The launching of Sputnik I in 1957 led to the federal government’s most significant participation in modern foreign language and area studies research and training in history— The National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958. The federal Office of Education began administering the National Resource Centers (NRC) Program under Title VI of the NDEA, and the U.S. Department of Education continues to administer it under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The centers supported under the NRC Program conduct a broad range of activities, that include instruction, outreach, scholarly research, maintenance of library resources, and teacher training. Collectively, these activities represent a programmatic effort that focuses on particular regions of the world and the relevant issues connected to those regions; and, they constitute a national capacity in modern foreign languages and area and international studies.

Program Description at the Department of Education