USDA - APHIS- Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance
Internal Policy Issuance #: 1
Special Programs

1. INTRODUCTION This issuance identifies and outlines programs and initiatives referred to as "Special Programs." Special Programs are initiatives under the Office of the Administrator, and are housed and coordinated within the Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance Staff. Special Program initiatives seek to enhance opportunities for and increase awareness of Minority Serving Institutions and provide an invaluable resource for accomplishing the Agency's diversity goals. While the agency's performance under the Special Program area is based on its participation in seven major program initiatives, it is not limited by them solely. Following are the seven major initiatives and three annual reports required for which the Agency's performance is measured by the Department:

A. 1890 Task Force Initiatives:

_ USDA/1890 National Scholars Program
_ Centers of Excellence
_ 1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program
_ USDA/1890 Excess Personal Property Program

B. Student Employment Programs
_ Summer Intern Program (SIP)
_ USDA E. (KIKA) De La Garza Internship Program (HACU)
_ Washington Internships for Native Americans Students (WINS)
C. Annual White House Requests for Agency Performance Reports:
_ Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (EEHA)
_ Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
_ Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)
_ 5 CFR 213.3202 Excepted Service, Student Educational Employment Program Student Experience Program _ 5 CFR Part 410 Training _ 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (FAIR Act), Title IX, Section 922 (7 U.S.C. 2279(a)) _ OPM Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions _ Section 1417 (b)(4) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended, (NARETPA) (7 U.S.C. 3152(b)(4)) _ Federal Property and Administrative Services Act f 1949, as amended _ Executive Order 12900 _ Executive Order 12876 _ Executive Order 13021

3. COVERAGEThis issuance briefly describes and outlines the policies and procedures that the Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance (CREC) staff employs to develop, coordinate and implement Special Program Initiatives to ensure full participation by APHIS programs and managers.

4. POLICY APHIS is committed to ensuring that the services and programs we provide to internal and external customers are free from discrimination and that they reach the diverse customer base that is reflected in the American Public. Managers and supervisors are accountable for setting the tone to eliminate barriers and provide adequate resources and support for programs aimed at ensuring diversity throughout the APHIS workforce.


A. USDA/1890 Task Force Initiatives

USDA/1890 National Scholars Program - The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program offers scholarships to U.S. citizens who are seeking a bachelor's degree in agriculture or related sciences or disciplines that undergrad agriculture (i.e., computer science, economics, agribusiness, business administration, etc.). Recipients of the scholarship award must apply to and matriculate through the degree program at one of the seventeen 1890 Land Grant Institutions (1890 Institutions). The purpose of the National Scholars Program is to strengthen the long term partnership between the Department of Agriculture (USDA), APHIS and the 1890 Institutions; increase the number of students studying agriculture, food and nutrition, and natural resource sciences; and offer career opportunities at USDA. APHIS policy is to select a minimum of two National Scholars annually. Applicants are chosen from the pool of applicants forwarded to the Department for consideration from the 17 Institutions. Final selection of recipients occurs in late April each year.

