25 U.S. Code § 3324 - Critical area service agreements
prev | next
(a) Terms of agreements
A critical area service agreement shall be an agreement between an Indian student who receives or who shall receive federally funded higher education assistance and an Indian tribe or tribal organization providing such assistance in which the student agrees—
(1) to undertake a course of study at an eligible institution (as that term is defined in section 1085 (a) of title 20) in an area of critical need, as determined under section 3323 of this title, and to pursue that course of study to its completion; and
(A) to perform, for each academic year for which the student receives federally funded higher education assistance under a critical area service agreement, one calendar year of service to the tribe or organization in an occupation that is in a critical area designated by the tribe pursuant to section 3323 (b)  of this title, commencing not later than 6 months after the student ceases to carry at an institution of higher education at least one-half the normal full-time academic workload as determined by the institution; or
(b) Service limitations and conditions
The tribe or tribal organization shall agree that a student performing services under a critical area service agreement—
(1) shall be provided compensation, benefits, and working conditions at the same level and to the same extent as any other employee working a similar length of time and doing the same type of work;
(2) may be treated as providing services to the tribe or organization if the student provides services for members of the tribe or organization that are approved by the tribe or organization and agreed to by the student even though such services are performed while the student is employed by a Federal, State, or local agency or instrumentality or by a nonprofit or for-profit private institution or organization; and
(c) Waiver and suspension of service agreement
An Indian tribe or tribal organization may, by formal action, waive the service agreement of an Indian student for just cause, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary. The tribe or organization shall notify the Secretary in writing of any waiver granted under this subsection.
The obligation of a student to perform services under a critical area service agreement—
(A) shall be suspended for not more than 18 months if, at the request of the student, the tribe or organization determines that there are no employment opportunities available in any critical service area; and
(B) shall be suspended if the student ceases to attend an institution of higher education as a consequence of an institutional determination of unsatisfactory performance.
If, at the end of a period of suspension under subparagraph (A), there are still no employment opportunities available in any critical service area, the student’s obligations under the agreement shall terminate. A suspension under subparagraph (B) shall be reviewed by the tribe or organization annually, but may be continued indefinitely.
(d) Pro rata reduction for partial services
The Secretary shall, by regulation, provide for the pro rata reduction of repayment obligations under subsection (a)(2) of this section in the case of any student who partially completes the service obligation of that student under subsection (a)(2)(A) of this section.
(e) Certification of service
An Indian tribe or tribal organization receiving services under a critical area service agreement—
(1) shall establish procedures for monitoring and evaluating the provisions of this subchapter, and provide a copy of such procedures to the Secretary and to each individual providing services under a critical area service agreement;
(2) shall annually certify to the Secretary the identities of the individuals performing service under such agreements; and
 See References in Text note below.
Source(Pub. L. 102–325, title XIII, § 1324,July 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 803.)
References in Text
Section 3323 (b) of this title, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(A), was in the original a reference to “section 1322 (b)”, meaning section 1322(b) ofPub. L. 102–325, which has been translated as reading section 1323(b) ofPub. L. 102–325to reflect the probable intent of Congress because section 1322 does not have a subsec. (b) andsection 1323 (b) relates to designation of critical areas by tribes.