[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 97 (Friday, May 18, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23263-23269]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-10671]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship for 
High School Career and Technical Education Students

AGENCY: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the 
Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship for High School Career and Technical 
Education Students demonstration program, Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number 84.051E.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: May 18, 2018.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 18, 2018.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: For information about a pre-
application webinar, visit the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network 
(PCRN) at http://cte.ed.gov/.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 17, 2018.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 17, 2018.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003), and available at 
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Berg, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Room 
11136, Washington, DC 20202-7241. Telephone: (202) 245-6792. Email: 
PathwaysToApprenticeship@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Pathways to STEM 
Apprenticeship for High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) 
Students (Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship grants) demonstration program 
is to support State efforts to expand and improve the transition of 
high school CTE Students \1\ to postsecondary education and employment 
through Apprenticeships in science, technology, engineering, and 
mathematics (STEM) fields, including Computer Science, that begin 
during high school.
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    \1\ Throughout this notice, all defined terms are denoted with 
capitals.
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    Background: Through this initiative, funded under section 114(c) of 
the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act), 
we will award competitive grants to States to support technical 
assistance, program development, and other capacity-building activities 
that will strengthen the connections between high school CTE programs 
and Competency-Based Apprenticeship opportunities in STEM fields and 
increase the number of high school CTE Students who enter such 
Apprenticeships during high school.
    Combining paid on-the-job learning with related CTE instruction in 
the classroom, an Apprenticeship offers individuals the opportunity to 
earn money as they learn and prepare for jobs that pay wages that can 
support a family. The average income for a worker who has completed an 
Apprenticeship program is $60,000 a year, according to December 2017 
Labor Department data.\2\ A 2012 study funded by the Department of 
Labor used a quasi-experimental research design to compare the earnings 
of Apprenticeship participants in 10 States with the earnings of 
nonparticipants, adjusting for differences in pre-enrollment earnings 
and demographic characteristics.\3\ Researchers found that, in the 
sixth year after enrollment, individuals who completed an 
Apprenticeship earned $14,404 more than their counterparts who did not 
participate in an Apprenticeship. Even individuals who participated in 
an Apprenticeship but did not complete it earned more than individuals 
who did not enroll in an Apprenticeship.\4\ Because employers or 
Apprenticeship program sponsors often pay the costs of the classroom 
instruction, as well as pay participants' wages, apprentices incur 
little or no debt, making an Apprenticeship an attractive career 
preparation alternative at a time when many college students are 
graduating deeply in debt. For these reasons, President Trump has 
challenged the Nation to expand significantly the number of 
Apprenticeship opportunities, including those available to America's 
high school students.\5\
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    \2\ Apprenticeship Toolkit, U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 
from: www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/pdf/RA-WS-Partnerships.pdf.
    \3\ Reed, D. et al. An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit 
Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States. Washington, DC: 
Mathematica Policy Research. (2012). Retrieved from: 
www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/an-effectiveness-assessment-and-costbenefit-analysis-of-registered-apprenticeship-in-10-states.
    \4\ Ibid.
    \5\ Trump, Donald, J., Executive Order 13801, 82 FR 28229. (June 
15, 2017).
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    Over the last two decades, the United States has made great 
progress in creating dual enrollment opportunities that enable students 
to earn college credit while they are still enrolled in

[[Page 23264]]