Centers of Excellence - The Centers of Excellence Program was initiated in 1992 and has been endorsed and fully supported by the Secretary, Sub cabinet and Agency Heads since its inception. The Centers of Excellence Program affords an outstanding opportunity for the 1890 Institutions to build strong reputations and become nationally renowned in any given field. The Centers are an important part of building research and teaching capacities; not only for the Institutions, but also for their partners in the agribusiness communities and USDA agencies. The Centers provide a USDA presence on campus, enhance the capability of the Institution to assist in the delivery of USDA programs, ensure support from the agribusiness community, and provide assistance to outstanding students who seek USDA careers. APHIS has provided support and commitment to this vital initiative since its inception, through the vision of five Administrators (Glosser, King, Medley, Reed) and currently Acting Administrator, Bobby Acord. Currently, APHIS is the lead Agency sponsor of four Centers: Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Risk Analysis at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) functions in a multi disciplinary environment that merges the experience of university faculty and Federal agencies in conducting research and outreach education that advances understanding of and compliance with federal statutes. The Center also prepares students and professional staff to conduct risk assessments and develop regulatory strategies in agriculture, environmental biology, and the industry. Center of Excellence in Geographic Information Systems and Wildlife Management at Lincoln University (in Missouri) continues our quest to promote excellence in education, particularly for traditionally under represented groups. Through the Center's initiatives in wildlife management, the partnership's overall objectives are: (1) to develop a nationally based recruitment and outreach effort to bring highly qualified students into the academic program of wildlife management; (2) to teach appropriate academic and research courses; (3) to help select and place students into professional careers with APHIS or appropriate graduate level schools. Center of Excellence for the Integrated Study of Animal and Plant Food Systems (CISFAPS) at Tuskegee University was designed using a systems approach and it focuses on food safety and food safety policy formulation that impacts small/medium farmers/producers and economically disadvantaged high risk populations. The Center brings a unique set of scientific strengths from two of the university's flagship programs; the School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Agriculture, Home Economics and Nursing. The Center provides a unique national resource of seasoned scientific expertise in food production, food processing and food safety as well as in computer modeling and information systems. CISFAPS focuses on: (1) defining the unique problems associated with small producers and small businesses facing challenges of consumer demands and market forces; (2) working cooperatively with USDA collaborators and State agricultural experiment station scientists in pilot demonstration programs; (3) serves as a clearinghouse for food animal production and food safety information, nationally and internationally, to provide scientific and current information which encompasses quantitative risk assessment and risk management methods; and (4) providing science based options for food safety policy affecting small businesses. Center of Excellence in Biological Control at Florida A&M University is a trilateral cooperative effort which enables USDA partners to help expand the university's land grant mission and to help meet USDA's goals to protect and improve agriculture and the environment from invasive species, including insects, diseases, and weeds through the enhanced use of pest biological control. The Center's goals are to carry out both basic and applied research/development regarding biological control of select pest insects and weeds; and serve to recruit and train undergraduate and graduate level students in biological control. The Center is also a source of immediate, expert assistance to the agency regarding implementation of field programs and the facilitation of Federal technology transfer to the states and industry.

1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program - This program is announced and managed through the USDA, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). The purpose of this grant program is to build the institutional capacities of the 17 Land Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University through cooperative initiatives with USDA and non Federal entities. The grant program addresses the need to: (1) attract more students from under represented groups into the food and agricultural sciences, (2) expand the linkages among the 1890 Institutions and with other colleges and universities, and (3) strengthen the teaching and research capacity of the 1890 Institutions to more firmly establish them as full partners in the food and agricultural science and education system. In addition, through this program, USDA strives to increase the overall pool of qualified applicants for the Department to make significant progress toward achievement of the Department's goal of increasing participation of under represented groups in Departmental programs. This program is a cooperative effort between USDA and the Institutions. While funding of the grant award is through appropriated funding through CSREES, in order to compete for this grant award Institutions must show collaboration by one or more USDA agencies on the project. Hence, coordination of APHIS collaboration on proposals submitted for consideration is through the Special Programs Manager, Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance Staff (CREC). Proposals are submitted to CREC for review and assignment of an appropriate agency program to collaborate with the project. Solicitation of proposals is published in the Federal Register annually; usually in January each year.

USDA/1890 Excess Personal Property Program - Adopted as an initiative by the USDA Task Force, this program is a joint venture with the 1890 Institutions. Prior to 1989, the Historically Black Land Grant colleges and universities had only limited involvement in acquisition of Federal property because of (1) the mode of administering the program by the Extension Service; and (2) the poor quality of the property available. Through this new initiative with the Institutions, the USDA Task Force concentrated efforts to assist these institutions in finding and utilizing excess property and increased the use of such property. The Federal Property and Administrative Service Act of 1949, as amended, permits the Secretary of Agriculture to furnish excess property to 1890 Land Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University for the furtherance of agricultural research and extension programs. APHIS makes excess personal property available to the 1890 Institutions and execute direct transfers for known requirements through the APHIS, Business Services_ Property Manager and the Office of Operations. The CREC staff monitors the transfer of such property and gives an account of this property through various reporting mechanisms to the Department. CREC is also responsible for promoting the excess personal property program among the 1890 Institutions and the USDA/1890 Liaison Officers as a resource to enhance the performance of USDA sponsored projects.


