Adult programs include training programs for Native American populations. Programs are also provided for migrant and seasonal workers. Apprenticeship training for industry is designed to assist industry in developing and improving apprenticeship programs. Welfare-to-work services are also provided to assist the hard-to-employ and noncustodial parents to get and keep jobs. Training is provided for workers affected by shutdowns and downsizing and for workers over fifty-five years of age. Youth programs include school-to-work, Job Corps, and apprenticeship programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
The Women's Bureau sponsors workshops and joint initiatives with other governmental agencies on gender discrimination. Other programs are marked by collaborative efforts that encourage girls to study and pursue careers in information technology, engineering, math, and science. Trade conferences are conducted to highlight the contributions of women in the trades.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MHSA) Directorate of Educational Policy and Development implements MHSA's education and training programs that are designed to promote safety and health in the mining industry.
Department of State
The Department of State is the nation's lead foreign affairs agency. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute carry out the Department of State's educational activities.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) offers an array of international educational and training programs aimed at promoting understanding between the United States and other countries. The bureau promotes personal, professional, and institutional ties among individuals and organizations, and presents overseas audiences with U.S. history, society, art, and culture.
The Fulbright Program, which is sponsored by ECA, was introduced in 1946 under legislation sponsored by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program offers cultural exchange opportunities to individuals from the United States and abroad who have demonstrated leadership potential. The Fulbright program operates in 141 countries and awards approximately 4,500 grants annually.
The Office of Global Education Programs is charged with the administration of three major Ful-bright exchange activities. They include the Teacher Exchange Program, the Humphrey Fellowship Program, and various university linkage programs.
The Fulbright Teacher Exchange program arranges exchange opportunities for U.S. and foreign college faculty members, teacher trainers, secondary-level teachers, and school administrators. Many teachers elect to teach their native languages at host institutions. A limited number of semester and shorter-term initiatives are also available.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program is a Fulbright exchange activity. Established in 1978 to honor the late senator and vice president, the program brings accomplished midlevel professionals from foreign countries for one year of study and professional experience.
The university linkage programs enables U.S. colleges and universities to partner with institutions overseas to pursue specific mutually beneficial goals. Projects typically last three years and consist of exchange of teachers, administrators, and graduate students.
The Educational Information and Resources Branch of the ECA offers U.S. educational opportunities to foreign students and scholars and serves as a resource to U.S. institutions wanting to strengthen international educational exchange. Overseas, the branch provides international students and scholars information on the U.S. educational system through a worldwide network of approximately 450 educational advising centers. Domestically, the branch administers a study abroad scholarship program for U.S. students and connects educational advisers overseas with counterparts at U.S. educational institutions.
ECA also administers a variety of degree and nondegree academic exchange programs for Russia and the new independent states, which include the following:
- Freedom Support Act Undergraduate Program
- Bosnia and Herzegovina Undergraduate Development Program
- Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program
- Ron Brown Fellowship Program
- Community Connection Program
- Russia–U.S. Young Leadership Fellows for Public Services Program
- Regional Scholar Exchange Program
- Freedom Support Act in Contemporary Issues
- Junior Faculty Development Program
- Internet Access and Training Program
The Office of English Language Programs is responsible for U.S. government English teaching activities outside the United States. The office offers a number of products and services primarily in the capital cities of host countries through American embassies.
The Study of the U.S. Branch of ECA promotes better understanding of the United States by offering summer institutes to foreign university faculty. One of the projects of primary importance offered by this branch is the maintenance and dissemination of the American Studies Collection. The collection was established by a congressional endowment to promote a better understanding of the United States abroad. This collection is designed expressly for university libraries outside the United States. The core of the collection consists of 1,000 titles selected by leading American scholars on a wide variety of disciplines germane to the study of American culture.
The ECA International Visitor Program operates under the authority of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. This program brings foreign professionals with potential for leadership in the areas of government, politics, media, education, and other fields to meet and confer with their professional counterparts and to experience the United States.
The ECA Office of Citizen Exchanges makes grants available to nonprofit American organizations to develop professional, cultural, and youth programs. The objective is for foreign participants to see how Americans deal with issues of professional interest and for American participants to receive a similarly cross-cultural perspective. The office has three geographic divisions, which include Europe/Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia/Africa.
The ECA International Cultural Property Protection program was established as a result of the 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. In accordance with the convention's precepts, the requests of foreign countries are accepted for import restrictions on archaeological or ethnological artifacts, whose removal or display might jeopardize the national cultural history of those countries.
