View all text of Chapter 16 [§ 1861 - § 1887]

§ 1862i. STEM education
(a) National advanced STEM education programThe Director of the National Science Foundation (hereafter in sections 1862h to 1862j of this title referred to as the “Director”) shall award grants to associate-degree-granting colleges, and consortia thereof, to assist them in providing education in advanced-technology fields and education to prepare the skilled technical workforce to meet workforce demands, and to improve the quality of their core education courses in STEM fields. The grant program shall place emphasis on the needs of students who have been in the workforce (including veterans and individuals engaged in work in the home) and on building a pathway from secondary schools to associate-degree-granting institutions, to careers that require technical training, and shall be designed to strengthen and expand the scientific and technical education and training capabilities of associate-degree-granting colleges through such methods as—
(1) the development and study of model instructional programs in advanced-technology fields and in core STEM courses;
(2) the professional development of faculty and instructors, both full- and part-time, who provide instruction in STEM and advanced- technology 1
1 So in original. The space between “advanced-” and “technology” probably should not appear.
fields;
(3) the establishment of innovative partnership arrangements that—
(A) involve associate-degree-granting colleges and other appropriate public and private sector entities to support the advanced- technology 1 industries that drive the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy;
(B) provide for private sector donations, faculty opportunities to have short-term assignments with industry, sharing of program costs, equipment loans, and the cooperative use of laboratories, plants, and other facilities, and provision for state-of-the-art work experience opportunities for students enrolled in such programs; and
(C) encourage participation of individuals identified in section 1885a or 1885b of this title;
(4) the acquisition of state-of-the-art instrumentation essential to programs designed to prepare and upgrade students in STEM and advanced-technology fields; and
(5) the development and dissemination of instructional materials in support of improving the advanced STEM and advanced- technology 1 and training capabilities of associate-degree-granting colleges, including programs for students who are not pursuing a science degree.
(b) Centers of scientific and technical education
(1) In generalThe Director shall make awards for the establishment of centers of excellence, in advanced-technology fields, among associate-degree-granting colleges. Centers shall meet one or both of the following criteria:
(A) Exceptional instructional programs in advanced-technology fields.
(B) Excellence in undergraduate STEM education.
(2) Purposes

The centers shall serve as national and regional clearinghouses and models for the benefit of both colleges and secondary schools, and shall provide seminars and programs to disseminate model curricula and model teaching methods and instructional materials to other associate-degree-granting colleges.

(3) NetworksThe centers may enter into partnerships with other institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and stakeholder groups, or a consortium thereof, to develop networks to—
(A) coordinate research, training, and education activities funded by awards under subsection (a);
(B) share information and best practices; or
(C) promote collaboration between academic institutions, workforce development programs, labor organizations, and industry to communicate and meet workforce education and training needs.
(c) Articulation partnerships
(1) Partnership grants
(A) The Director shall make grants to eligible partnerships to encourage the development of career and educational pathways with multiple entry and exit points leading to credentials and degrees, and to assist students pursuing pathways in STEM fields to transition from associate-degree-granting colleges to bachelor- degree-granting 2
2 So in original. The space between “bachelor-” and “degree-granting” probably should not appear.
institutions, through such means as—
(i) examining curricula to develop articulation agreements that ensure that academic credit earned at the associate-degree-granting college is transferable to bachelor-degree-granting institutions;
(ii) informing teachers from the associate-degree-granting college on the specific requirements of the career and educational pathways supported by the articulation agreements; and
(iii) providing summer educational programs for students from the associate-degree-granting college to encourage such students’ subsequent matriculation at bachelor-degree-granting institutions.
(B) Each eligible partnership receiving a grant under this paragraph shall, at a minimum—
(i) counsel students, including students who have been in the workforce (including veterans and individuals engaged in work in the home), about the requirements and course offerings of the bachelor-degree-granting institution;
(ii) conduct workshops and orientation sessions to ensure that students are familiar with programs, including laboratories and financial aid programs, at the bachelor-degree-granting institution;
(iii) provide students with research experiences at institutions or work sites participating in the partnership, including stipend support for students participating in summer programs or industry internships; and
(iv) provide faculty mentors for students participating in activities under clause (iii), including summer salary support for faculty mentors.
(2) Outreach grants

