Advanced Technological Education .

Welcome to the ATE Central Connection! Published the first Tuesday of each month, the ATE Central Connection is meant to disseminate information to and about ATE centers and projects, providing you with up-to-date ATE news, events, reminders, as well as highlighting new centers, projects, and resources. In addition, we will also highlight an educational topic with complementary resources found within ATE Central to help illustrate how ATE resources can be used in the classroom.

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In This Issue

Featured Resources: Diversity and Recruiting Practices

From National Convergence Technology Center (CTC):

Diversity Summit Summary

This 6-page document was developed by the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) for the 2019 National Science Foundation Annual Report. This document was created to summarize the methodology, strategies, and lessons learned related to a 17-month pilot program that delivered recruiting/retaining strategies for underserved populations to community colleges in the CTC's Convergence College Network community. Each participating college developed customized, year-long diversity “action plans” that were partially funded by the CTC. The final results and impacts of those "action plans" are also included in the report.

From Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Support Center (NACK Center):

Strategies to Build Enrollments in Your Nanotechnology and STEM Programs

This webinar, made available by Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Network, features three separate presentations that discuss strategies for building enrollment in nanotechnology and STEM programs.

The first presentation was given by Dr. Jared Ashcroft, Ph.D. from Pasadena City College and is titled Using Undergraduate Research and Community Partnerships to Increase Student Recruitment in Nanotechnology. Dr. Ashcroft provides an overview of the nanotechnology program at Pasadena City College and shares information on how the college has improved student transfer and retention rates.

The second presentation was given by Dr. Rick Vaughn, Ph.D. from Rio Salodo College and is titled Rio Salado - Where Nano Knows No Limits. Dr. Vaughn provides an overview of the nanotechnology program at Rio Salodo City College as well as their marketing strategies for potential students.

The third presentation was given by James Schifley, Assistant Superintendent for Career and Technical Education Programs at Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services (CABOCES). In this presentation, titled Learning About Nanotechnology, Schifley provides a brief overview of CABOCES and describes how the organization engages in outreach to connect disadvantaged school districts in rural New York state with nanotechnology tools.

Each presentation ends with a question and answer session with the audience. The video runs 1:01:14 minutes in length.

From National CyberWatch Center:

Transfer Pathways in Cybersecurity Education: Challenging Routes, Promising Practices, Possible Improvements

This 18-page resource was written by John Sener and identifies several varieties of transfer pathways to cybersecurity degree programs. "This paper also identifies some promising or potentially exemplary practices related to transfer pathways, both in general and related to cybersecurity education in particular, and concludes with a proposal for improving the transfer pathway system for cybersecurity education students." The resource includes a table of contents and the following sections: Context: The Challenging World of College Transfer Credit, Varieties of Transfer Pathways, Dual Admission: The Cooperative Route, Promising and Potentially Exemplary Transfer Practices, Improving Transfer Pathways for Cybersecurity Education Students, Acknowledgements, and References. This resource is available free for download.

Community Connection

I Am ATE: Diego Tibaquirá

In this feature ATE Central continues our "I Am ATE" series, which showcases an ATE PI, staff member, industry partner, or other ATE stakeholder. We are excited to help spread the word about the wonderful people who are at the core of the ATE community and the innovative work everyone is doing.

Name: Diego Tibaquirá
Title: Professor
Institution: Miami Dade College
NSF Grant Award #1800958
Title: Cybersecurity Opportunities and Methods that Promote Access and Student Success (COMPASS)

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Tibaquirá: We saw a need to increase and help balance the diversity of students entering the cybersecurity workforce. We wanted to increase the number of underrepresented minorities by helping them get into our programs and, once in the programs, stay and complete degrees. We realized that, through ATE, we could furnish the funds to help us create, invigorate, support and deliver great programs for our students and at the same time help us provide assistance to those of our students who would not otherwise be able to attend and participate. We saw a need (in our students and workforce) and we saw an opportunity (in ATE). We moved forward to help and maximize on both.

ATE Central: Tell us about the goals of your project/center.

Tibaquirá: The program aims to (1) improve the understanding and evidence base regarding learning approaches and their impact on retention and completion of underrepresented students; (2) improve industry engagement through involvement with curriculum development; (3) increase the knowledge base on the effects of competency-based summer camps that result in industry certification and continuation into a cybersecurity-related degree program; (4) increase recruitment, retention, and completion of underrepresented students in cybersecurity programs; (5) increase the number of students who complete a College Credit Certificate and/or an AS in cybersecurity who are employed in industry; and (6) create dual enrollment pathways that retain cybersecurity majors from high school to two-year colleges.

