U. S. Department of Education Student Service Updates – February 2016

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U.S. Department of Education

Student Service Updates – February 2016

In This Edition:

Farewell to Secretary Duncan - Page 2

Updates on FY 2016 TS and EOC Competitions - Page 2

FY 2016 TRIO Training Competition - Page 2

FY 2015 SS Award Summary - Page 3

TRIO Story Map - Page 4

Training Opportunities under TRIO Training - Page 5

New Collaboration - Page 5

New College Scorecard - Page 5

New Report on Student Academic Achievements - Page 5

Program and Student Spotlight - Page 6

Technical Assistance Corner - Page 7

Student Service and Technology - Page 8

GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop - Page 8

Student Aid Bulletin Board - Page 9

Letter from the Director

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season. This edition of Student Service Updates is filled with helpful information to better assist you with implementing your program, including how we will be utilizing technology creatively in the future. We will continue to work closely with you to provide hope and opportunity to the students that you serve.

In 2015, Student Service (SS) worked very hard to ensure the successful completion of the Student Support Services Program competition, per the legislative mandate. I would also like to commend the grantee community for the timely submission of data for the 2014-15 annual performance reports.

The year also marked the retirement of Ms. Frances Bergeron, Division Director, Student Program Development Division (SPDD). Frances retired with over 35 years of service to the U.S. Department of Education (Department). Her knowledge, skills and expertise will be missed. Ms. Julie Laurel assumed the responsibility as Division Director for SPDD in late December. I would also like to acknowledge Ms. Eileen Bland, who was instrumental in leading the SS office during a significant portion of the past two years. I am very thankful for her service. The end of the year concluded with the ending of Secretary Duncan’s tenure as Secretary of Education. Additional information regarding this transition is included on page 2.
I would like to highlight the fiscal year (FY) 2015 award summary on page 3. This chart encapsulates the hard work conducted by staff during FY 2015. Please note that the Department is committed to the important work of awarding grants in a timely manner and is aware of the impact on grantees, new applicants, and most importantly, the students served by the projects funded under the Student Service Area. Staff was resolute in their commitment to addressing the challenges of making timely grant awards in FY 2015 and will work equally as hard to accomplish this task in FY 2016.
We anticipate that 2016 will be as busy as the previous year, with the upcoming Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Centers Program competitions. In addition, our physical office location will soon change to the headquarters building in southwest Washington, D.C. We will share more information about the move once it has been completed.
Best wishes for a successful 2016!
Linda Byrd-Johnson, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Student Service

Page 2 of 8 - Student Service Updates

Farewell to Secretary Arne Duncan

[Photo of Arne Duncan] [Photo of Arne Duncan in a classroom with children]
As you may be aware, the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan stepped down at the end of December 2015 from his Cabinet position. Secretary Duncan has been one of the longest serving education secretaries to date, as well as the longest serving member of President Obama’s Cabinet. President Obama chose John B. King, Jr., who previously acted as the Deputy Secretary of Education, to act as Secretary.
For more information, including the President’s remarks, please see the following link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/02/remarks-president-secretary-arne-duncan-and-dr-john-king-personnel

Updates on the FY 2016 Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Centers Program Competitions

The Talent Search (TS) Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2015. The deadline for application transmittal is February 5, 2016. The deadline for Intergovernmental Review is April 20, 2016. All applicants are required to submit an application online through Grants.gov. Please note that on January 21, 2016, a correction notice to the FY 2016 Talent Search Program Notice Inviting Application published in the Federal Register. This correction notice provides updated guidance on Maximum Awards under the FY 2016 TS Program competition. Please visit the TS Home page at the following link to access the correction notice, as well as other competition-related information: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triotalent/applicant.html

The Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) Program will also be holding a competition in FY 2016. The Notice Inviting Applications was published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2016, with an application deadline date of April 4, 2016. For updated information on the EOC Program competition, please visit the EOC Home page at the following link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/trioeoc/index.html.

FY 2016 TRIO Training Competition

The Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO Training) will conduct a competition in FY 2016. Please check the TRIO Training Home page for additional information on the competition, as it becomes available.

