NSF's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program Resources for 2-Year Technical Programs

 As the deadline for NSF ATE proposals approaches (October 3), here are some reminders about the NSF ATE Community, its many resources for all technician educators and stakeholders and dissemination platforms. Most all resources and opportunities are FREE for partially subsidized.  FLATE encourages everyone to take advantage of these and reach out to the grantees at any time for information. Here is a message from ATE Central with a  great summary of the NSF ATE Community resources.
One of the things that really sets the NSF's ATE program apart is the amazing amount of support baked into the community through a variety of informal and formal pathways. There are so many ways to get support, whether you're writing your first proposal, looking to improve your project or center evaluation, or considering better ways to sustain the valuable deliverables created with your NSF funding. A number of ATE initiatives focus on supporting and amplifying the work of those in the ATE community, which means you can almost always find help on a wide variety of topics by perusing a website, picking up the phone, or crafting an email.
First of all, let's start with the ATE home page on the National Science Foundation site – a great place to visit as it provides an overview of the ATE program, contact information for the associated program officers (and their contact info), and examples of recent awards. And of course, the ATE solicitation provides detailed information about the program and outlines key concerns of the funding agency, budgetary guidelines, and programmatic requirements.
Now let's take a look at a variety of ATE projects, centers, and events designed to support, showcase, and/or amplify the work of ATE grantees.
·         With three key deliverables – the ATE Impacts book (order free copies here), and the ATE Impacts blog as well as the ATE Community booth - the ATE Collaborative Outreach and Engagement Project helps showcase the impacts of the ATE program. The book and blog are great sources of information about what others in the community are doing and a great way to find collaborators and mentors. The Community Booth showcases ATE materials at a number of national and regional conferences each year.
·         EvaluATE is the evaluation support center for ATE and provides webinars, resource materials, newsletters, workshops, and opportunities for ATE community members to engage around issues related to evaluation in the pursuit of excellence in technical education.
·         The Mentor-Connect project, spearheaded by South Carolina Advanced Technical Education (SC ATE), provides support for leadership development and knowledge transfer by developing and supporting potential, current, and former ATE grantees. The Mentor-Connect website provides an extensive library of materials related to ATE proposal preparation and grants management.
·         Another great mentoring program is MentorLinks, from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), which sponsors national grant competitions that pair community colleges seeking guidance in developing or strengthening technician education programs with experienced mentors in the field. Through professional development opportunities and technical assistance, MentorLinks impacts numerous fields, from biotechnology to renewable energy.
·         Another excellent resource is TeachingTechnicians that provides "state-of-the-art, faculty development in advanced & emerging technologies, teaching methods, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)." The site provides links to online and onsite events, and boasts an impressive archive of previous events with files, links, and contact information.
·         And of course, there is also ATE Central, which acts an information hub and archive for the ATE Community. Visit the portal to explore grantee resources, learn about ATE events (and push your own activities out to the community) and dive into critical topics like sustainability. The map on the ATE Central home page can help you find other projects and centers doing work in your field of study or that are close by geographically – it's a great tool to use in considering potential collaborators or mentors.
·         Finally, the Annual ATE PI Conference held each October in DC (the 2019 program isn't up yet so we've linked to the 2018 information here) is a wonderful source to learn more about any number of innovative ATE-related topics, meet up with collaborators and connect with your NSF program officer. The HI-TEC conference is another great opportunity to connect with ATE community members – held in July each year in a different city (this year the conference is in St. Louis).

Who do you turn to for help and support or conversely how are you supporting others in the ATE community? We'd love to hear your stories and share your resources through ATE Central's Connection newsletter or the ATE Impacts blog – please drop us a line!

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