ATE Central: What makes the work of your project/center unique?

Tibaquirá: We are trying to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the field of cybersecurity and bring more diversity to the workforce.

To read the rest of the interview with Diego in full, visit the ATE Impacts blog.

ATE Success Tips: Outreach

Setting Outreach Goals for 2020

This month marks the beginning of a new decade, offering a chance to set new outreach goals. The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires grantees to demonstrate broader impacts in order to ensure the NSF's mission: “To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.” This means that an outreach and dissemination plan is a critical tool for fulfilling the requirements and goals of your ATE grant.

Not only is outreach and dissemination a requirement, it will also support your project's success and sustainability. Setting effective goals and formulating an achievable plan is the first step toward getting the important work your project or center is doing out into the world for others to see.

  • Conduct an Outreach Assessment. It’s been a busy year, and your outreach plan may be collecting some dust. The best way to know how to revitalize it is to conduct an outreach practice assessment. By exploring how well your organization’s 2019 outreach choices worked, you can decide what to keep, what to let go of, and what you might want to try in 2020.
  • Learn from the ATE Community. One of the wonderful things about belonging to a community like ATE is the wealth of knowledge and expertise offered by its many members. If you have not yet, check out the social media profiles and websites for other ATE projects and centers to see what outreach tactics they use.
  • Use Big-Picture Goals to Set Objectives. Goals help set big picture targets, such as “promote our project/center’s work on social media.” However, objectives are the key to breaking those big aims into manageable tasks. Objectives can still target your larger goals, but in systemic ways; for example, “post on social media three times weekly from our project/center accounts.” From there, set small, concrete tasks that are easy to check off your to-do list such as “learn about using content scheduling platforms,” and “choose an analytics tool to track how posts perform.”
  • Work with Your Evaluator. Outreach should be evaluated, just like everything else you’re working on in your project or center. Once you finish creating a list of goals, objectives, and tactics for your 2020 outreach efforts, work with your evaluator to figure out good ways to track your progress and impact. The key to successful outreach is being flexible. Schedule regular reminders for your outreach team to touch base with your evaluator and assess how well your efforts are working and make adjustments as needed.

For more planning resources and tips, check out the ATE Central Outreach Kit.

Did You Know?

According to a July 2019 survey by Inside Higher Ed, 76 percent of financial leaders at community colleges agree or agree strongly that their institutions “will be financially stable over the next five years.”

To learn more, download the full 2019 Survey of College and University Business Officers report from Inside Higher Ed.

Select STEM Education Resources

A few online STEM resources from outside of ATE, that you may find of interest:

Living Landscapes Climate Science Project

From Salish Kootenai College in Montana comes the Living Landscapes Climate Science Project, a place- and culture-based educational curriculum that integrates "traditional knowledge (native science) and current climate science research." This unique resource offers a comprehensive set of climate science teaching and learning materials. The most prominent components are two college-level online courses, one of which is an introductory course organized into nine units or "Essential Principles" that use both Western science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to teach climate science literacy, while the second course is more advanced and focuses on remote sensing. Other resources include a series of 10 short videos highlighting the impacts of climate change on a tribal community and a learning unit for high school students, along with labs, tools, and ample supporting materials for educators. First-time visitors should begin by viewing the three brief video tutorials for a tour of the project's numerous materials. While this robust collection of resources may be of particular interest to Native communities, non-tribal students and educators would also benefit from them. Developed in partnership with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, the Living Landscapes Project was funded through an award from NASA's MAIANSE initiative for Tribal Colleges and Universities. CS Principles Unit 4 – Big Data and Privacy

What opportunities do large data sets provide for solving problems and creating knowledge? How is cybersecurity impacting the ever-increasing number of Internet users? How does cryptography work? This unit, developed by computer science non-profit, tackles these questions. The curriculum is aligned to AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CS Principles assessment. Users can navigate through the unit's nine chapters using the circular numbers at the top of the page, or by selecting the links in the blue rectangles on the upper right. These chapters delve into topics such as Simple Encryptions and Public Key Cryptography, each with a Teaching Guide (containing activities ranging from 20-40 minutes long on average), learning Objectives, associated Links, and Support links. Some sections also contain Vocabulary definitions. All lessons and handouts can be downloaded as PDFs via the menu at the top of the site. Also accessible from the Unit 4 landing page are Other Resources related to big data and privacy, such as activity guides, worksheets, and educational videos.