Page 3 of 8 - Student Service Updates
[Table] Fiscal Year 2015 Student Service Award Summary


Number and Amount of

New Awards

Number and Amount of Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Awards

Total Number and Amount of All Awards Made in FY 2015

Upward Bound


813 NCC awards


813 total awards


61,361 participants

Upward Bound Math and Science


162 NCC awards


162 total awards


10,034 participants

Veterans Upward Bound


49 NCC awards


49 total awards


6, 566 participants

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement


151 NCC awards


151 total awards


4,293 participants

Educational Opportunity Center


126 NCC awards


126 total awards


189,733 participants

Student Support Services

1,009 new awards


72 NCC awards


1,081 total awards


205,263 participants

Talent Search


499 NCC awards


449 total awards


310,199 participants

TRIO Training


8 NCC awards


8 total awards


Participants n/a


4 new awards


123 NCC awards


127 total awards


570,462 participants

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need

95 new awards


24 NCC awards


119 total awards


591 fellowships

Child Care Access Means Parents In School


85 NCC awards


85 total awards


Participants n/a

Page 4 of 8 - Student Service Updates

Visit TRIO’s New Online Interactive Story Map! [Photo of Interactive Story Map]


Student Service is excited to present this new tool for the TRIO community or anyone seeking to find and learn about the programs funded by the Federal TRIO Programs. Story maps are being used to convey data and information in a user-friendly, interactive format. The TRIO Story Map harnesses the power of geography to tell our story and to demonstrate the wide footprint of our programs. In developing this new tool, our office had three main goals:

  1. Show the vast footprint and geographic distribution of our programs.

  2. Convey information in an interesting, interactive and user-friendly format.

  3. Provide a tool to encourage networking and collaboration.

Hosted by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), the interactive story map shows the location of all TRIO program project sites as of the 2013-14 reporting year. In addition to displaying the geographic distribution of grantees both by individual program and for all programs at once, users can read about the main highlights of each program. Also, by clicking on any project site, users gain access to key institutional characteristics of grantees, including city, state, type of institution, regional location, funding amount, participants served, and the size of the institution.

Future iterations of the map will include project contact information and outcome data (i.e., GPRA) that is currently available on the TRIO Web site under the performance tab for each of the programs.
We hope you share in our excitement, use the TRIO Story Map for networking and collaborating with other grantees, and last but not least, share the TRIO story!

Page 5 of 9 - Student Service Updates

Training Opportunities under the TRIO Training Program

The 2015-16 training opportunities offered through the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs are now listed on the Department of Education’s Web site. These dates and locations can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triotrain/opportunities.html.

To register for a specific training, contact the entity responsible for the training you are interested in attending. The contact information and links for registration for COE, Renaissance Education Group, SAEOPP, Sonoma State, and UNLV may be found at the link provided.

As space in these trainings is limited, please refrain from signing up for training that you have attended in recent years to allow those who have been on waiting lists to attend. Lastly, if you sign up for training, be certain to attend. We have asked the training grantees to notify us of those registrants who are no-shows for training, as this becomes a waste of valuable training resources.

Announcing a New Collaboration in Support of Disconnected Youth

On November 23, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an exciting new collaboration in support of disconnected youth. Beginning in early 2016, we invite you to participate in a series of learning opportunities, such as webinars, trainings, and/or focus groups, which will be announced soon. These activities will be designed to enhance both ED and HHS grantees’ awareness of the resources available to meet the needs of disconnected students, as well as to foster cross-Departmental partnerships among grantees serving similar populations.
You should have already received a copy of the letter announcing the partnership via blast email. It can also be accessed via the TRIO (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html) and GEAR UP (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html) Home pages under “What’s New.”

College Scorecard

On September 12, 2015, President Obama announced the launch of a new College Scorecard, meant to help students and parents identify which schools provide the biggest bang for the buck. Designed with input from those who will use it most, the Scorecard offers reliable data on factors important to prospective students, such as how much graduates earn, and how much debt they have when they graduate. In an economy where some higher education is still the surest ticket to the middle class, the choices that Americans make when searching for and selecting a college have never been more important. That’s why the President and the Department of Education are committed to making sure there exists reliable information that helps students find the college that best fits their needs so that they can succeed.

The College Scorecard can be found at the following link: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/.

