NSF aims to make grant process easier for two-year colleges

To broaden its impact among two-year colleges, the National Science Foundation (NSF) asked community college educators to explain the challenges they face when applying for grants and suggest emerging issues the NSF should consider funding.

“Frankly, I don’t think we’ve heard enough from you in the past and we want to have more dialogue,” Barbara Olds told about 300 community college educators attending a meeting the NSF convened this month in partnership with theAmerican Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“We welcome your input” about the grants application process, said Olds, acting deputy assistant director and senior advisor for the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

“We know just how important the community college experience is for what happens in all areas, and particularly science, technology, engineering, and math,” said NSF Deputy Director Cora Marrett. She also asked community college educators to share their insights on the revision of two merit review criteria by sending comments to her online by July 14.

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Community Colleges: Playing an Important Role in the Education of Science, Engineering, and Health Graduates

Over academic years (AY) 2001 to 2007,[2] the percentage of science, engineering, and health (SEH) graduates who had ever attended community college at some point in their studies remained fairly steady, at around 50% for bachelor’s degree recipients and just under 45% for master’s degree recipients. In addition, the percentage of SEH graduates who earned an associate’s degree also remained steady during this time, at 28% for both bachelor’s and master’s degree recipients.[3]Community college attendance was driven largely by a desire to earn credits toward a bachelor’s degree, followed by financial reasons and then by a desire to gain further skills or knowledge in an academic or occupational field. The trends and other findings presented in this InfoBrief are from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2008 National Survey of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG) (AY 2006 and 2007) and the earlier 2006 NSRCG (AY 2003, 2004, and 2005) and 2003 NSRCG (AY 2001 and 2002).

Click here to read more or download the report.

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