About Mentor-Connect

Mentor-Connect is a leadership development and outreach initiative for Advanced Technological Education (ATE) offering transformational professional development experiences for two-year college STEM faculty. Through mentoring and targeted technical assistance, Mentor-Connect is enabling the nation’s two-year colleges to improve and expand technician education programs by increasing their capacity to prepare and submit competitive proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) ATE Program.


Based at Florence-Darlington Technical College, SC

Mentor-Connect offers one-on-one mentoring, curated technical resources, and instruction to help two-year college faculty prepare competitive proposals to the NSF ATE program. Funded by the NSF ATE Program, Mentor-Connect is managed by the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center (SCATE) at Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC). Mentor-Connect projects are implemented in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Mentor-Connect is located at the SCATE Center in the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SiMT) facility at FDTC.

Mentor-Connect provides mentoring for two-year technical and community colleges that are new or relatively new to the ATE Program. The most extensive mentoring and technical assistance is provided to two-year colleges classified as new to ATE. New-to-ATE colleges have never received an ATE grant award, or have not received an award in the last seven years. These new-to-ATE colleges are eligible for funding in a separate ATE funding track: small grants for institutions new to ATE. This funding track is designed to make NSF ATE funding more inviting and accessible to two-year colleges that lack experience with NSF grant proposal development guidelines and submission processes.

Each year, cohorts of new-to-ATE colleges are provided with extensive assistance, enabling them to develop and submit competitive ATE grant proposals. In addition, Mentor-Connect provides customized mentoring and technical assistance to potential grantees who are either seeking a second ATE project grant, or whose first or second NSF ATE Program proposal submission was declined (not funded). These additional services are called “Moving Up” and “Second Chance” mentoring.

Mentor-Connect is accomplishing its Mission and Vision by leveraging talent within the ATE program to diversify and broaden the impact of NSF funding. For additional participant information and prior support outcomes, see Broader Impacts.

Learn More About Mentor-Connect

Mission & Vision

Learn more about Mentor–Connect’s purpose to promote ATE through fostering professional development and leadership skills in two-year college STEM educators.

Broader Impacts

View interactive maps showcasing participating colleges and projects funded by the NSF ATE, and our all-inclusive list of program participants who obtained funding.

Who's Who

Get to know the people who make our program possible, including the Mentor–Connect leadership team and internal personnel, the HSI ATE Team, mentors, and mentor fellows.

Initiatives & Projects

Find out more about related initiatives and additional funded Mentor-Connect projects developed to support, expand, and diversify the ATE program.

Partners & Collaborators

Explore Mentor–Connect’s network of partners & collaborators that share in our commitment to expand ATE opportunities nationwide and support STEM educators.

Resource Library

Visit Mentor–Connect’s comprehensive resource library and access valuable resources to assist with development towards obtaining NSF ATE funding.

Mentor-Connect News & Events

Latest News

Johnston CC Praises Mentor-Connect

Mentor-Connect Provides “Every Opportunity” to Craft Successful ATE Grant Proposals

Read more

Upcoming Events

Media Library

Check out our media library which features photo collections from a variety of Mentor-Connect events and initiatives conducted throughout the year. Share your favorite photos on Facebook and Twitter.