New Report on Student Academic Achievements

Persistence and Completion in Postsecondary Education of Participants in the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program Report

On behalf of the Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education’s Student Service, we are pleased to present the report, Persistence and Completion in Postsecondary Education of Participants in the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program. The report provides information on the academic achievements of students who first participated in the SSS program as college freshmen in 2007–08. Findings are contextualized using outcome information taken from a national sample of students who began college in 2003–04. The report is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triostudsupp/resources.html.

Page 6 of 9 - Student Service Updates

Program and Student Spotlight

[Photo of STEM student participants- Photo courtesy of COE] In October 2015, for the second year in a row, Chicago area TRIO programs and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) held two exciting events to celebrate 50 years of success in creating paths to upward mobility for low-income, first-generation students and their families. The first, an alumni reception hosted by Northeastern Illinois University's Center for College Access and Success, drew over 100 TRIO alums and featured Cornelius Griggs, President of GMA Construction Group, a Talent Search alumnus from Introspect Youth Services, Inc. and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Program at Chicago State University, and Dominique Jordan Turner, President and CEO of Chicago Scholars Foundation, an Upward Bound Alumna from Notre Dame University, as speakers. The reception paid tribute to legendary TRIO director, Silas Purnell of Ada S. McKinley Community Services, who assisted tens of thousands of low-income and first-generation students in accessing college. The second event, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Celebration was also hosted by Northeastern at its main campus. It engaged over 400 Chicago public and charter secondary students in hands-on activities. COE and Chicago TRIO directors are committed to making sure that both celebrations take place annually. These college access and success programs serve over 14,000 Chicago area residents annually. For a listing of all Chicago Area TRIO programs, please click here (.pdf).


Student Service (SS) is honored to share the following story of an alumna of the Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement (McNair) Program, who is also our colleague in the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Erica Cuevas, a Confidential Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, participated in the McNair Program at Sonoma State University. Please see below for more information on her academic and professional journey.

Name of the institution where I participated as a McNair Scholar: Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California

Impact of the program on my educational experience: The McNair Scholar program at Sonoma State University (SSU) exposed me to a variety of educational experiences and resources that improved my overall undergraduate education and made me a strong candidate for graduate school. For example, as a McNair Scholar I became engaged in an advanced level research project that analyzed the voting behavior of the Latino electorate in the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections. The McNair program connected me with a Political Science professor who served as my guide and mentor throughout my research project. Once my research was complete, I received essential tools and training on presenting my research findings at the SSU McNair Scholar Research Symposium and on publishing my research in the SSU McNair Scholar Research Journal. Additionally, the program’s Director served as one of my best mentors during my undergraduate education. He guided me through the graduate school application process and gave me advice on graduate programs and funding opportunities. Had it not been for the McNair Scholar program, I may not have applied or been accepted into graduate school right after completing my Bachelor’s degree. The McNair program served as one of my best resources in college, and there is no doubt that the program has had the same effect on a number of other low-income, first generation college students.

When I graduated from Sonoma State University: May 2013

When I received my Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin: May 2015

My current position here as at the Department of Education: I am currently the Confidential Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary. I work very closely with the Deputy Secretary and Chief of Staff and am responsible for, but not limited to, scheduling, coordinating logistics for the Deputy Secretary’s meetings, handling all incoming/outgoing communication, and prioritizing invitations. I also assist with briefing materials for the Deputy Secretary, as well as attend meetings with senior officials.
Page 7 of 9 - Student Service Updates

Don’t Forget!

[photo: string tied to a finger]

Previous editions of the Student Service Updates are available on our Web site, including the most recent edition, a commemorative issue highlighting the history and success of the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program. Visit the following link to check it out! http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/ssnewsletters.html

Technical Assistance Corner

Upward Bound (UB) and U.S. Citizenship

Many areas of the country have large immigrant communities, and many projects have reached out for technical assistance on how to best serve undocumented students in their target schools and target areas. The regulations are clear about participant eligibility, as it relates to citizenship. If a potential participant is not a citizen or permanent resident, then they must be able to document the steps they have taken with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in order to receive services. The best service that UB projects can provide to undocumented families is to connect them to INS or another reputable community organization that can help them navigate the INS process. Student Service understands that many projects hate to turn away any potential participants, especially those with serious needs; we recommend staying connected with those prospective participants, if you have the resources, so that you can serve those participants once they have initiated the citizenship process. If you have any specific questions, you should contact your assigned Program Specialist for technical assistance.

