Mentor-Connect Opens to STEM Faculty Involved in Technician Education

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All two-year college STEM faculty involved in technician education are now eligible for Mentor-Connect mentoring to prepare applications for Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grants from the National Science Foundation. For the past decade, Mentor-Connect’s cohort mentoring was available only to faculty at two-year colleges that had not had ATE grants in the past seven years.

“Any faculty member who has not been through grant-preparation training really could benefit from Mentor-Connect because two-year college faculty members are generally not living in a culture where grant-writing is an expectation,” said Elaine Craft, principal investigator of Mentor-Connect.

Mentor-Connect is an ATE project based at Florence-Darlington Technical College; the American Association of Community Colleges is a partner on the project. Mentor-Connect has assisted 210 two-year colleges, 383 faculty members and 221 administrators and grant professionals since 2012.

Eleven of the 14 Mentor-Connect mentee teams that submitted proposals during 2021 have been awarded grants in the ATE track for colleges new to ATE. This 80 percent funding rate is high compared to the NSF-wide funding rate of 25 percent.

Mentor-Connect selects 20 to 22 college teams to receive mentoring during the nine months that they are developing ATE grant proposals for improving some aspect of technician education. Mentor-Connect mentors are community college educators who have had successful ATE grants.

Technical educators are encouraged to attend ATE Funding Opportunities and Mentor-Connect Orientation at 2:00 PM EST on August 31, or to watch the webinar after it is posted in Mentor-Connect’s Resource Library.  To attend the free, live webinar, register at https://bit.ly/3P9PyTb

Applications for Mentor-Connect mentoring are due October 7

For questions, email Emery DeWitt at emery.dewitt@fdtc.edu or call 843-676-8541

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