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Release Date


Department of Education Publishes Finalists in the "Higher Ed Ecosystem Challenge"

The Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology has published this "Dear Colleague" letter:

We are excited to share an update on challenge, finalists, and next steps in the Department of Education Higher Ed Ecosystem Challenge.

Over the past few months, we were encouraged and surprised by the response that we received to the challenge across our postsecondary stakeholders. More than 160 teams from across the country and around the world submitted exciting ideas for pilots that would transform education in the future. Although we thought all the proposals reflected a high degree of quality, we were only able to select 25 finalists, approximately 15 percent of the total number we received.

This document provides a "pitch" by each finalist and links to their project page. Over the next few weeks, we will be curating lists of the winners/non-winners by themes and finding opportunities to continue to engage with them on areas of common interest. While we really loved them all, a few of the finalists stood out as ones that may align with your current work.

  • Integration of technology and work-based learning:
    PQCX, Inspire!, LaGuardia Community College
  • STEM:
    SNHU STEMagination/SPACE-AI
  • Credentialing:
    FlexchainEdu, EdRec
  • Current OPE grantee:
    American Women's College
  • Lifelong learning:
    AY: Google Map 4 Future of Work, Three19
  • Blockchain in education:
    APoll01, First Blockchain U, FlexchainEdu
  • Serving non-traditional populations:
    City Vision, Higher Ed Unlocked

Please help us by spreading the news!

We have been engaging on social media using #educhallenge. Here is a link to some of our recent social media that you can share with your networks:

Just in the past 2 days, we have seen enormous interest, generated by finalists themselves, many of whom have created their own project pages and social media campaigns to promote their ideas and to solicit edu-coins (eg. EdRec).

Public voting is open until September 27 here. Rather than awarding a "like" to one project, invest your "edu2030-coin" in the project(s) you think are the most exciting or promising. Log on to register for your account to vote. Winners will be announced in October at a convening with the National Academies in Washington, DC.

Release Date


USDA Launches Webpage Highlighting Resources to Help Rural Communities Bridge the Broadband/E-Connectivity Infrastructure Gap

E-connectivity/broadband; Broadband USA; new Federal webpages; education/workforce development/telehealth; rural entrepreneurship; rural facility access (AJCs, schools, libraries, Native American communities, etc.); Apprenticeship: The Workforce Solution for the Telecommunications Industry (; Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) (

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today (August 29) unveiled a new webpage featuring information about the importance of rural e-Connectivity and the ways the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing to help deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure in rural America.

"Rural high-speed broadband e-Connectivity is as important for economic development as rail, roads, bridges and airports - and as vital as the buildouts of rural telephone networks were decades ago," Perdue said. "USDA is committed to being a strong partner with rural leaders in deploying this essential infrastructure."

Reliable and affordable high-speed internet e-Connectivity acts as a catalyst for rural prosperity by enabling efficient, modern communications between rural American households, farms, ranches, businesses, schools and health care centers. Yet, according to the Federal Communications Commission, 80 percent of the 24 million Americans who lack broadband access live in rural areas and on tribal lands.

USDA plays an important role in helping rural communities bridge this infrastructure gap through program investment, strategic partnerships and best practice implementation by investing in rural telecommunications infrastructure. This new website will provide direct access to information on our decades-long programs that offer more than $700 million per year for modern broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. In the coming months, USDA will almost double these longstanding programs with an additional $600 million to expand rural broadband infrastructure in unserved rural areas and tribal lands.

As we are working to set up the new pilot program, USDA wants to hear the thoughts and needs of Americans living and doing business in rural communities. The new website includes a feedback form for the general public and interested stakeholders to provide input on the design and requirements of the new pilot program.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force's findings to President Trump, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.

Release Date


Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) to Meet on September 20

The Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) is responsible for: assessing employment and training needs of veterans; determining the extent to which the programs and activities of the U.S. Department of Labor meet these needs; assisting to conduct outreach to employers seeking to hire veterans; making recommendations to the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary for VETS, with respect to outreach activities and employment and training needs of veterans; and carrying out such other activities necessary to make required reports and recommendations.

The next meeting of the ACVETEO will take place Thursday, September 20, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at approximately 4:00 p.m. (EST). The meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210, Conference Room N-4437 C&D.


9:00 a.m. Welcome and remarks, Matthew M. Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Employment and Training Service
9:05 a.m. Administrative Business, Gregory Green, Assistant Designated Federal Official
9:10 a.m. Transition & Training Subcommittee Discussion on Fiscal Year 2018 recommendations
10:10 a.m. Barriers to Employment Subcommittee Discussion on Fiscal Year 2018 recommendations
11:10 a.m. Break
11:20 p.m. Direct Services Subcommittee Discussion on Fiscal Year recommendations
12:20 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Committee finalize recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2018
3:00 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. Subcommittee Discussion/Assignments, ACVETEO Chairman, Eric Eversole

Full background /notice of intent to attend meeting / contacts:

Updated: September 07, 2018