The National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program offers several types of mentoring for community college faculty and administrators to help them prepare competitive proposals to the ATE program. All of these initiatives share the goal of increasing the number and diversity of community colleges that receive ATE grants to improve the education of technicians in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
- MentorLinks — An American Association of Community College (AACC) program. It helps community colleges develop and strengthen STEM technician education programs through two years of mentoring, professional development and technical assistance to teams comprising faculty and administrators. AACC awards seed money grants to institutions, as well as travel support for annual project meetings. A Call for Mentors and a Request for Proposals for Mentee Colleges for the 2021-2023 cohort will be available in April.
- Mentor-Connect — A service based at Florence-Darlington Technical College (South Carolina) and offered in partnership with AACC. Mentor-Connect assists community college teams at institutions that: are new to the ATE program and want to move from successful small grants to larger projects; have had ATE proposals declined in the past 24 months; or are working with ATE Centers on proposal development. Its free, online resource library offers a wide array of grant-writing resources and webinars.
- Grant-Seeker Academy — An aspect of the Center for Occupational Research and Development’s Pathways to Innovation project. The academy helps community and technical colleges prepare proposals that implement strategic employer engagement and program co-leadership using the essential elements of the Business & Industry Leadership Team (BILT) model developed by the National Convergence Technology Center at Collin College (Texas). Cohort applicants for 2021 are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and will be announced by April 1.
- Mentor Up — A project of Education Connection (Connecticut). Faculty, administrators or grant writers receive mentoring to build on current or prior ATE projects during a three-day ATE grant development workshop that is followed with supplementary webinars. Applications for the 2021 Mentor-Up opportunity are due on April 1.
- Project Vision — An initiative based at Indian River State College (Florida). It helps administrators and faculty at diverse, small and rural community colleges and two-year colleges with newer presidents to develop innovative ideas and match them with the various funding opportunities offered by the National Science Foundation. The deadline to apply for support services is June 30.
- ATE Centers — As part of their funded activities, ATE centers mentor prospective ATE principal investigators within their area of expertise. Internet Scout Research Group (Wisconsin) is home to ATE Central, a free, online portal and collection of materials and services dedicated to highlighting the work of ATE projects and centers. It publishes ATE Impacts, a biennial book that summarizes ATE centers’ activities and highlights projects and a biweekly blog that amplifies the efforts of the ATE community.