high school. However, we have not been as successful in making 
Apprenticeships--another important postsecondary option--accessible to 
students during high school. While youth in Austria, Germany, 
Switzerland, and other nations are able to begin an Apprenticeship 
while still in high school, the Apprenticeship system in the United 
States does not have strong connections to high schools, including to 
high school CTE programs, and serves very few individuals under the age 
of 25.\6\ The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that the average 
age of Registered Apprenticeship participants nationally is 
approximately 28 years.\7\ In the Department of Labor's 10-State study, 
the average age for apprentices was even higher, 30.3 years for males 
and 34.9 years for females.\8\ This suggests that few young people are 
pursuing Apprenticeship opportunities in high school or immediately 
following high school graduation. Through the Pathways to STEM 
Apprenticeship grants, we seek to change this pattern in participating 
States.
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    \6\ Lerman, Robert I. Expanding Apprenticeship Opportunities in 
the United States. The Hamilton Project. (June 2014). Retrieved 
from: www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/legacy/files/downloads_and_links/policies_address_poverty_in_america_full_book.pdf#page=81.
    \7\ ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit, U.S. Department of Labor. (2017). 
Retrieved from: Apprenticeshipusa.workforcegps.org/-/media/WorkforceGPS/21stcenturyapprenticeship/Files/Apprenticeship-ROI-Research-and-Statistics.ashx?la=en.
    \8\ Reed, D. et al. An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit 
Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States. Washington, DC: 
Mathematica Policy Research. (2012). Retrieved from: https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/an-effectiveness-assessment-and-costbenefit-analysis-of-registered-Apprenticeship-in-10-states.
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    Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship grants will fund State-level 
efforts that support local or regional approaches to establishing 
Apprenticeship programs for high school CTE Students or that support 
efforts to implement or expand coordinated Apprenticeship programming 
for high school CTE Students. Such efforts may include, for example, 
multi-State consortia that may be most advantageous in areas where 
States share an interest in developing Apprenticeships in the same 
industry sectors and where employers have a presence in those States. 
We anticipate that States also may identify and address legal or policy 
barriers to increasing the number of high school CTE Students who 
enroll in Apprenticeship programs, such as minimum age requirements and 
safety or liability regulations that limit participation of high school 
students.
    We require that projects be carried out in partnership with at 
least one employer and at least one postsecondary partner, such as a 
State Agency for Higher Education or one or more Postsecondary 
Educational Institutions. Because employers identify the skills that 
apprentices must learn, sponsor apprentices, pay wages, and provide on-
the-job training, collaboration with employers is critical in 
developing and sustaining Apprenticeship pathways. Involving 
postsecondary partners, such as aa State Agency for Higher Education or 
one or more Postsecondary Educational Institutions is essential because 
most of the related CTE instruction provided in an Apprenticeship is 
developed and delivered by such entities.\9\ They also may be helpful 
in making Apprenticeship programs more attractive to high school 
students by embedding dual credit opportunities in an Apprenticeship 
program so that high school students who decide against continuing in 
an Apprenticeship after graduation will have other postsecondary 
options. Moreover, in some States, the community and technical college 
system has taken a lead role in developing and expanding Apprenticeship 
opportunities as well as in providing postsecondary credit for 
knowledge acquired during an Apprenticeship that counts towards a 
degree or other credential.\10\
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    \9\ Lerman, et. al., ``The Benefits and Challenges of Registered 
Apprenticeship: The Sponsors' Perspective.'' The Urban Institute. 
(2009). Retrieved from: www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/30416/411907-The-Benefits-and-Challenges-of-Registered-Apprenticeship-The-Sponsors-Perspective.PDF.
    \10\ Hanks, Angela and Gurwitz, Ethan, ``How States Are 
Expanding Apprenticeship.'' Center for American Progress. (February 
2016). Retrieved from: www.luminafoundation.org/files/resources/how-states-are-expanding-Apprenticeship.pdf.
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    High schools can also be an important partner in expanding 
Apprenticeship opportunities through curriculum alignment, program 
articulation, and other activities designed to ensure that CTE Students 
are well positioned to enter and succeed within Apprenticeships. Well-
aligned programs at the high school level may allow CTE Students to 
complete Apprenticeships at a faster pace or at a younger age than 
their adult peers. When an Apprenticeship is aligned to fit within, or 
be a natural extension of, a CTE program starting in high school, 
students may be better positioned to enter an Apprenticeship and 
persist once enrolled.
    In addition, States may also wish to partner with State workforce 
development agencies, local workforce development boards, nonprofit and 
community organizations, chambers of commerce, and other industry 
organizations. State and local workforce development agencies may have 
existing relationships with employers and programming related to 
apprenticeships. Other organizations, including nonprofit and community 
organizations, may also have relationships with employers and may be 
able to assist in offering other supports, such as assisting CTE 
Students participating in Apprenticeships in purchasing work clothing 
or paying for transportation costs.
    We further require that the Apprenticeship programs developed by 
grantees be Competency-Based Apprenticeships, rather than time-based, 
so that participants progress through the program by demonstrating 
mastery of the essential knowledge and skills taught in an 
Apprenticeship, rather than by completing a minimum number of hours. 
Competency-Based Apprenticeships have several advantages over time-
based programs. They support accelerated program completion for some 
individuals, while also accommodating those individuals, which may 
include some persons with disabilities, who may need more time to 
master a skill than a time-based program may allow. Students who have 
developed knowledge and skills through prior educational or work 
experience, such as the completion of a related high school or 
postsecondary CTE course, could enter a competency-based program with 
advanced standing. Organizing an Apprenticeship program around job 
functions and competencies also benefits an employer because it enables 
apprentices to become fully proficient in at least one relevant job 
function, making them more productive employees more swiftly than would 
occur in a time-based program.\11\
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    \11\ Jones, D.A. and Lerman, R. Starting a Registered 
Apprenticeship Program: A Guide for Employers or Sponsors. The Urban 
Institute. (2017).
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    We also include an absolute priority that requires that projects be 
designed to improve student achievement or educational outcomes through 
the creation or expansion of partnerships to give students access to 
Apprenticeships in STEM fields, including Computer Science. Connecting 
high school CTE Students with career opportunities in industries in 
STEM sectors, such as cybersecurity, information technology, advanced 
manufacturing, and health care, is a key focus of this initiative. 
Equipping more students with recognized postsecondary credentials in