[Photo: of generic newspaper] On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces the previous version of the law, No Child Left Behind. To learn more, visit the following link: http://www.ed.gov/ESSA


Has your project implemented any exciting or innovative activities? Any outreach or service strategies that have seen great results? Please let us know! Send a brief description, along with any pictures, to Catherine St. Clair at Catherine.StClair@ed.gov.

America’s students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, reaching 82 percent in 2013-14!

[Photo: a graduated high school student in a cap in gown with “Thanks to your hard work, America’s high school graduation rate is at an all time high!]

What’s more, the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students receiving high school diplomas continues to narrow, and traditionally underserved populations like English language learners and students with disabilities continue to make gains, the data show. Click HERE to check out the data on the NCES Web site.

The hard work of teachers, administrators, students and their families has made these gains possible and as a result many more students will have a better chance of going to college, getting a good job, owning their own home, and supporting a family. We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color.” - Secretary Arne Duncan

Page 8 of 9 - Student Service Updates

Student Service Uses the Latest Technology

Since 2014, Student Service (SS) has enjoyed consistently positive outcomes through its successful implementation of available technologies in grantee community outreach efforts.
Increasing fiscal constraints have prompted SS, among others within the U.S. Department of Education, to better identify current technological resources that deliver cost-effective, targeted and customized monitoring while providing critical technical assistance to grantees. On February 13, 2015, Student Service leadership executed a virtual presentation, via WebEx videoconference technology, to approximately 350 TRIO project directors and staff attending the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP) conference. Recently, one staff member also utilized the WebEx software to deliver a technical assistance webinar to their grantees.
In addition, in fiscal year 2015 alone, Student Service conducted seven virtual site visits across programs ranging from the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs to Student Support Services, which more than doubled the three virtual site visits conducted in 2014. SS’s strategic use of technologies has led to an increase in grantee achievement of approved objectives, a greater number of professional development opportunities for program staff in both technology usage and monitoring activity planning and execution, an increase in the number of site visits conducted by the Office of Postsecondary Education, and generated positive feedback from both program staff and the grantee community.

Moving forward, SS will continue to encourage the use of technology to support grantees, program staff and agency objectives aimed at ongoing development and adoption of effective technology.

[Quote] “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

-Pope Francis from his Address to Congress [September 24, 2015]

GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop

GEAR UP staff is preparing for the Capacity-Building Workshop (CBW) that will take place January 31-February 3, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the CBW, GEAR UP grantees will have extended conversations with experts in the field and their peers about how to advance the cause of college access and success.
February 2016 is African American History Month. This year’s theme is: Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories. “The mere imparting of information is not education.“ -Carter G. Woodson
Page 9 of 9 - Student Service Updates

Student Aid Bulletin Board

  • StudentAid.Gov Web site (Topics related to Federal Student Aid, including applying for loans, paying loans back, and publications about student aid.) http://studentaid.ed.gov/

  • National Student Loan Database System (Allows a student to access all of their student loan history.) https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Q & A - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/public-service-loan-forgiveness-common-questions.pdf

  • Twitter Account for FAFSA (@FAFSA) https://mobile.twitter.com/fafsa?lang=en

  • Financial Aid Toolkit (Provides federal student aid information and outreach tools for counselors, college access professionals, nonprofit mentors, and others.) http://www.financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/
  • FAFSA Demonstration Site (Increase your own understanding of the FAFSA and show it to students before they apply.) At the demo site, you can complete a sample FAFSA, make corrections, or check the status of the application. However, when you choose "submit," the information is not actually submitted. The site is purely a learning tool. To access the FAFSA demo site, enter the user name eddemo and the password fafsatest, and you're all set. http://fafsademo.test.ed.gov/

Please see the following link to access Grant making at ED, a non-technical summary of ED's discretionary grant process and the laws and regulations that govern it: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/about/grantmaking/index.html.

Questions, comments, or ideas for future SS Updates? Please send an e-mail to ReShone.Moore@ed.gov

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