America's two-year colleges (2YCs) educate a large and rapidly growing number of undergraduate students, including many students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The student population at 2YCs has high racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity, making 2YCs critical entry points to STEM careers for students who have been historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines. Although National Science Foundation (NSF) programs that increase representation in STEM are open to 2YCs, 2YC faculty often lack the experience, resources, and institutional support to effectively compete for these program grants. The Advanced Technological Education for 2 Year Colleges (ATE-2YC) project will support meritorious proposal writing among 2YC faculty teams.
The project will convene annual proposal writing workshops and follow-on mentoring for 2YC STEM faculty members. The project design addresses barriers faced by 2YCs seeking participation in the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. This project builds on previous projects that facilitated 2YCs in preparing meritorious proposals for NSF grant competitions. The workshops and mentoring by experienced ATE principal investigators and faculty who have served as Program Officers in the Division of Undergraduate Education will strengthen faculty and institutional capacity to pursue NSF support. The expected outcomes include an increase in the number of competitive ATE proposals submitted by 2YC institutions and a stronger STEM grant writing culture for 2YCs. Overall, this project will contribute to the national agenda of strengthening the STEM workforce by empowering more STEM faculty and two-year institutions to compete for meritorious NSF awards that can support education innovations.
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