[[Page 23265]]

STEM is essential to promoting innovation and economic growth. 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2016, there were 
8.8 million STEM jobs, representing 6.3 percent of U.S. employment.\12\ 
Half of all STEM jobs do not require a four-year college degree; 
however, many of these jobs require specialized training. STEM jobs 
that require less than a bachelor's degree pay higher wages than non-
STEM jobs with similar educational requirements.\13\ For example, an 
analysis of 2013 entry-level job postings by Burning Glass Technologies 
found that the average advertised entry-level salary for jobs requiring 
a sub-baccalaureate credential was $47,856 for STEM jobs and $37,424 
for non-STEM jobs.\14\ Apprenticeships that begin in high school can be 
used as a tool to help CTE Students learn the skills needed to prepare 
for these STEM jobs without incurring the full costs of traditional 
postsecondary education or training.
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    \12\ The Economics Daily, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. 
(July 6, 2017). Retrieved from: www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/8-point-8-million-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-jobs-in-may-2016.htm?view_full.
    \13\ Ibid.
    \14\ Real-Time Insight into the Market for Entry-Level STEM 
Jobs, Burning Glass Technologies (2104). Retrieved from: 
www.burning-glass.com/wp-content/uploads/Real-Time-Insight-Into-The-Market-For-Entry-Level-STEM-Jobs.pdf.
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    Applicants are encouraged to align and leverage various sources of 
funds, including State and local funds as well as other Federal funding 
streams, for activities that supplement or complement their proposed 
projects. For example, an applicant could propose to use State 
leadership funds available to it under the Perkins Act to improve or 
develop new CTE courses that will be used for the related instruction 
component of an Apprenticeship or for professional development for the 
teachers or postsecondary instructors who will provide the related CTE 
instruction. Similarly, at the local level, funds available under the 
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Youth program 
may be used for pre-apprenticeship programs for youth who are eligible 
for the WIOA Title I Youth program. Applicants should note that 
selection criterion (a)(2) evaluates the extent to which a proposed 
project will integrate with or build on similar or related efforts to 
improve relevant outcomes (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)), using 
existing funding streams from other programs or policies supported by 
community, State, and Federal resources. Additionally, selection 
criterion (c)(3) assesses the potential for continued support of the 
project after Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the 
demonstrated commitment of appropriate entities to such support.
    Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and an 
invitational priority. The absolute priority is from the Secretary's 
Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant 
Programs, published on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Secretary's 
Supplemental Priorities).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this absolute 
priority.
    The priority is:
    Promoting STEM Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer 
Science.
    Projects designed to improve student achievement or other 
educational outcomes in one or more of the following areas: Science, 
technology, engineering, math, or Computer Science. These projects must 
address the following priority area:
    Creating or expanding partnerships between schools, local 
educational agencies, State educational agencies, businesses, not-for-
profit organizations, or institutions of higher education to give 
students access to internships, apprenticeships, or other work-based 
learning experiences in STEM fields, including Computer Science.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this 
invitational priority any preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
    Rural Local Educational Agencies (Rural LEAs).
    The Secretary is particularly interested in receiving applications 
that propose a State-wide or regional approach to increasing the number 
of high school CTE students who begin to participate in Apprenticeships 
in STEM fields, including Computer Science, during high school in LEAs 
that are eligible for assistance under the Small Rural School 
Achievement program or the Rural and Low-Income School program 
authorized under Title V, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

    Note: Eligible applicants may determine whether a particular LEA 
is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the 
Department's website at www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html.

