30 | COMMUNITY COLLEGE JOURNAL AACC.NCHE.EDU
Ten teams of community college students and faculty advisors descended
on the Washington, D.C., area in June for the Community College
Innovation Challenge (CCIC) boot camp. They had been selected to participate in the program after submitting innovations that ranged from
thermal electric solar water heaters for the homeless and an app to help
military service members cope with stress, to using waste water to generate electricity and an affordable knee brace.
During the boot camp, students got an opportunity to network with
each other and learned how to pitch their products, which they did to
an audience of White House officials, the National Science Board and
members of Congress at a reception at the Eisenhower Executive Office
Building, which houses most of the White House staff. On the last day
of the boot camp, the teams made their final pitches to a panel of judges
that included scientists, entrepreneurs and investors.
In the end, the team from Western Dakota Technical College out of
South Dakota won over the judges with their presentation on aqua-ponics, which could help reduce hunger. Oakton Community College
(Illinois) was runner up with its invention to recover heat and suppress
noise from trucks’ exhausts.
CCIC is an annual program sponsored by the National Science
Foundation in partnership with the American Association of
Does your STEM faculty have an idea for improving technician education that needs funding?
If you answered in the affirmative—and your
college has never had a grant from the National
Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological
Education (ATE) program or has not had a grant
in seven years—Mentor-Connect can move that
promising concept toward reality. Mentor-Connect provides mentoring, in-person and virtual
technical support and digital resources to help
community college teams prepare competitive
ATE grant proposals.
Of Mentor-Connect cohort college participants, 87 (71 percent) have submitted NSF ATE
proposals. Through Cohort 4, 70 percent received
Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE for
innovative programs that develop well-qualified
technicians for high-tech fields. Administrators
report increased faculty enthusiasm, scholarship
and leadership traits among those who participate
Applications for the 2019 cohort are due
October 12, 2018. Learn more at
www.mentor-connect.org and view the orientation webinar
on September 13.
Slowing enrollment declines
Last year, Virginia’s community colleges served almost 57,000 fewer
students than they did six years ago—a 22-percent decline. Now, the
system is preparing to make some changes to reverse the trend. A task
force came up with recommendations, which were approved by the
board of Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS).
VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois has prioritized three recommendations: the creation and deployment of a strategic research-driven
statewide marketing campaign; pursuing policy changes to remove
financial barriers to promote affordability and increase access
for all Virginians to postsecondary education; and strengthening
advising and student support to help VCCS students achieve their
academic and career goals.
on a global
There are nearly 100,000 international
students attending U.S. community
colleges, and they are making a big con-
tribution to the United States. During the
2016–2017 academic year, international
students contributed $2.4 billion to the U. S.
economy and supported more than 14,000
jobs, according to NAFSA: Association of
Five states exceeded $100 million in
contributions from international students
at community colleges, with California
nearing the $1 billion mark. And the data
show that for every six international students enrolled at U.S. community colleges,
one U.S. job is created and supported by
spending occurring in the higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications and health
insurance sectors. Read NAFSA’s analysis
Image Credit: National Science Foundation / Bill Petros