The Director shall make grants to associate-degree-granting colleges with outstanding STEM programs to strengthen relationships with secondary schools and, as appropriate, elementary schools, in the community served by the college by improving STEM education and encouraging the interest and aptitude of students at these schools for careers in STEM and advanced-technology fields through such means as developing articulation agreements or dual credit courses with local secondary schools, or other means as the Director determines appropriate, to enable students to satisfy entrance and course requirements at the associate-degree-granting college.

(3) Mentor training grants

The Director shall establish a program to encourage and make grants available to institutions of higher education that award associate degrees to recruit and train individuals from STEM fields to mentor students who are described in section 1885a or 1885b of this title in order to assist those students in identifying, qualifying for, and entering higher-paying technical jobs in those fields, including jobs at Federal and academic laboratories.

(d) Grants for associate degree programs in STEM fields
(1) In-demand workforce grants

The Director shall award grants to junior or community colleges to develop or improve associate degree or certificate programs in STEM fields, with respect to the region in which the respective college is located, and an in-demand industry sector or occupation.

(2) ApplicationsIn considering applications for grants under paragraph (1), the Director shall prioritize—
(A) applications that consist of a partnership between the applying junior or community college and individual employers or an employer consortia,3
3 So in original.
or industry or sector partnerships, and may include a university or other organization with demonstrated expertise in academic program development;
(B) applications that demonstrate current and future workforce demand in occupations directly related to the proposed associate degree or certificate program;
(C) applications that include commitments by the partnering employers or employer consortia, or industry or sector partnerships, to offer apprenticeships, internships, or other applied learning opportunities to students enrolled in the proposed associate degree or certificate program;
(D) applications that include outreach plans and goals for recruiting and enrolling women and other underrepresented populations in STEM fields in the proposed associate degree or certificate program;
(E) applications that describe how the applying junior or community college will support the collection of information and data for purposes of evaluation of the proposed associate degree or certificate program; and
(F) as appropriate, applications that apply the best practices for STEM education and technical skills education through distance learning or in a simulated work environment, as determined by research described in subsection (f); and
(G) applications that incorporate distance learning tools and approaches.
(e) Grants for STEM degree applied learning opportunities
(1) In general

The Director shall award grants to institutions of higher education partnering with private sector employers or private sector employer consortia, or industry or sector partnerships, that commit to offering apprenticeships, internships, research opportunities, or applied learning experiences to enrolled students in identified STEM baccalaureate degree programs.

(2) PurposesAwards under this subsection may be used—
(A) to develop curricula and programs for apprenticeship, internships, research opportunities, or applied learning experiences; or
(B) to provide matching funds to incentivize partnership and participation by private sector employers and industry.
(3) ApplicationsIn considering applications for grants under paragraph (1), the Director shall prioritize—
(A) applicants that consist of a partnership between—
(i) the applying institution of higher education; and
(ii) individual employers or an employer consortia,3 or industry or sector partnerships;
(B) applications that demonstrate current and future workforce demand in occupations directly related to the identified STEM fields;
(C) applications that include outreach plans and goals for recruiting and enrolling women and other underrepresented populations in STEM fields;
(D) applications that describe how the institution of higher education will support the collection and information of data for purposes of the evaluation of identified STEM degree programs; and
(E) applications that incorporate distance learning tools and approaches.
(f) Grants for computer-based and online STEM education courses
(1) In general

The Director of the National Science Foundation shall award competitive grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations to conduct research on student outcomes and determine best practices for STEM education and technical skills education through distance learning or in a simulated work environment.