    Requirements: We are establishing the following two program 
requirements and two application requirements for the FY 2018 grant 
competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the 
list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with 
section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 
U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    The program requirements are:
    Program Requirement 1--Partnership.
    A grantee must carry out a Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship grant in 
collaboration with--
    (a) At least one employer in the State that has committed to 
implementing Apprenticeships; and
    (b) One or more postsecondary partners, such as the State Agency 
for Higher Education, or one or more Postsecondary Educational 
Institutions.
    Program Requirement 2--Implementation of a Comprehensive STEM 
Apprenticeship Pathway Strategy for High School CTE Students.
    A grantee must carry out a comprehensive Pathways to STEM 
Apprenticeship grant strategy that seeks to increase the number of CTE 
Students who participate in Competency-Based Apprenticeships while 
enrolled in high school.
    (a) Such strategies must be designed to--
    (1) Give State, regional, or local employers a leadership role in 
designing, expanding, and implementing the strategy; and
    (2) Address barriers to participation in Competency-Based 
Apprenticeships for Special Populations, which may include:--
    (A) Individuals with disabilities, including students with 
disabilities receiving services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973 (Section 504) (commonly referred to as Section 504-only 
students), students with disabilities identified as a Child with a 
Disability under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Act (IDEA), and individuals with any disability defined in 
section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
    (B) Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including 
foster children;
    (C) Individuals preparing for occupations or fields of work, 
including careers in computer science, technology, and other current 
and emerging high skill occupations, for which individuals from one 
gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in 
each such occupation or field of work;

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    (D) Single parents, including single pregnant women;
    (E) Displaced homemakers; and
    (F) Individuals with limited English proficiency.
    (b) Such strategies may include--
    (1) Providing technical assistance to entities such as LEAs, 
postsecondary educational institutions, and employers;
    (2) Coordinating State-level or multi-State-level efforts to expand 
Competency-Based Apprenticeship opportunities for high school CTE 
Students, such as through coordination with other entities, such as a 
State Apprenticeship agency, or with industry and labor organizations 
and businesses to develop Competency-Based Apprenticeship programming 
in new sectors or industries;
    (3) Developing or supporting the development of curricula that can 
be used for the related CTE instruction component of Competency-Based 
Apprenticeship programs;
    (4) Providing support for professional development for teachers, 
postsecondary instructors, employers, training providers, and others to 
promote the development and implementation of new Competency-Based 
Apprenticeship opportunities;
    (5) Supporting the development and implementation of articulation 
agreements and other processes to award postsecondary credit for the 
completion of CTE courses and Competency-Based Apprenticeship programs, 
such as dual credit and transcripted credit;
    (6) Providing information about Competency-Based Apprenticeship 
opportunities to the public, including to students and their families;
    (7) Providing subgrants to LEAs and postsecondary educational 
institutions to assist in creating or expanding opportunities for CTE 
Students to participate in Competency-Based Apprenticeships beginning 
in high school; and
    (8) Other activities that are designed to increase opportunities 
for high school CTE Students to participate in Competency-Based 
Apprenticeships beginning in high school.

    Note: In addition, under 34 CFR 75.591, all grantees must 
cooperate in any evaluation of the program conducted by the 
Department.

