November 18, 2019
Today I, along with several members of the COE staff, met with the Robert King, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education; Christopher McCaghren, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs; Linda Byrd-Johnson, Senior Director of Student Service; and other U.S. Department of Education officials. COE staff was invited to the Department to discuss ways in which the Annual Performance Reports can be used to determine which TRIO programs perform exceptionally well and what factors resulted in such success. The Department intends to establish a working group around this concept in the coming months.
When asked about the status of the Student Support Services grant application, Assistant Secretary King and his team indicated that the final request for proposals will not be published before the end of the month. Even though information has been posted about technical assistance workshops in early December, Dr. Byrd Johnson stated that there is a possibility that some of the workshops will be conducted without benefit of a final request for proposals. It is also possible that some of the webinars may have to be postponed. Given this information, COE believes that it is doubtful that the final application will be published in the Federal Register before Friday, December 6.
COE will be in touch with those who have registered for the upcoming Proposal Writing Workshop in New Orleans to discuss their best options given this set of circumstances. (While the full application may not be published, participants will still have the opportunity to have their drafts critiqued.) COE will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep Congress apprised of the status of the grant competition.