The ECA Au Pair Program is a one-year educational and cultural exchange program with a strong emphasis on childcare. Au pairs are put through a screening and selection process and then matched with American families. The au pair provides forty-five hours of childcare per week. Au pairs are also required to attend an institution of higher learning during their stay to earn at least six hours of credit. Host families are required to pay the au pair minimum wage for child care and $500 for education-related costs.
The Foreign Service Institute is responsible for training all officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community. The National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, offers approximately 500 courses, including classes in 60 foreign languages to members of the foreign affairs community from the Department of State, the military service branches, and other government agencies. Course range in length from one day to two years and designed to promote success within professional assignments, ease transitions, enhance leadership and management, and prepare families for a mobile lifestyle and living abroad. Training and professional development are also available specific to professional assignment.
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation (DOT) was created in 1967 when a number of transportation-related agencies, services, and functions that were dispersed throughout the government were combined into one department. In the early twenty-first century the department works to further the vital national transportation interests through promotion of the following broad strategic goals: safety, mobility, economic growth and trade, human and natural environment protection, and national security. The components of the department include the Office of the Secretary, the Transportation Administrative Service Center, the Surface Transportation Board, and eleven major operating divisions.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is responsible for ensuring safe transportation on American waterways and protection of the marine environment. During times of war and conflict the USCG comes under the control of the Department of Defense. Traditional education-related functions of this division have included marine safety, boating safety, oil spill response, and emergency training.
The most prominent educational component of the division is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, which is located in New London, Connecticut. The Coast Guard Academy is unique among federal service academies because admission is based on a competitive nationwide application process rather than congressional nomination. Applicants who are accepted to the program are given full four-year scholarships. Founded in 1876, the academy provides cadets a four-year bachelor of science program in eight majors including naval architecture and marine engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, operations research, marine and environment science, government, and management. Cadets who demonstrate a high level of academic performance can qualify to participate in the academy's honors program or take elective course work at nearby Connecticut College. A range of student government and athletic opportunities are also made available to cadets. Summers are spent in military and professional training, except for three weeks of vacation. Each academy graduate receives a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard and is required to serve a minimum of five years of active duty.
Leadership training for both cadets and civilian employees of the USCG is provided through the Leadership Development Center (LDC). Schools which form the LDC include the Chief Petty Officer Academy, the Leadership and Quality Institute, the Chief Warrant Officer Indoctrination, Officer Candidate School, Officer-in-Charge School, Command and Operations School, and the Unit Leadership Training Program.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was established in 1958 by the Federal Aviation Act, which combined the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Airways Modernization Board. Although the FAA predates the DOT, it became one of the major operating divisions when the DOT was established in 1967. The FAA is responsible for administering the federal aviation system, which includes activities such as certifying pilots and aircraft, promoting all aspects of aviation safety, enhancing airport security, maintaining the federal air traffic control system, and assisting in the development of commercial and space transportation.
The FAA Aviation Education Program is maintained in fulfillment of the Congressional Mandates of the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970. The congressional intent of the Aviation Education Program is to maintain America's preeminence in the world of aviation by supporting the growth of aviation through education. This includes increasing the public's knowledge of the dynamics of aviation and its key role in improving America's economic and social well being. The FAA is also congressionally mandated to acquaint young people with the full potential of a career in aviation. An information distribution program in each of the nine FAA regions provides expertise and informational materials on civil aviation, aeronautics, and air commerce safety to state and local administrators, college and university officials, and officers of civil and other interested organizations.
The FAA also hosts a number of educational outreach resources and initiatives including curriculum, activities, summer camps, scholarships, grants, aviation career guides, an online resource library, and a listing of aviation schools and universities.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is responsible for coordinating highway transportation programs among states and other partners. The FWHA organization comprises the Washington Headquarters, four resource centers, fifty-two operating federal aid division offices, and three federal lands highway divisions.
The education-related activities include offering training and technical expertise to transportation agency managers at the state and local level, partner agency employees, and to FHWA staff. Training topics cover a range of highway transportation concerns such as snow and ice technology, seismic bridge design, and civil rights contract compliance. Technical expertise is offered in the following areas: roadway and bridge design, construction methods, highway planning and policy, safety, maintenance, environmental protection, innovative financing, and land acquisition.
Nationwide public service announcements are produced in print, audio, and video to educate and inform the public concerning FHWA safety initiatives. Seed money is provided through grants to state and local transportation agencies to promote FHWA safety programs.