The Physics Aviary

Physics teachers and students may want to explore the Physics Aviary, a free resource created by Frank McCulley, a physics teacher at Delsea Regional High School in New Jersey. Launched in 2013, the Physics Aviary offers a wide array of cross-platform teaching and learning aids, including labs, simulation tools, games, and homework problems. To help fellow teachers more easily identify which aids may be most relevant to them, McCulley has also created resource outlines that follow the curricula he uses for his AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, and Honors Physics courses and that link to the Physics Aviary programs that align with the different topics for each course. The site's Search form allows for both simple keyword searches as well as more narrow searches by fields like unit and program type. Repeat visitors may want to begin by checking out the New page to see what has been most recently added or revised. Given the sheer quantity of resources available here, the Physics Aviary is well worth bookmarking and visiting multiple times.

Do you have some great STEM resources you'd like to share with ATE Central? Email us with your ideas at

ATE Events

Upcoming Events
Eng BEST Center 2020 Annual Institute Oakland, CA
Gen Regional Workshop: Everyone Communicates, but Few Connect: Effectively Engaging Today’s Learner Wesson, MS
Gen AACC John E. Roueche Future Leaders Institute Fernandina Beach, FL
Gen AACC Workforce Development Institute 2020 Fernandina Beach, FL
Gen Writing in the Disciplines and Math Workshop at Corpus Christi RDSPD Corpus Christi, TX
Gen Teaching Critical Thinking Lakeland, FL
Gen Identifying & Removing Barriers to Access: Guide Considerations of Complex Request Online
Gen Dream 2020 National Harbor, MD
Gen Strategic Outreach: Spreading Accessibility throughout Campus Online
Gen UVU Engineering & Technology Week Orem, UT
Nano Multi-Responsive Nanogels for Biosensing, Drug Delivery, and Regenerative Medicine Online
Gen Searching for Tangible Evidence of Critical Thinking Skills Victoria, TX
Gen Innovations Conference Seattle, WA
Eng Advanced Manufacturing & Repair for Gas Turbines , Charlotte
Gen Accessibility Requirements in Internships and Externships Online
Mfg Annual National Symposium for Supply Chain Automation Atlanta, GA
Gen Expanding Accessible / Assistive Technology (AT) Options at Your Institution Online
Nano Small Modular and Micro Reactor Summit Silver Spring, MD
Eng AEROTECH Pasadena, CA
Gen Brain-Based Teaching and Learning Largo, MD
Gen American Association of Community Colleges Convention National Harbor, MD

For more events, please visit the ATE Central Events page or, if you have any upcoming events that you would like posted on ATE Central or in the ATE Central Connection, please submit them online.

To add a continuously-updated list of ATE and STEM education events to your website, use the ATE Event Widget.

News & Reminders

Call for Applications: FAS4ATE 2.0 Workshop

Formative Assessment Systems for ATE 2 (FAS4ATE2) is a workshop project focused on improving the capture of data on student learning in professional development (PD). Our team has developed a toolkit to assist with this challenging task. To pilot test the toolkit, we are seeking 10 pairs of ATE Principal Investigators and Evaluators with their PD projects focused on student learning in any level and any content. The pilot process will include two preparatory webinars and a one-day face to face workshop on the Tuesday before the ATE PI conference in 2020.

As a participant, you will receive support and training from international and US experts to improve your PD planning, implementation, and learning outcomes. Throughout the project, you will create tailored products for your PD including participant applications and contracts, assessment items, and tools for capturing intent to use and participant and student learning outcomes. Participation in the project will assist you to better demonstrate the impacts of your project on teachers and their students for NSF reporting. The tools and lessons will be transferrable; you will be able implement the same processes in other PD projects.

Workshop organizers are seeking pairs of PIs and evaluators who work on PD projects that offer training of 1 or more days to classroom teachers on content that they will then deliver to students in their home classrooms (train the trainer model). Your PD project will need to run a full cycle from application/recruitment through your training to classroom deployment from approximately Nov 2020-Dec 2021. Dates can be modified if needed.

The workshop is estimated to require 2-3 days’ work over 2020-2021, and participants will receive one night of lodging and per diem reimbursement for the in person workshop, plus morning and afternoon tea and lunch on the workshop day. Selected evaluators who do not have funds to attend the ATE PI Conference can apply for a travel scholarship to help cover flight costs.

Those interested in participating should submit an application by January 31, 2020.

