Centers Collaborative for Technical Assistance

The Department of Labor recently asked the National Science Foundation to provide technical assistance (TA) services to DOL “TAACCCT” grantees.* The DOL recognizes the proven know-how of the NSF’s Advanced Technological Educations (ATE) centers like the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) and other lead centers listed below. The ATE program has been around for over 21 years. That’s a lot of brainpower. Why ask all of those DOL grantees to reinvent the wheel if NSF ATE Centers could share what they knew?

While the plan is for DOL grantees to learn NSF best practices, the good news is that anyone and everyone can take advantage of this program, which is called CCTA (the Centers Collaborative for Technical Assistance).

Five NSF ATE Centers have committed to collaborate through CCTA to respond to a request from DOL. CCTA will involve other NSF and ATE Centers as needed to respond to TA requests. The five centers in the CCTA include:

*(If you haven’t heard the term “TAACCCT,” the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program was established with the signature of Barack Obama in early 2010. It set aside $2 billion, which would be awarded as grants in four annual rounds starting in 2011. The goal was to help community colleges and other institutions expand and improve education programs that could be completed in two years or less and get people employed in high-wage, high-skill occupations.)

CCTA Best Practices

CCTA will be creating a series of white papers to share best practices as additional resources to help other grantees. You can find them posted here below as they are created.

Orchestrating Effective Webinars

Why Build a BILT and How to Build It

CCTA Sustainability

Effective Outreach and Recruitment of Special Populations

Bridge Learning Communities

Internships & Apprenticeships

Community of Practice

NSF Grants (short version | extended version)

CCTA Webinars

The CCTA hosts monthly webinars on a variety of topics. Past presentations have discussed strategies for conducting successful webinars, engaging business leaders in your program, and planning for program sustainability, all of which are archived and ready for viewing here.

Future webinar topics will include looks at communities of practice, leveraging grants, social media, strategies for job places and much more. To register for future CCTA webinars, click here.

These webinars are delivered by the best and brightest in the NSF ATE community, each presenter selected to make sure he/she is an expert on the topic at hand.

Grants and Innovation, A Great Match (Updated)

February 15 (3 p.m. EDT)

Competitive grants for the NSF ATE program must be built on at least one innovative idea and goals must be well-defined and clearly explained. However, framing an innovative idea and clearly explaining goals can be difficult. Further, proposal development requires a great deal of planning and a detailed timeline. This session will focus on planning for grant proposal development and will explore how to determine whether or not an idea is innovative, what is meant by developing and explaining goals clearly and what must be considered in planning development work and the timeline for such work.

Grant Proposal Resources, Roadmaps and Timelines (Updated)

March 8 (3 p.m. EDT)

An insider’s look at unique characteristics of National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funding, particularly the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program. Guidelines and timelines will be shared along with tips to keep in mind if you have previously been funded by NSF ATE for a smaller grant and aspire to submit a proposal for a larger scope of work. Resources specific to preparing a competitive NSF ATE grant proposal will be highlighted.

Developing Stakeholder Partnerships Internally and Externally for Successful Grants (Updated)

March 29 (3 p.m. EDT)

In addition to developing a good idea with supporting goals and activities, it is imperative that key stakeholders both internal and external be committed to the work of the proposed grant. This session will focus on the various types of stakeholders including, but not limited to, the main institution’s and any partner institution’s administration, staff, and faculty; a strong evaluator with a detailed evaluation plan; and engaged business, industry, and community members.

Final Tips for a Competitive Proposal (Updated)

April 19 (3 p.m. EDT)

Best practices for finalizing and refining your proposal to get it ready for submission. This session will provide specific examples of common mistakes and pitfalls and ways to avoid them. A proposal checklist will be highlighted by several experienced Principal Investigators.

Sign up for email updates to get the latest information on all upcoming CCTA webinars.

Additional Opportunities

The CCTA will host an afternoon session on Monday, March 19 at the League of Innovations Conference in National Harbor, MD.

The CCTA also hosts an annual in-person, one-day, free convening. These convenings are held in conjunction with the summer HI TEC education conference. In 2018, the conference will be held in Miami from July 25-28 with the convening on July 29 from 8:30am – 12:30pm. This past summer, at the CCTA convening, the schedule offered a variety of concurrent topics and formats. There was something for everyone.

These CCTA resources and meetings and webinars are all free and paid for by the NSF CCTA grant. Why not take advantage of this collective wisdom to strengthen your program?

For more information, contact:

Christina Titus, Program Director • 972.377.1786

Ann Beheler, Principal Investigator • 972.377.1649