(2) Research areasThe research areas eligible for funding under this subsection may include—
(A) post-secondary courses for technical skills development for STEM occupations;
(B) improving high-school level career and technical education in STEM subjects;
(C) encouraging and sustaining interest and achievement levels in STEM subjects among women and other populations historically underrepresented in STEM studies and careers; and
(D) combining computer-based and online STEM education and skills development with traditional mentoring and other mentoring arrangements, apprenticeships, internships, and other applied learning opportunities.
(g) Coordination with other Federal departments

In carrying out this section, the Director shall consult, cooperate, and coordinate, to enhance program effectiveness and to avoid duplication, with the programs and policies of other relevant Federal agencies.

(h) Funding
(1) FundingThe Director shall allocate out of amounts made available for the Education and Human Resources Directorate—
(A) up to $5,000,000 to carry out the activities under subsection (d) for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2026, subject to the availability of appropriations;
(B) up to $2,500,000 to carry out the activities under subsection (e) for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2026, subject to the availability of appropriations; and
(C) not less than $3,000,000 to carry out the activities under subsection (f) for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2026, subject to the availability of appropriations.
(2) Limitation on funding

Amounts made available to carry out subsections (d), (e), and (f) shall be derived from amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to the National Science Foundation.

(3) Limitation on funding

To qualify for a grant under this section, an associate-degree-granting college, or consortium thereof, shall provide assurances adequate to the Director that it will not decrease its level of spending of funds from non-Federal sources on advanced scientific and technical education and training programs.

(i) Functions of DirectorIn carrying out sections 1862h to 1862j of this title, the Director shall—
(1) award grants on a competitive, merit basis;
(2) ensure an equitable geographic distribution of grant awards;
(3) establish and maintain a readily accessible inventory of the programs assisted under sections 1862h to 1862j of this title; and
(4) designate an officer of the National Science Foundation to serve as a liaison with associate-degree-granting institutions for the purpose of enhancing the role of such institutions in the activities of the Foundation.
(j) DefinitionsAs used in this section—
(1) the term advanced-technology 4
4 So in original. The defined term probably should be within quotation marks.
includes technological fields such as advanced manufacturing, agricultural-, biological- and chemical-technologies, energy and environmental technologies, engineering technologies, information technologies, micro and nano-technologies, cybersecurity technologies, geospatial technologies, and new, emerging technology areas;
(2) the term “associate-degree-granting college” means an institution of higher education (as determined under section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1001]) that—
(A) is a nonprofit institution that offers a 2-year associate-degree program or a 2-year certificate program; or
(B) is a proprietary institution that offers a 2-year associate-degree program;
(3) the term “bachelor-degree-granting institution” means an institution of higher education (as determined under section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1001]) that offers a baccalaureate degree program;
(4) the term “eligible partnership” means one or more associate-degree-granting colleges in partnership with one or more other entities;
(5) the term “in-demand industry sector or occupation” has the meaning given the term in section 3102 of title 29;
(6) the term “junior or community college” has the meaning given the term in section 312 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1058);
(7) the term “region” means a labor market area, as that term is defined in section 3102 of title 29;
(8) the terms “science, technology, engineering, or mathematics” or “STEM” mean science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including computer science and cybersecurity; and
(9) the term skilled technical workforce 4 has the meaning given such term in section 4(b) of the Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act (42 U.S.C. 1862p).5
5 See References in Text note below.
(Pub. L. 102–476, § 3, Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2297; Pub. L. 105–244, title I, § 102(a)(13)(B), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1620; Pub. L. 107–368, § 21(a), (b), Dec. 19, 2002, 116 Stat. 3064; Pub. L. 110–69, title VII, § 7031(a), Aug. 9, 2007, 121 Stat. 710; Pub. L. 115–402, § 3, Dec. 31, 2018, 132 Stat. 5344; Pub. L. 116–283, div. E, title LIV, § 5401(e)(3)(A), div. H, title XCIV, § 9405(b), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4543, 4812; Pub. L. 117–167, div. B, title III, §§ 10312(b), (f)(2), 10361(d), Aug. 9, 2022, 136 Stat. 1517, 1519, 1567.)