Advancing technician education through mentoring

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

MentorLinks offers colleges a helping hand.

For community colleges looking to start or improve technician education programs there’s good news: You don’t have to do it alone.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recently announced a national grant competition for the MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education program, developed with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through MentorLinks, colleges get connected with a community college mentor who has successfully planned and implemented a major change in a high-technology program. MentorLinks colleges also receive a $20,000 grant.

The program promotes networking and opportunities for technical assistance and professional development. And there’s a track record for success. Previous participant Southeastern Community College (North Carolina), for instance, launched a mechatronics engineering technology degree program in less than 12 months. Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri discovered emerging technical fields growing in their communities. And Seminole State College in Oklahoma submitted a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation.

Read more MentorLinks success stories here.

Interested colleges must apply by June 7, 2019. The grant period runs October 1, 2019–November 30, 2021.

AACC also is accepting applications for people interested in becoming MentorLinks Mentors. Applicants should be two-year college professionals who are interested in working with a college whose faculty and administration want to develop or strengthen a certificate or degree program for technicians in a science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics field. Mentors will receive an honorarium and travel support to attend a mentor training and orientation meeting, three national project meetings, and to conduct college site visits. Mentor applications are due by June 7.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.