Report: Maine to Start Free Community College


Three college students sitting at a table with one of them working on a laptop

Maine has temporarily started a free college program to persuade high school students affected by the pandemic. The program goes into effect this summer and covers two years of tuition.

“If this opens the door and gets those students engaged and thinking about college, it’ll be the best thing for Maine, the best thing for our economy,” said David Daigler, president of the Maine Community College System, according to Inside Higher Ed

Maine's governor, Janet Mills, recently signed a supplemental state budget that included $20 million in one-time funding to create the program. The funds become available in July. 

Read more about the program in Governor Mills press release and Maine's website promoting free community college.

Open for Applications: CCPI-STEM Fellows 


Image of the CCPI Logo

Did you see our tweet? We are excited to broadcast this new funding opportunity! 

CCPI-STEM Fellows program invites applications for Graduate Fellowships from individuals who are pursuing or beginning to pursue graduate degrees and engage in research related to STEM education and workforce development in community colleges.

The CCPI-STEM Fellows program, funded by ATE Central at the National Science Foundation (NSF) recognizes and supports community college faculty, administrators, and other individuals aspiring to prepare a workforce educated in STEM-related skills. 

The application deadline is September 15, 2022. Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Check CCPI's website for more information on the application and criteria

Other questions can be directed to Dr. Ashok Agrawa at

Save the Date: Drone Safety Day


The  Federal Aviation Administration

This year's Drone Safety Day 2022 is on June 18th, hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This day highlights the importance of drone awareness as drones are the fastest-growing aviation area with over 860,000 drones registered and over 260,000 Remote Pilots have been certified, according to the FAA. This year's message on drone safety is Fly RIGHT: 

  • Register your drone – DroneZone
  • Interact with others
  • Gain knowledge
  • Have a safety plan
  • Trust and Train

The FAA is focusing on five topics surrounding drone awareness. Education on how to safely operate drones and how drones are being used in education. Equity in opening opportunities for all operators. Highlight the economic, societal, and safety benefits of using drone technology. Emergencies like learning how drones are used in emergency situations such as natural disasters, search and rescue, firefighting, public safety, and other uses. Finally, environment such as understanding the environmental and sustainability benefits from drone technology. 

The FAA's website has more information on the upcoming Drone Safety Day, including events, resources, and opportunities to get involved. 

ATE Office Hours: Drone Safety Day


ATE Office Hours logo

If you are working with a currently funded ATE project, please join the ATE Office Hours this June 10 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm CST for a special discussion on Drone Safety Day. Drone Safety Day is June 18th, and highlights drone awareness events across the country.

ATE will be holding this event with special guests from the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ATE and these guests will facilitate a fun and interactive session for the ATE community to learn more about Drone Safety Day and how your project can engage in the day. NCAT is hosting information for Drone Safety Day; their website has more information about the Drone Safety Day events and topics such as education, equity, economics, emergencies, and the environment. 

ATE Office Hours is a space for the ATE community to communicate and learn from each other, discover collaborators, and find solutions for challenges.  Each interactive video conference is limited to 50 ATE grantees.

Once you sign up, you'll get a confirmation email containing the video conference link. If you'd like to be invited to upcoming ATE Office Hours events, please send us an email with...

» Read More

Report Shows Education Correlates to Economic Gains


A chart from Pew Research Center, depicting the percentage of adults who moved up and down income tiers.

Did you see our tweet last week? A recent report from Pew Research Center affirms the connection between education and economic status.

According to report authors Rakesh Kochhar and Stella Sechopoulous, "the transience of economic status varies significantly across racial and ethnic groups and by level of education..." This recent report shows that groups with lower levels of education are less likely to see economic gains or progression. Lower education levels are linked to economic regression. 

There was substantial variation among racial and ethnic groups. The report shows about a fifth of Black, and Hispanic adults experienced regressions from the middle-income to the lower-income tier. Additionally, a smaller number of Black adults and Hispanic adults moved up income tiers than White adults and Asian adults. 

The report also studied the role of education in income tiers. The authors found that adults with at least a bachelor's degree were three times as likely as those who did not finish high school to move from the middle to the upper-income tier. Furthermore, college graduates were more likely than those with a high school diploma or only some college education...

» Read More

Upcoming Webinar: NSF ITEST Proposals—Ingredients of a Competitive ITEST Proposal


Image of a computer on a Zoom call, with many participants with blurred faces

STELAR, the research center for the NSF ITEST program, is hosting a special webinar with NSF Program Officers on Thursday, June 2, from 1:00-2:30 pm (Eastern). Anyone interested in crafting a competitive ITEST proposal is encouraged to attend.

This webinar will be an interactive, participatory panel of Program Officers discussing critical aspects of conceptualizing a competitive ITEST proposal. There will be time for participant Q&A. 

The ITEST program is focused on workforce development and encouraging underserved and underrepresented youth to pursue STEM careers. ITEST is specifically interested in proposals from and partnerships with community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and school districts.

Register for this webinar and read the full proposal guidelines on the NSF website.

Visit STELAR's website to learn more about the ITEST Program.

Women in Technology Club Impacts ATE Student's Career Choices


Kendra Joyner

The latest ATE Impacts blog features a profile of Kendra Joyner,  who gained a foothold in her career thanks to two ATE programs.

Kendra Joyner joined the Women in Technology club a few weeks after starting digital media courses at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) in Asheville, NC.

Talking with other women about their STEM classes, hearing presentations by female technicians, and learning career tips during biweekly Women in Technology meetings became integral to Joyner’s success. It also sparked Joyner’s interest in working for the college, which she has now done for about five years. 

Computer Technologies Instructor Pamela Silvers started Women in Technology as part of her Skilled Workers Get Jobs Advanced Technological Education (ATE) projects that developed strategies to recruit and retain women in STEM careers with support from the National Science Foundation.

Read more on the ATE Impacts Blog.

Applying Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility Best Practices in Community Colleges


Screenshot of the Access ATE Video

The rapid growth of the STEM workforce has left out individuals with disabilities, according to reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pew Research Center, and Education Week. Community colleges play a critical role in the effort to broaden access in STEM education and careers to be inclusive of students and job seekers with disabilities. 

CAST, the education nonprofit organization that pioneered the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, collaborated with the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) community to develop a series of case studies documenting strategies for implementation of UDL and accessibility best practices in community and technical colleges.

Read the full case study on AccessATE and watch the video on YouTube

EvaluateUR-CURE Accepting Applications


Logo for EvaluateUR-CURE

EvaluateUR-CURE is now accepting applications to participate in the final round of pilot testing during the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. This opportunity is available through an award from the NSF ATE program to the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo State.

EvaluateUR-CURE is a method for evaluating course-based undergraduate research experiences -- CUREs. Combining research into undergraduate courses provides research opportunities for students. 

Pilot testing of E-CURE is open to all faculty. Faculty teaching courses with research experiences (CUREs) at community colleges are especially encouraged to apply. A modest stipend is provided for participating in the pilot and providing feedback.

The application can be completed on EvaluateUR-CURE 's website

More information about the project can be found on the main E-CURE page

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