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The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is a subdivision of the United States Department of Education. OVAE falls under the supervision of the Undersecretary, who oversees policies, programs and activities related to vocational and adult education, postsecondary education, college aid and the President's financial reforms for the Pell Grant program.

OVAE's director has the rank of Assistant Secretary and serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary of Education on matters related to high school, career technical and adult education and lifelong learning as well as community colleges, workforce and economic development. He also represents the Department at national and international meetings related to vocational and adult education. The Office administers, coordinates, and recommends policy for improving quality and excellence of programs related to the Office's focus areas.

OVAE's programs fall into four general areas:

  • Adult education and literacy, represented within OVAE by the Department of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL)
  • Rural education, represented by the Center for Rural Education
  • Career and technical education
  • Community colleges

In its early years the Office was also involved in correctional education and civics.

OVAE is responsible for a variety of annual reports to Congress, the President, and the public, and currently publishes the OVAE Fact Sheet series which highlights the Office's activities in support of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. OVAE also undertakes statistical research in areas relating to its focus areas; for example, the 2002 National Assessment of Vocational Education and the Adult Education Facts at a Glance.


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