Posted Date: May 21, 2010

Author:  Robin Minor, Acting Chief Compliance Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Employment Opportunities - Vacancy Announcement for Institutional Improvement Specialist GS-1101 12/13

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly motivated, creative individual who would like to be involved in establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds; collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research; focusing national attention on key educational issues; and prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education, ED is the place for you!

POSITION TITLE: Institutional Improvement Specialist
DIVISION TITLE: Federal Student Aid, Program Compliance Office, School Eligibility Channel (SEC), School Participation Management Division, School Participation Team.
SERIES, GRADE: GS-1101 12/13
SALARY RANGE: $74,872.00 - $115,742.00
LOCATIONS: 8 Vacancies-1 Vacancy in Atlanta, GA, 1 Vacancy in Chicago Metro Area, IL, 1 Vacancy in Kansas City Metro Area, MO, 1 Vacancy in Denver [Includes Lakewood], CO, 1 Vacancy in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, 1 Vacancy in Boston Metro Area, MA, 1 Vacancy in New York City, NY, 1 Vacancy in Philadelphia Metro Area, PA, 1 Vacancy in San Francisco County, CA, 1 Vacancy in Washington DC Metro Area, DC
OPENING DATE: 05/17/2010 
CLOSING DATE: 05/28/2010 

Position Summary: This position is located in the Federal Student Aid, Program Compliance, School Eligibility Channel (SEC), School Participation Management Division. The School Eligibility Channel is responsible for the oversight services of eligible postsecondary Title IV schools and their servicers. This includes institutional and program eligibility, resolving and analyzing an institution's compliance audit and financial statements, conducting program reviews of institutional Title IV compliance, and management of an institution's method of payment. This position supports the School Participation Team (SPT) processes by providing management improvements services in a variety of ways to the financial aid community.


Responds to requests from the institutions assigned to the School Participation Team (SPT) concerning program regulations, policies, instructions, procedures, applications, forms and other necessary materials as related to Title IV policies and procedures.

Represents FSA, in accordance with other training staff, at meetings with professional organizations, institutions, associations, and the public on Title IV policies and procedures, interpretations of the Federal Student Aid mission and objective, the relationship of Program Compliance to other FSA offices as it relates to management improvement activities.

Responds to Title IV policy and procedure, and technical inquiries from schools and other partners. Prepares answers to Congressional inquiries except those that relate to a specific case management action.

Identifies and diagnoses program improvement opportunities that arise from the case management process. Develops management improvement plans, which may include institutional attendance at training or other innovative strategies. Monitors and reports to the Team the progress of institutions placed on performance improvement plans.

Provides on-site management improvement services and develops performance improvement plans to improve performance for the administration of Title IV Programs for both newly certified and established institutions, as warranted.

Assists in the development of work plans and objectives for the dissemination of Title IV policies and procedures, and Title IV program technical assistance activities.

Reviews effectiveness of Departmental policies and procedures through periodic institutional site visits, feedback from officials, correspondence, and school or student complaints.

Advises and counsels Team members, staff and managers on all aspects of Program Compliance management improvement services and dissemination activities. Serves as the principal contact person for the general and technical programmatic information needs of the team, institutions, the public and constituent groups on matters relating to Title IV and Departmental policy.

Interfaces with the Team and other SFA staff in developing presentation programs regarding Title IV policies and procedures.



Do you have work experience that provided you with a comprehensive knowledge and application of legislation, regulations, policies and procedures governing the Student Financial Assistance Title IV Programs, and the current policies and requirements relating to the administration of the Title IV programs?


WARNING! High self-assessment in the vacancy questions that is not supported by information in your resume, essay responses, and/or supporting documents may eliminate you from best-qualified status or result in a lowered score. Your responses to the vacancy questions must be substantiated by your on-line resume. Be sure that the experience/education as described on your resume contains accurate and sufficient information that clearly supports your responses to all of the questions by addressing experience and education relevant to this position. If you exaggerate or falsify your experience, education and/or your responses to questions, your ratings can/will be changed, or you may be removed from employment consideration. You should make a fair and accurate assessment of your qualifications.
Applicants who do not respond to the application questions will be rated ineligible.

Eligible candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three (3) categories as described below:
1 - Qualified Category - Applicants who have a "Q" score between 70 and 84.99 meets the specialized experience outlined in the Minimum Qualification Requirements section of this announcement.
2 - Well Qualified Category - Applicants who have a "WQ" score between 85 and 94.99 exceeds the Minimum Qualification Requirements based on review of resume and vacancy specific questions.
3 - Best Qualified Category - Applicants who have a "BQ" score between 95 and 100 outstanding level based on review of resume and vacancy specific questions.

Do not overstate or understate your level of experience and capability. You should be aware that your ratings are subject to evaluation and verification.

Applicants are expected to possess the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) listed below to qualify for this position. These KSAs are addressed in the self-assessment questionnaire that you will complete for this announcement. You do not need to respond separately to the KSAs listed below. Your answers to the on-line experience questions will serve as responses to the KSAs.

Your application will be evaluated based on your ability to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and abilities/competencies (KSAs):
1.Knowledge of FSA laws, regulations and policies for Title IV programs and school eligibility.
2. Skill in providing technical assistance to a variety of groups regarding Title IV programs.
3. Ability to design, evaluate, revise or develop management improvement/assistance plans to the financial aid community.


52 weeks of specialized experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. This experience must be equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal government. Examples of such experience include: reviewing, consolidating, and prioritizing new funding initiatives and continuations of funding; participating in the preparation of budget submissions; conducting budget analyses, formulation, and execution; identifying and reporting fiscal irregularities and inconsistencies; anticipating budget shortfalls; conducting quantitative analysis of program costs; planning and coordinating cost estimates; performing analyses of budget requests, e.g., cost-benefit analyses, program trade-offs; writing budget funding request support statements; monitoring the expenditure of budgeted funds; advising management on the status of funds; developing procedures to implement budget processes, policies, or regulations; and analyzing contractor reports of costs and schedule performance.

52 weeks of specialized experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. This experience must be equivalent to the GS-12 level in the Federal government. Examples of such experience include: conducting audit resolution studies, evaluations, reviews, and assessments; making corrections in accounting and other management system deficiencies; coordinating or overseeing studies to measure loan program effectiveness or to improve the reliability of financial management; providing financial management advice in the development or enhancement of financial systems; and analyzing regulations, legislation, and policies to identify their impact on finances and operations.

NOTE: Applications must be submitted by the closing date: May 28, 2010.

Please see the job announcement at for application information.


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