What does NSF-ATE stand for?

National Science Foundation - Adavnced Technological Education

    What the purpose of NSF-ATE Grant?

Richmond Community College (RCC) is seeking to increase student enrollment in its engineering technologies programs to train technicians for the electric utility industry. The project is designed to bridge the gap between employer demand for qualified workers and students with the skills to match employment opportunities. RCC will create dual enrollment opportunities for area high school students to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that provide entry-level job skills. The program will strengthen pathways for secondary school students by providing faculty development and instructional resources to ensure that education and training focuses on industry-defined competencies and the latest technology. Project activities include creating two career and technical pathways focused on the electric utility industry, equipping classrooms at an area high school with up-to-date equipment, providing training for RCC faculty who teach relevant career and technical classes at the high school, and enhancing marketing and recruiting efforts by targeting high school students and those individuals likely to influence their career choice including parents, teachers, and counselors. Through these activities, the project aims to strengthen the pipeline of students who pursue energy-related degrees to address the workforce needs in this high-wage, high-demand industry.

    What is the broader impacts of the NSF-ATE grant program?

While the focus of the project is the electric utility industry, the marketing and recruiting efforts will serve to increase public awareness of STEM careers in general. The project will include activities focused on increasing the number of underrepresented populations, including women and minorities, in RCC’s energy-related engineering technologies programs. By increasing awareness and opportunities for high school students to earn college credit, this project will increase the likelihood that area high school students will attend college and graduate. In addition, this project will make all data and products available in formats useful to other educational institutions facing similar challenges.