The Director shall make grants to associate-degree-granting colleges with outstanding mathematics and science programs to strengthen relationships with secondary schools in the community served by the college by improving mathematics and science education and encouraging the interest and aptitude of secondary school students for careers in science and advanced-technology fields through such means as developing agreements with local educational agencies to enable students to satisfy entrance and course requirements at the associate-degree-granting college.
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.
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.
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. In carrying out subsection (c), the Director shall coordinate activities with programs receiving assistance under part B of title I of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1011 et seq.].
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.
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.