Summer Intern Program (SIP) - The Summer Intern Program (SIP) is a major part of APHIS' effort to increase the number of minorities in the agency. Through very aggressive recruitment and outreach, APHIS provides annually, paid summer internships involving substantive work assignments to college students or high school graduates who have been accepted by a college/university. The CREC staff, Special Programs Manager coordinates through the Human Resources Division, for the announcement and job listing of SIP positions nationwide and identifies and procures affordable temporary housing in the Washington Metro Area. (Assistance is provided to field offices upon request, for housing sources.) APHIS supervisors and managers generally receive a request to submit their needs for summer interns in October of the preceding year.

USDA E. (KIKA) De La Garza Internship Program (formerly HACU) - The E. (KIKA) De La Garza Internship Program (formerly known as the HACU Professional Experience Program) provides college students from institutions with significant enrollment of Hispanic students the opportunity to explore a potential Federal service career. The internship assignments are targeted to provide professional development experiences that will allow students to make more educated and informed choices and enhance the students_ skills in their area of study. Unlike the SIP program, the De La Garza Internship Program is coordinated through a cooperative agreement with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); hence, the interns participating in this program are employed by HACU and are sponsored by USDA agencies. The program cost per intern covers transportation, salary and housing stipends; and students_ work period are 10 16 weeks during Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

Washington Internships for Native American Students - The Washington Internships for Native American Students (WINS) program is a distinctive paid learning experience for Native American students. The program includes academic course work, research, cultural and social activities and an internship with a Federal agency sponsor. All components of the program have an emphasis on Native American values and traditions; and students who successfully complete the program receive six (6) academic credits which transfer back to their college or university. Similar to the De La Garza Internship Program, the WINS program is also a cooperative agreement arrangement between USDA and American University. Cost per student includes transportation, salary, tuition (6 credit hours at American University), and housing (interns are housed in dormitory housing at the University). This program is restricted to DC Metro Area offices due to the location of American University facilities and is available during Summer. It is the policy of APHIS to offer housing to all student interns employed outside their local commuting area (permanent residence). Transportation costs from university or permanent residence to work site and return is at the discretion of the employing program and contingent upon availability of funds by the APHIS program.

C. Annual White House Requests for Agency Performance Reports - APHIS recognizes and fully supports the Department's leadership role and sustained commitment to improve educational attainment for all Americans, to meet the educational needs of Hispanic , African and Native Americans, to enhance opportunities these under served communities, and to strengthen its partnerships with minority serving institutions. Annually, each Federal department must outline its performance and support to assist (1) Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), (2) Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and (3) Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). In prior years, the White House Initiatives Staff requested separate information for the three reports through the Department's Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA):

1. Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (EEHA)
2. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
3. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)
Through the diligent efforts of the various federal agencies and the cooperation of the White House Initiatives staffs, the format for all three separate reports is very similar and consequently, agencies are required to submit their annual performance accomplishments for all three initiatives (EEHA, HBCU and TCU) in a single report. It is imperative that the APHIS program information provided for this report on assistance to minority serving institutions be accurate and consistent with other requests for similar information and reports submitted through the budget process. Therefore, coordination and monitoring of the agency's performance response is the responsibility of the Special Programs Manager, CREC staff who will request information from APHIS programs and prepare the agency's response jointly with the APHIS Budget Staff and other appropriate program personnel annually (October November).

APPROVED: ____________________________________ DATE: ________________
Anna P. Grayson, Director
Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance

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