Apply for Mentor-Connect

By Madeline Patton

Connect with mentors to connect with resources, funding.

AACC is partnering with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on the Mentor-Connect project designed to provide mentors, faculty development and resources to help community colleges and their faculty benefit from NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.

If your college has not received NSF grant funding in the past seven years, has a need to develop or strengthen STEM technician education programs, could benefit from improved leadership skills among STEM faculty and would like assistance in preparing a competitive grant proposal for NSF’s ATE program—then Mentor-Connect is for you.

College teams selected for Mentor-Connect receive travel support to attend two in-person workshops: the first in New Orleans, LA (January 29 – 31, 2020) and the second in Portland, OR (July 27-30, 2020).

The deadline to apply is October 11, 2019.

Success story

Cedar Valley College in Texas is a true Mentor-Connect success story. Faculty and staff leveraged multiple ATE program assets that they learned about through Mentor-Connect to launch a logistics technology program in the community near the International Inland Port of Dallas.

The program, which offers three certificates and an associate in applied sciences degree, began in spring 2016 with 10 students. It had 40 students during 2017-2018; 60 are enrolled for this fall. Slightly more than half of the students have been military veterans.

“Absorbing best practices” from their Mentor-Connect Mentor Elaine Johnson, who is executive director of Bio-Link, helped the college’s team members write a successful proposal to NSF and make a strong start with their first ATE grant, said Ruben Johnson, executive dean of business and technology at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas. In addition to his academic background, Ruben Johnson is using his 20 years of service in logistics for the U.S. Marine Corps as principal investigator of the $199,992 ATE grant that the college received from NSF in 2015 to develop the curriculum for the logistics program and start it.

Madeline Patton

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.