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S. 1146 (102nd): Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act of 1992

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


10/2/1992--Passed Senate amended. Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act of 1992 - Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) (the Director) to carry out a national advanced technician training program of awarding competitive grants to accredited associate-degree-granting colleges which can provide competency-based technical training in advanced-technology occupational fields. Includes among authorized activities: (1) model instructional programs development; (2) faculty and instructor professional development; (3) partnerships between the private sector and associate-degree-granting colleges; (4) acquisition of state-of-the-art instrumentation; and (5) instructional materials development and dissemination. Requires the Director to award competitive grants to establish up to ten centers of excellence among associate-degree-granting colleges. Requires such centers to have: (1) exceptional instructional programs in advanced technology fields; and/or (2) excellence in undergraduate education in mathematics and science. Requires such centers to serve as national and regional technical education clearinghouses and models for other colleges and secondary schools. Requires such centers to provide seminars and programs to disseminate model curricula, teaching methods, and instructional materials to other associate-degree-granting colleges in their region. Requires the Director to make partnership grants (to eligible partnerships of one or more associate-degree-granting colleges with one or more separate bachelor-degree-granting colleges) to encourage students to pursue, and to assist students who are pursuing, bachelor degrees in mathematics, science, engineering, or technolgoy, in making the transition from associate-degree to bachelor-degree granting institutions. Sets forth authorized activities such as: (1) examining curricula to assure transferability of credits; (2) informing associate-degree faculty of the bachelor-degree requirements; and (3) providing summer educational programs to encourage matriculation. Requires partnerships receiving such grants to use non-Federal funds to: (1) counsel students, including those who have been in the workforce, about bachelor-degree requirements; and (2) conduct workshops and orientations on bachelor-degree institution programs, including laboratories and financial aid. Makes institutions participating in such partnerships, during the duration of such grant, ineligible for the Articulation Agreements grants program for partnerships between two-year and four-year institutions of higher education under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Requires the Director to make outreach grants to associate-degree-granting colleges with outstanding mathematics and science programs to strengthen relationships with secondary schools in their community by improving mathematics and science education and encouraging secondary school students' interest and aptitude for careers in science and advanced-technology fields. Includes among authorized activities developing agreements with local educational agencies to satisfy entrance and course requirements at the associate-degree-granting college. Requires program coordination with programs and policies of relevant Federal agencies. Requires coordination of activities under the partnership grants program with those under the HEA Articulation Agreements program. Requires the Director to: (1) award grants under this Act on a competitive, merit basis, ensuring equitable geographic distribution and specified non-Federal matching contributions; (2) establish and maintain a readily accessible inventory of advanced technician training programs; and (3) designate an NSF officer to serve as liaison with associatee-degree-granting institutions to enhance their role in NSF activities. Amends the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 to authorize the NSF to foster and support access by the research and education communities to computer networks which may be used substantially for additional purposes if this will tend to increase the networks' overall capabilities to support research and education in the science and engineering. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 and 1993 to carry out this Act.