FHWA also supports highway-related research, development, and technology transfer through promotion of initiatives such as the Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Intelligent Transportation Systems program partners FHWA with government, industry, and research community partners to develop, test, and implement the latest technological advancements in the transportation system. These technology-infused transportation applications seek to move people and goods more smoothly, safely, and efficiently.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) promotes safe and environmentally sound rail transportation. Much of the educational activity of the FRA revolves around its longstanding responsibility of ensuring railroad safety throughout the nation. The FRA Office of Safety provides the public with safety data on rail incidents, accidents, and inspections. The FRA conducts research, development, tests, evaluations, and projects to support its safety mission and enhance the railroad system as a national transportation resource. The FRA also makes railroading curriculum, presentation aids, and safety resources available to teachers online. Students are offered links rail transportation-related career development links as well as links to an online railroad library.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for promoting and implementing effective educational, engineering, and enforcement programs to end preventable tragedies and reduce economic costs associated with vehicle use and highway travel. NHTSA provides the public with information on motor vehicle safety recalls, child safety seat recalls, seat belts, air bags, antilock breaks, highway safety statistics, federal motor vehicle safety standards, vehicle crash test reports, vehicle safety ratings, vehicle theft ratings, and traffic safety educational materials.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is responsible for providing financial and technical assistance to local transit systems and their forms of mass transportation including buses, rail vehicles, commuter ferryboats, trolleys, inclined railways, and subways.
The National Transit Library is the FTA repository of reports, documents and data generated by professionals and laypersons. The intent of the library is to facilitate document sharing within the transit community.
The FTA Office of Safety and Security offers a range of programs to achieve the highest practical level of safety and security among all modes of mass transit. This office assists in the development of guidelines and best practices, and performs system safety analysis and review. Training is provided through regularly offered courses, conferences, and seminars.
Transit City, U.S.A., is a mythical American city accessible through the FTA homepage, which serves as an online resource for students of all ages, to assist in the development and enhancement of knowledge, skills, and abilities through use of the transit medium.
The University Transportation Center Program, enacted in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, established thirty-three university transportation centers. Of the thirty-three centers, ten were designated as regional centers. The intent of the program is to offer a multidisciplinary program of course work to advance transportation technology and expertise through the mechanisms of education, research, and technology.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) is a corporation wholly owned by the federal government and created by statute in 1954 to construct, operate, and maintain that part of the St. Lawrence Seaway between Montreal and Lake Erie, within the limits of the United States. Education-related services of the SLSDC include publication of transit regulations for vessels, trade reports, traffic reports, special information newsletters, seminars, workshops, and marketing advice for entities importing to or exporting from the Great Lakes region.
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) promotes the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced, U.S. merchant marine, sufficient to carry the nation's domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency.
MARAD administers the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), which is located in Kings Point, New York. The purpose of the academy is to educate young men and women to become officers in the American merchant marine. Cadets are offered a range of professional degree and credential options including: a bachelor of science degree, a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) license as deck or engineering officers, a commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve, or another uniformed service. USMMA graduates must meet service obligations upon graduation.
MARAD provides financial assistance to six state maritime academies to train merchant marine officers pursuant to the Maritime Education and Training Act of 1980. State maritime academy cadets who participate in the Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program receive an annual stipend to offset school costs. State Maritime Academy students are obligated to meet service requirements upon successful completion of their program.
MARAD provides supplemental training for seafarers in basic marine firefighting, advanced marine firefighting, defense readiness, hostage threat prevention, piracy, and Chemical Biological and Radiological Defense (CBRD).
The Adopt-a-Ship plan is sponsored through the Propeller Club of the United States. The plan provides the opportunity for a school classroom (fifth through eight grade) to adopt a ship of the American Merchant Marine and exchange correspondence with it. MARAD also compiles and makes available through both print and electronic sources a comprehensive repository of maritime publications and statistics.
The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) is unique among the major operating divisions of the DOT because of its multimodal mandate. It was established in 1977 to administer those programs that did not fit within the mandates of the other operating divisions. The educational activities of the RSPA include advancing intermodal transportation and technology, conducting transportation research, and delivering training and technical assistance in transportation safety.
The RSPA's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, works on a broad range of transportation projects to enhance the nation's transportation capabilities and meet future requirements. The center serves as a federal bridge between industry, academia, and other government agencies. The Volpe Center receives no appropriation from Congress. It is completely funded through a fee-for-service structure.
