Call for Sessions
Submission Deadline Extended: Monday, August 31, 2020

To submit a session, please click here.

ATE Projects and Centers are invited to submit proposals to conduct Spotlight, Demonstration, and Synergy Sessions as part of the agenda for the 2020 Virtual ATE Conference.

Conference Theme: ATE 2020: Resilience & New Frontiers
This year’s event theme will focus on the critical value of preparing students with STEM technical and employability skills—and the vital role community colleges and the ATE program play in preparing a highly-skilled U.S. workforce in a current- and post-pandemic economy. ATE Projects and Centers nationwide, in response to Covid-19, are challenged to develop strategies to successfully deliver hands-on content in an online environment such as through virtual labs, simulations, and augmented and virtual reality. The 2020 Virtual ATE Conference will include a special focus on how the ATE community has created innovative curriculum, technologies, and authentic learning experiences in virtual environments and how their resilience, flexibility, and leadership are addressing and shaping the current and future needs of STEM technician education. 

Proposal Submission Information 
All proposals must be submitted using the online form by the extended deadline of 5:00 p.m. (EDT), Monday, August 31. Notification regarding session selections will be sent out by Wednesday, September 9. (Please note that session selection will be limited due to the need to streamline content for a virtual environment).

Session Guidelines and Criteria
Session proposals should follow the criteria and guidelines outlined below—with preference given to submissions that address how ATE projects and centers are creating innovative curriculum, technologies, and authentic learning experiences in virtual environments, while demonstrating flexibility and leadership in pivoting or advancing programs in response to Covid-19.

Sessions will be selected based on their alignment with the conference theme, Resilience & New Frontiers, and the ability of session leaders to:

  • Share case studies, experiences, promising strategies, and lessons learned that demonstrate evidence-based project or center impact in one of the topic areas identified by the session tracks provided below.
  • Focus on learning experiences and promising strategies that are common or relevant across disciplines and different project areas.
  • Engage session participants and provide resources that can be used and/or implemented in their own work.
  • Demonstrate collaboration among ATE Projects or Centers with strong preference given to session proposals that can speak to broadening impact and that involve more than one project or center in a presenting role.

Sessions submitted in response to this Call for Sessions should not be used as a venue to conduct a general report out on grant activities. Please note that all Projects and Centers are required to participate in an ATE Connects session where they will have the opportunity to network and message with participants, explore the ATE community, and engage in the sharing of information, resources, and materials related to their programs. The ATE Connects session is separate from this Call for Sessions process.

Session Tracks
In keeping with the conference theme, individuals proposing sessions for the 2020 Virtual ATE Conference are encouraged to submit under one of the following four tracks. 

  • Track 1. Demonstrating Resilience & Establishing New Frontiers 
    Examples of topics include: virtual teaching/learning strategies; undergraduate research; competency-based learning; work-based learning; credit for prior work experience; internships; apprenticeships; bridge programs; addressing emerging career fields/technologies; career pathways; strategies for assessment; professional and faculty development; and mentoring programs.
  • Track 2. Engaging Students for STEM Success in a Current & Post-Pandemic Environment
    Examples of topics include: addressing equity gaps; strategies for recruiting and retaining underrepresented students; interactions with secondary school CTE programs; dual enrollment; career awareness/outreach; working with guidance counselors and career coaches; and direct student interaction with industry.
  • Track 3. Initiating and Maintaining Partnerships in a Time of Social Distance
    Examples of topics include: creating, maintaining, and leveraging partnerships with business and industry, college administrators, secondary schools, funders, local/state government, and/or the community; addressing workforce development needs through collaboration with business/industry; and outreach to external constituents.
  • Track 4. Advancing Innovation through STEM Research and Evaluation in a Virtual World
    Examples of topics include: strategies for conducting institutional and educational research; partnering with four-year colleges on student learning outcomes; strategies for sustaining programs; strategies for capturing reliable impact data; and evaluation.