    The application requirements are:
    Application Requirement 1--Letter of Commitment from Postsecondary 
Partner.
    An applicant must identify its postsecondary partner or partners, 
such as a State Agency for Higher Education, or a Postsecondary 
Educational Institution or Institutions, in its application and include 
a letter of commitment from each postsecondary partner.
    Application Requirement 2--Employer Partner Letter of Commitment.
    An applicant must include a letter of commitment from each employer 
partner.
    Definitions:
    The definitions of Career and Technical Education, Institution of 
Higher Education, and Postsecondary Educational Institution and Special 
Populations are from section 3 of the Perkins Act (20 U.S.C. 2301 et 
seq.). The definition of Computer Science is from the Secretary's 
Supplemental Priorities. The definition of Apprenticeship is from 
Executive Order 13801. We are establishing the definitions for 
Apprenticeship, Career and Technical Education Student, Competency-
Based Apprenticeship, and State Agency for Higher Education for the FY 
2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards 
from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in 
accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    Apprenticeship means an arrangement that includes a paid-work 
component and an educational or instructional component, wherein an 
individual obtains workplace-relevant knowledge and skills.
    Career and Technical Education means organized educational 
activities that--
    (a) Offer a sequence of courses that--
    (1) Provides individuals with coherent and rigorous content aligned 
with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge 
and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in 
current or emerging professions;
    (2) Provides technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized 
credential, a certificate, or an associate degree; and
    (3) May include prerequisite courses (other than a remedial course) 
that meet the requirements of this definition; and
    (b) Include competency-based applied learning that contributes to 
the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving 
skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, 
and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of an 
industry, including entrepreneurship, of an individual.
    Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student means a student who is 
enrolled or has been enrolled in at least one CTE course.
    Competency-Based Apprenticeship means an Apprenticeship program 
that enables apprentices to progress through and complete the program 
by demonstrating mastery of the knowledge and skills taught in the 
program, rather than complete a minimum number of work or instructional 
hours.
    Computer Science means the study of computers and algorithmic 
processes and includes the study of computing principles and theories, 
computational thinking, computer hardware, software design, coding, 
analytics, and computer applications.
    Computer Science often includes computer programming or coding as a 
tool to create software, including applications, games, websites, and 
tools to manage or manipulate data; or development and management of 
computer hardware and the other electronics related to sharing, 
securing, and using digital information.
    In addition to coding, the expanding field of Computer Science 
emphasizes computational thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving 
to equip students with the skills and abilities necessary to apply 
computation in our digital world.
    Computer Science does not include using a computer for everyday 
activities, such as browsing the internet; use of tools like word 
processing, spreadsheets, or presentation software; or using computers 
in the study and exploration of unrelated subjects.
    Institution of Higher Education (IHE) means--
    (a) An educational institution in any State that--
    (1) Admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of 
graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
    (2) Is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of 
education beyond secondary education;
    (3) Provides an educational program for which the institution 
awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a 2-year program 
that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree, or awards a 
degree that is acceptable for admission to a graduate or professional 
degree program, subject to review and approval by the Secretary;
    (4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
    (5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association or, if not so accredited, is an institution that has been 
granted pre-accreditation status by such an agency or association that 
has been recognized by the Secretary of Education for the granting of 
pre-accreditation status, and the Secretary of Education has determined 
that there is satisfactory assurance that the institution will meet

[[Page 23267]]

the accreditation standards of such an agency or association within a 
reasonable time.
    (b) The term also includes--(1) Any school that provides not less 
than a 1-year program of training to prepare students for gainful 
employment in a recognized occupation and that meets the provisions of 
paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (5) of subsection (a) of this definition; 
and
    (2) A public or nonprofit private educational institution in any 
State that, in lieu of the requirement in subsection (a)(1) of this 
definition, admits as regular students individuals--
    (A) Who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the 
State in which the institution is located; or
    (B) Who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in the institution 
and a secondary school.
    Postsecondary Educational Institution means--
    (a) An IHE that provides not less than a 2-year program of 
instruction that is acceptable for credit toward a bachelor's degree;
    (b) A tribally controlled college or university; or
    (c) A nonprofit educational institution offering certificate or 
Apprenticeship programs at the postsecondary level.
    Special Populations means--
    (a) Individuals with disabilities;
    (b) Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including 
foster children;
    (c) Individuals preparing for non-traditional fields;
    (d) Single parents, including single pregnant women;
    (e) Displaced homemakers; and
    (f) Individuals with limited English proficiency.
    State Agency for Higher Education means any State agency, board, 
commission, or other entity that coordinates or governs public 
institutions of higher education in a State.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties 
the opportunity to comment on proposed definitions and requirements. 
Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from 
rulemaking requirements, regulations governing the first grant 
competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. 
This is the first grant competition to address high school CTE 
Apprenticeships under section 114(c)(1) of the Perkins Act, and 
therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant 
awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on the 
definitions and requirements under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. The 
definitions and requirements will apply to the FY 2018 grant 
competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the 
list of unfunded applications from this competition.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 2324.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474. (d) Secretary's Supplemental Priorities.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $3,000,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$750,000 for one 36-month 
project period.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $600,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 5.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months. Applicants under this competition 
are required to provide detailed budget information for each year of 
the proposed project and for the total grant.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: The following entities are eligible to 
apply under this competition:
    (a) A State board designated or created consistent with State law 
as the sole State agency responsible for the administration of CTE in 
the State or for the supervision of the administration of CTE in the 
State.
    (b) A consortium of entities, individually eligible under (a) 
above.

    Note: Eligible applicants proposing to apply for funds as a 
consortium must comply with the regulations in 34 CFR 75.127 through 
75.129, which address group applications.

