$2.25 Million in Grant Funding Awarded to ATEEC

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4/29/19

Outside shot of the ATEEC buildingEastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center (ATEEC) has been awarded a total of $2.25 million in grants from the National Science Foundation to continue with its mission to advance environmental technology education through curriculum development, professional development and program improvements.

The series of grants was first awarded in 2018, with the latest amount of $930,000 being awarded now. The funding supports the improvement of water technician education through the creation of curriculum for water, wastewater and agriculture technologies and conservation.

With water/wastewater technician jobs expected to grow rapidly amid concerns about source water availability, aging infrastructure, water quality, and workforce issues, ATEEC’s work will play a significant role in providing the nation’s high schools, community colleges, and other Advanced Technological Education Center’s with instructional materials.

The funding is being distributed through June of 2020 via four separate grants:

  • $600,000 – Grant for basic center functions including: website update, webinars, occupational profiles for water technicians, connecting water technology programs with certification training, promoting best practices for recruiting, training and retaining veterans in water technology, and developing a mentoring Professional Learning Community.

  • $930,000 – Grant providing additional support for basic center functions.

  • $600,000 – Grant to create Augmented and Virtual Reality models in water/wastewater/conservation content through a partnership with EON Innovation Academy, a virtual and augmented reality program located at EICC’s Urban Campus. Students enrolled in the program have been developing these training tools as part of their course work.

  • $120,000 – Grant to create Urban Water Conservation Certificate Program.

Technology training in the water/wastewater and agriculture areas with the required equipment is often prohibitively expensive, time consuming and constrained by safety concerns. The development of these new instructional materials, especially the virtual reality-based training models, will make this education and training more affordable and accessible.

More information about ATEEC can be found on the college’s website at eicc.edu/ateec.