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(OPE Announcements) Subject: Employment Opportunities – Vacancy Announcement for Supervisory Program Specialist (GS-0301-15)

Posted Date:March 11, 2015

Author: Lynn Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy, Planning and Innovation, Office of Postsecondary Education

Subject: Employment Opportunities – Vacancy Announcement for Supervisory Program Specialist (GS-0301-15)

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. If you are a highly-motivated, creative individual who would like to work for an agency that establishes policies on federal financial aid for education, distributes as well as monitors those funds; collects data on America’s schools and disseminates research; focuses national attention on key educational issues; and prohibits discrimination and ensures equal access to education, ED is the place for you!

Job Announcement Number: OPE-2015-0020
Position Title: Supervisory Program Specialist, GS-301-15 (DEU)
DIVISION TITLE: Office of Postsecondary Education
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0301-15
SALARY RANGE: $126,245 to $158,700 / Per Year
DUTY LOCATION: Washington DC Metro Area
OPENING DATE: 03/10/2015
CLOSING DATE: 03/23/2015

This position is located in the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE); Policy, Planning and Innovation (PPI); Policy Development, Analysis & Accreditation Service; Policy Coordination Group. The Policy Coordination Group is responsible for ensuring the effective coordination of OPE policy through the management of the regulatory, budgetary, and legislative processes within OPE. Working with the Deputy Assistant Secretaries, Service Area Directors, and Program Development Group Directors in Higher Education Programs (HEP) and International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE), the Policy Coordination Group provides authoritative advice on policy matters that impact the delivery and oversight of postsecondary education policy.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen.

  • May be required to serve a probationary period.

  • Selective Service Registration (Males born after 12/31/1959)

  • Background investigation and fingerprinting required.

  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.


The individual in this position performs and/or supervises a wide variety of program-related assignments and serves as an agency expert for the Federal student aid programs, specifically the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the Federal Family Education Loan Program, and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. The individual in this position is also responsible for providing high level technical assistance by reviewing, planning, analyzing, developing, and facilitating/managing student aid program changes. This includes identifying resource requirements, establishing and revising operating procedures, and reviewing operations using program data.

The incumbent provides technical assistance and resource management support in these areas and represents the Department before other agencies and organizations on related student aid policy matters, including presentations before small internal groups as well as at large public conferences.

Through consultation, the incumbent evaluates, recommends, and facilitates the implementation of new approaches and alternatives to address current or anticipated problems. The incumbent develops agency or national guideline materials, policies, and/or strategic plans using significantly new methods and techniques and justifies new initiatives by formulating and implementing fresh strategies.

The incumbent excels at providing independent leadership, definitive guidance, and authoritative advice to customers. The incumbent is a sensitive and skillful negotiator whose communication yields acceptable agreements to resolve complex conflicts and controversial disputes, getting results through cooperative efforts and by eliciting support of and outreach to program officials, customers and other concerned parties. Effective oral and written communication skills are critical to this effort.

The incumbent oversees the development of new and revised regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance for the Federal student aid programs. In addition, the incumbent drafts or manages complex studies of new and proposed legislation and regulations to determine program impact and provides leadership in the development of legislative proposals for the Federal student aid programs.


One year 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-14 level in the Federal government. Examples of such experience may include: administering the Title IV student aid programs; applying the student assistance general provisions regulations for purposes of institutional compliance and to ensure that Title IV funds are awarded to eligible student recipients; developing and/or analyzing complex written materials related to Title IV statute and regulations; communicating orally and in writing with individuals in leadership roles, including professionals in higher education institutions; leading and mentoring colleagues.


WARNING! High self-assessment in the vacancy questions that is not supported by information in your resume, 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: Qualified Category, Well Qualified Category, and Best Qualified Category.

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

To successfully perform the duties of this position, applicants are expected to possess the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) listed below. Your answers to the on-line experience questions will serve as responses to the KSAs.

1. Knowledge of the laws and regulations governing Federal Student Assistance programs authorized under the Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA).

2. Knowledge of policies and procedures for developing policy guidance, regulations, and legislative process.

3. Highly skilled in written and oral communication to effectively resolve complex conflicts and controversial disputes, yield acceptable agreements in negotiations, and get results thru cooperative efforts.

4. Experience in management and supervision.

NOTE: Applications must be submitted by the closing date: March 23, 2015.

Please see the job announcement at for full application information.

Last Modified: 03/10/2015