    2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    b. Supplement-not-Supplant: This program is subject to supplement-
not-supplant funding requirements. In accordance with section 311(a) of 
the Perkins Act, 20 U.S.C. 2391(a), funds under this program may not be 
used to supplant non-Federal funds used to carry out CTE activities. 
Further, the prohibition against supplanting also means that grantees 
will be required to use their negotiated restricted indirect cost rates 
under this program. (34 CFR 75.563)
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee under this 
competition may award subgrants--to directly carry out project 
activities described in its application--to the following types of 
entities: LEAs, postsecondary educational institutions, or State 
educational agencies. The grantee may also award subgrants to entities 
it has identified in an approved application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to 
submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for 
Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, 
published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003), 
and available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the Pathways to STEM 
Apprenticeship grants competition, your application may include 
business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we 
define ``business information'' and describe the process we use in 
determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, 
protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of 
Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended). Because we may make 
successful applications available to the public, you may wish to 
request confidentiality of business information. Consistent with 
Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any 
information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 
4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under 
``Other Attachments Form,'' please list the page number or numbers on 
which we can find this information. For additional information please 
see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about

[[Page 23268]]

Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    4. Funding Restrictions: Grant funds may not be used for wages or 
salaries of students in Apprenticeships. We reference additional 
regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, 
the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to 
evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the 
application narrative to no more than 35 pages and (2) use the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Calibri, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the 
budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the 
assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, 
the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended 
page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.
    6. Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review 
grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number 
of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, we strongly encourage 
each potential applicant to notify us of their intent to submit an 
application. To do so, please email the program contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT with the subject line ``Intent to 
Apply,'' and include the applicant's name and a contact person's name 
and email address. Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to 
apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice 
of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information 
provided.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all of the selection criteria 
is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in 
parentheses. In addressing the criteria, applicants are encouraged to 
make explicit connections to the priorities and requirements listed 
elsewhere in this notice. The selection criteria for this competition 
are as follows:
    (a) Quality of the project design. (45 points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the project design. In 
determining the quality of the project design for the proposed project, 
the Secretary considers--
    (1) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in system 
change or improvement. (up to 15 points)
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project will integrate with or 
build on similar or related efforts to improve relevant outcomes (as 
defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)), using existing funding streams from other 
programs or policies supported by community, State, and Federal 
resources. (up to 15 points)
    (3) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for 
maximizing the effectiveness of project services. (up to 15 points)
    (b) Quality of the management plan. (25 points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers 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 milestones for accomplishing project tasks.
    (c) Adequacy of resources. (30 points)
    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the 
proposed project. (up to 10 points)
    (2) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project. 
(up to 10 points)
    (3) The potential for continued support of the project after 
Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated 
commitment of appropriate entities to such support. (up to 10 points)
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the 
applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of 
unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system 
that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not 
fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not 
responsible.
    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about 
your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before 
we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about 
you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred 
to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR

[[Page 23269]]

part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds 
you receive exceed $10,000,000.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.117. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case, the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    5. Performance Measures: Pursuant to the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993, the Department has established the following 
performance measures that it will use to evaluate the overall 
effectiveness of the grantee's project, as well as the Pathways to STEM 
Apprenticeship grant program as a whole:
    (a) The total number and percentage of CTE Students enrolled in 
project activities during the grant period, including CTE Students in 
Apprenticeships funded under this project and other grant activities.
    (b) The total number and percentage of CTE Students enrolled in 
high school and participating in Apprenticeships funded under this 
project.
    (c) The total number and percentage of CTE Students enrolled in 
high school and participating in Apprenticeships funded under this 
project who are identified as members of a Special Population.\15\
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    \15\ With regard to individuals with disabilities, this would 
include students with disabilities receiving services under Section 
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) (commonly 
referred to as Section 504-only students), and students with 
disabilities identified as a child with a disability under section 
602(3) of the IDEA.
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    (d) The total number and percentage of CTE Students enrolled in 
high school and participating in Apprenticeships funded under this 
project who complete high school.
    (e) The total number and percentage of CTE Students enrolled in 
high school and participating in Apprenticeships funded under this 
project who earn postsecondary credits during enrollment in the 
project.

VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-
877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other 
documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text 
or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe 
Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: May 15, 2018.
Michael E. Wooten,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
[FR Doc. 2018-10671 Filed 5-17-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P