The Transportation Safety Institute of the RSPA is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The institute provides training in aviation safety, hazardous materials, pipeline safety, transit safety and security, highway traffic safety, Coast Guard container inspection, automotive sampling, and other specialized programs.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) is the lead division of the DOT charged with developing and coordinating intermodal transportation statistics. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics compiles and makes available highly detailed national-level data on the all aspects of the U.S. transportation system including economic performance, safety records, energy use, and environmental impacts.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as a working division of the DOT on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. Formerly a component of the FHA, the new division's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. The Motor Carrier Research and Development (MCR&D) program is organized into eight focus areas designed to support the commercial carrier industry: crash causation and profiling, regulatory evaluation and reform, compliance and enforcement, hazardous material and cargo tank integrity, commercial driver training and performance management, driver alertness and fatigue, driver physical qualifications, and car-truck proximity. The FMCSA also maintains publications on commercial carrier safety regulations, rules, compliance issues, and notices.
Department of Treasury
The Department of Treasury is organized into two major components. Departmental offices are primarily responsible for the formulation of policy and overall management of the department. Operating bureaus carry out the specific operations assigned to the department. Including the Office of the Secretary, there are thirty offices and bureaus within the treasury department.
Education and training activities are provided by the Federal Law Enforcement Center. Established in 1970, FLETC instructs agents and officers from various governmental law enforcement agencies. Within the treasury department itself, the center trains agents for the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Custom Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Nondepartmental agencies whose personnel receive training include the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U. S. Park Police.
One other departmental component has a training responsibility for non–law enforcement personnel. The Office of the Assistant Secretary (Management) Chief Financial Officer is charged with the responsibility of conducting training necessary to meet the demands of the department's over-all mission.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs oversees two areas of program services that provide education and training benefits to veterans. The benefits program for which VA is best known comes under the umbrella of its Education Service. The Education Service administers the Montgomery G.I. Bill for active duty personnel. The MGIB program provides up to thirty-six months of education benefits for degree and certification programs, flight training, apprenticeship and on-the-job training, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under limited circumstances. General MGIB benefits are payable for up to ten years following release from active duty.
Tuition assistance is provided by an amendment to the Montgomery G.I. Bill–Active Duty education program. This amendment permits VA to pay a tuition assistance top-up benefit that is equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of the tuition assistance that is paid by the military for the course.
In addition to the MGIB–Active Duty program, there is a program under the Montgomery G.I. Bill for selected reserve personnel, including the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve. It also includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. MGIB–Selected Reserve benefits are similar to active duty benefits.
The Vocational Educational Assistance Program may be used by those veterans who contributed a portion of their military pay to participate in the program. Benefits are similar to those for MGIB–active duty personnel.
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans, if the veteran is permanently or totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or to the surviving dependents of veterans who died on active duty as a result of a service-related condition. Benefits are similar to MGIB–active duty personnel.
Education benefits are also provided under the Educational Assistance Test Program. This program was created by the Defense Authorization Act of 1981 to encourage enlistment and reenlistment in the armed forces.
The Work-Study Program is available to any student receiving VA education benefits who is attending school three-quarter time or more. Work-study students are employed in VA offices and facilities or at approved state employment agencies. Students are paid either the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides tutorial assistance for students receiving VA benefits who are enrolled at least half-time and have a deficiency in a subject, making tutorial necessary.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, for those veterans who have service-connected disabilities, provides a number of vocational counseling and planning services, coupled with on-the-job training and nonpaid work experience. If needed, the disabled veteran may also quality for education training leading to a certificate or to a two-year or four-year degree.
See also: FEDERAL FUNDS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION; FEDERAL SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES; GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION, THE CHANGING ROLE OF; LIFELONG LEARNING; MILITARY TRAINING DOCTRINE, PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICE; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE. 2002. "Fed World." <www.fedworld.gov>.
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. 2002. <www.osec.doc.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. 2002. <www.defenselink.mil>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. 2002. <www.ed.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. 2002. <www.energy.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. 2002. <www.hhs.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT. 2002. <www.hud.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR. 2002. <www.doi.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. 2002. <www.usdoj.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. 2002. <www.dol.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 2002. "Outline of U.S. Government." <www.usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/outusgov/ch3.htm>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 2002. <www.state.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. 2002. <www.dot.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY. 2002. <www.treasury.gov>.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. 2002. <www.va.gov>.
JASON L. WALTON
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