Center awarded $4m in grants
The South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center housed in the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology at Florence-Darlington Technical College received $4 million in National Science Foundation grants over the past year.
Grants awarded include grants funded in the Advanced Technological Education and NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program Division of Undergraduate Education.
The SCATE Center, an NSF ATE Program initiative dating back to its establishment in 1996 offers resources that support a variety of programs in the engineering technology and other STEM fields. Additionally, the Center provides current and prospective students at FDTC with tuition scholarships, internships and career development assistance, and a loan-to-own high-quality laptop computer. Students are given computers with access to internet, virtual reality capabilities, and various software and equipment depending on degree curriculum.
Within the past year, the SCATE Center has been awarded three grants that have garnered more than $4 million to help support technician education across the region and country. The SCATE Center along with FDTC faculty have been heavily involved with writing three separate grants that aim to educate technicians for the high technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.
“This support will maintain the great momentum [the Center has] gathered over the last several years to improve and expand educational programs for technicians to work in high-tech STEM fields that drive the U.S. economy,” said Rick Roberts, managing director of the SCATE Center.
Most recently, the SCATE Center was awarded a $989,113 grant that will begin its funding this October. The NSF S-STEM grant, Cyber Generation Tech Stars: Supporting Student Success in Computer Technology, Industrial Technology, and Engineering Technology will help the SCATE Center and FDTC contribute to the national need for more scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians. The four-year grant will carry out this task by supporting the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students with demonstrated financial need. Specifically, the project will provide one-year scholarships to at least 120 low-income, academically talented students who are pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in computer technology, network systems management, industrial technology, and/or engineering technology at FDTC.
In June of 2018, the SCATE Center was awarded a $294,081 grant from the NSF. The NSF ATE grant, Collaborative Research - HSI ATE Hub - Diversifying the ATE Program with Hispanic Serving Institutions using Culturally Inclusive Mentoring and ATE Resources is a collaboration between FDTC’s Mentor-Connect project and Arizona State University’s Arizona Science Foundation project.
Three months later in September 2018, the SCATE Center earned its largest grant, an NSF ATE grant, Mentor-Connect: Leadership Development and Outreach for ATE-3. The grant, totaling $2,783,550 was awarded to help improve technician education and continued the successful Mentor-Connect and Mentor-Connect 2 projects at FDTC, in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges.
With the new grant funds, the Mentor-Connect project will be able to continue to increase engagement and competitive proposals from colleges and populations underrepresented in the NSF ATE program as well as support more teams than in previous years.
For more information on the SCATE Center, visit www.scate. org or contact Managing Director Rick Roberts at Rick.Roberts@ fdtc.edu, or (843)676-8559.