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MentorLinks: A springboard to more success


David Carty
, program director and process technology instructor at South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk), teaches process technology students using a new $300,000 trainer and distillation unit that the city bought for the college.

​Editor’s note: This article is part of a weeklong series on MentorLinks.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Association of Community Colleges’ MentorLinks program helps community colleges start or improve science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) programs at their institutions.

In addition to advice from a mentor who is an expert in the targeted STEM field, each MentorLinks college receives technical support; professional development support and travel stipends over a two-year period.

A new engineering program leads to new partnerships

The MentorLinks program’s strong record of success is exemplified by the two colleges featured today. Northeast Iowa Community College created a mechanical engineering technology degree with advice from its mentor and then got a $200,000 NSF Advanced Technological Education grant to implement career paths to support enrollment in the new program.

MentorLinks transforms Ark. college's tech program

South Arkansas Community College adopted the process technology (PTEC) curriculum to address issues the college had with industry and students. The strong industry relationships fostered during MentorLinks and the positive results from implementing the PTEC curriculum enhanced the college’s successful proposal for an $8.5 million Department of Labor grant.

Applications for the next round of MentorLinks colleges and mentors will be available in late February on AACC's MentorLinks webpage.