Call for Applicants: Grant Writing Workshop for Two-Year College Faculty

Participants in this workshop will learn about the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program and how to most effectively apply for grant funding. Faculty must propose a specific project to improve an ATE-eligible technical program in a one-page proposal. One-page proposals will be reviewed from October to February 1st when the first acceptances will be sent. Proposals will be either accepted or sent back for corrections and the website will remain open until the workshop and a waiting list are full. Workshop activities will include presentations; planning and writing sessions with mentors who have had extensive experience with ATE and NSF; and networking with colleagues from similar institutions around the country. Two faculty from each college will receive stipend support.

Full-time STEM discipline faculty involved in technician education programs from two-year colleges. Two faculty per college are eligible and colleges may also send a grant writer as a third team member at their own expense.

The mentor assigned to each college team will continue throughout the year to support each college’s efforts to write a complete proposal. This will include creating pre- and post-workshop milestones, webinars, suggesting resources, and providing feedback both for proposal writing and in the award process.

The event runs June 14-17, 2020 at College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, CA (Los Angeles County). To register for the workshop, visit the College of the Canyons NSF grant writing workshop website.

Call for Applicants: Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education Conference

Many in the ATE Community are well-versed in the importance of accessibility when it comes to higher education, but even the most experienced among us may benefit from new perspectives. Those looking to further develop their resources and skills in this area should take note of this unique professional development opportunity provided by the DeafTEC Resource Center in partnership with the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD).

The Equity & Excellence in Higher Education Conference will give participants the chance to discuss “challenges that they face in working with students with disabilities and how they can collaborate to overcome these challenges.” Participation and sharing are encouraged, with a focus on teaching and supporting “students with disabilities, particularly deaf or hard of hearing students and student veterans with hearing loss.”

Teams from up to 20 community colleges will be selected to participate in the conference. Each team will consist of a STEM faculty member and a staff/faculty from disability services. All team member will receive a $1,650 travel stipend to attend the conference.

The conference will take place in Palm Springs, California from July 20-24, 2020. Those interested in submitting a team application should do so by the January 15, 2020 deadline.

Call for Proposals: High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC)

Are you planning to attend the 2020 HI-TEC conference, July 27-30, in beautiful Portland, Oregon? If you are involved in preparing America's skilled technical workforce, this conference is for you!

HI-TEC offers three opportunities to present: preconference workshops and special interest groups, main conference sessions, and poster sessions. Preconference workshops and special interest sessions run about three and a half hours each and will take place July 27-28. Main conference session presentations are 45 minutes in length and take place on July 29-30. Poster sessions will take place only on July 29 between 3:00-5:30 pm.

The conference organizers are now accepting proposals for HI-TEC 2020 presentations. Preconference workshop forms are due by January 15. Main conference sessions and poster sessions are due by February 5. If you are interested in presenting, fill out a proposal form by the applicable deadline.

If you have any questions about the proposal content, contact Greg Kepner or Bob Geer. If you have questions about the form, contact Sheila Wilson.

Webinar Recording: Evaluation: The Secret Sauce in Your ATE Proposal

Planning to submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program? Then this is a webinar you don't want to miss! The talk covers the essential elements of an effective evaluation plan and shows you how to integrate them into an ATE proposal. In addition, the webinar provides guidance on how to budget for an evaluation, locate a qualified evaluator, and use evaluative evidence to describe the results from prior NSF funding. Viewers receive the Evaluation Planning Checklist for ATE Proposals and other resources to help integrate evaluation into their ATE proposals. The webinar concludes with an extended 30-minute Question and Answer session.

View the webinar slides or watch the recording to learn more about planning for evaluation.

New Student Success Story Videos in the Works

As part of ATE Central's most recent funding we are looking to create a second round of our Student Success Story videos. There will be fifteen new videos in this series and we are actively looking for a diverse set of ATE students with engaging stories and successes to feature.

Do you have a student who you think might fit the bill? Fill out this short survey to tell us about them! Vox Television will be producing these new videos for the community; production will begin in late fall and continue over the next two years.

We look forward to working with you on this exciting project and featuring these and other videos from the whole community on the ATE Central portal. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions about the video series or our other tools and services.

Would you like copies of the ATE Impacts book?

Book orders and general inquiries about ATE Impacts 2018-2019: Twenty-Five Years of Advancing Technician Education can be emailed to

Archiving your deliverables with ATE Central is now easier than ever!

Upload your curriculum, professional development materials, or other deliverables created with ATE funding directly to the ATE Central resource portal via the new archive submission form.

Can CWIS software help support your project goals?

CWIS is open source software, created with NSF funding, that can help your project or center showcase resources online. It's free and very easy to use. The latest version (CWIS 4.1.1) was released on and is available for download on the Scout site. Please email if you have any questions or would like a quick tour of its features!

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