Session Formats
Proposals submitted under any of the four conference tracks must follow one of the formats described below. Spotlight and Demonstration sessions selected for the conference program will be pre-recorded in collaboration with AACC’s Virtual ATE Conference production team and aired at a specified date/time with live presenter chat. Synergy sessions will be conducted live with video conferencing and recorded. All sessions will be available on-demand following their scheduled airdates. Detailed instructions will be sent with session acceptance notifications on how to schedule the recording for your session, how to access live chat, and other logistics regarding navigating the virtual conference platform.

Spotlight Sessions 
Session Length: 50 minutes
Maximum Number of Presenters: 3
Session Facilitator: 1

A Spotlight session should involve at least two, but no more than three presenters and an experienced facilitator who will present thought-provoking questions to the panelists and coordinate presentations in addressing the session topic. Preference will be given to sessions that involve presenters who represent different projects and centers. Spotlight session proposals that focus solely on a general report out of a project’s or center’s activities will not be selected. Spotlight sessions should address targeted areas of need within the ATE community, such as those identified through the conference tracks, including but not limited to addressing challenges in student recruitment/retention, stakeholder engagement, virtual teaching and learning practices, and the implementation of pedagogical or technological tools to keep pace with industry demand. Spotlight sessions should focus on content that is relevant and applicable across STEM disciplines and share proven strategies and lessons learned in accordance with the session criteria.

Demonstration Sessions
Session Length: 30 minutes
Maximum Number of Presenters: 2

Demonstrations are formal presentations that show how to use or apply a pedagogical tool or concept. The proposal should describe how the presenter will walk attendees through a clear, step-by-step explanation of the concept or tool, how it compares to other teaching and learning tools, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it can best be applied or implemented. Presenters should be experts on the concepts or tools they are presenting. Preference will be given to demonstrations that highlight virtual teaching and learning resources. Note: Demonstration sessions are not intended as a report out of project or center outcomes but serve as a venue to explain a pedagogical tool or concept. 

Synergy Sessions
Session Length: 50 minutes
Maximum Number of Facilitators: 2

The Synergy session format, conducted through live video conferencing, offers a virtual venue for ATE grantees to network, share insights, and explore ways to collaborate around areas of similar interest. Synergy session leaders serve as facilitators of interactive, substantive discussions that share promising practices and lessons learned with other members of the ATE community. Proposals should explain the overall context surrounding the anticipated discussion, as related to the conference track, and clearly identify the intended audience. Synergy session proposals should also reflect the capacity to generate new ideas and questions from conference participants as a means of making the session stimulating and meaningful.  

Session Collaboration
AACC provides information on its conference website to assist ATE Projects and Centers with identifying potential session collaborators and similar projects—such as searching through ATE Central or the NSF awards database. AACC reserves the right to identify similar session proposals and ask those submitting to work together on conducting a session, as well as to change the presentation type as needed to adhere to session guidelines.

Session Scheduling
Sessions will be scheduled to occur on Wednesday, October 21 between noon – 4:00 p.m. (EDT); Thursday, October 22 between 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. (EDT); and Friday, October 23 between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. (EDT). As part of the submission process, individuals will be asked to rank their scheduling preferences. Note: AACC will try to accommodate scheduling preferences but cannot guarantee them when placing sessions on the conference agenda.

How to Submit a Session Proposal
Session proposals must be submitted online by clicking here.

Please be prepared with all session information when completing the submission process. We suggest you prepare your answers in Word and cut and paste the content into the form. Required information for all session proposals is listed below. To view the submission form before completing, please click here.

Required information for all session proposals includes:

A. Submitting project or center grant number

B. Submitting project or center grant title

C. Contact information for all presenters/facilitators

D. Presenter Bios – A brief statement on the presenter’s background and expertise on the concept or tool they are presenting – limited to 500 characters

E. Session Title – limited to 70 characters

F. Session Description/Program Abstract – limited to 600 characters

G. Session Outline – An outline to include a session agenda, 2-3 participant learning outcomes, 2-3 discussion questions if submitting a Spotlight or a Synergy session, and any resources/materials that could be linked for distribution