Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some common questions. If your question is not addressed here, please email CCIC@aacc.nche.edu and someone will respond to your inquiry.

1. Is the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp a science and engineering workshop? No. Your team will not receive customized science coaching on your project at the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp. The Virtual Innovation Boot Camp is a professional development workshop aimed at building communication and entrepreneurial skills relevant to supporting innovation in both the private and public sectors. Sessions will include information applicable to commercializing ideas, using technology for social applications, communicating with stakeholders, refining a pitch, and more. There will be customized sessions for mentors led by NSF and AACC leadership that will offer information on NSF funding opportunities for community colleges.

2. Can entrants be from any community college anywhere in the U.S.? What about students pursuing two-year degrees at colleges offering four-year degrees as well? All student participants must be pursuing a two-year degree at a college in the U.S. or its territories at the time of entry. Two-year degree-pursuing students at colleges offering both two-year and four-year degrees are eligible to participate as long as they are pursuing a two-year degree at the time of entry. Teams may not consist of students from multiple institutions.

The only exception to the above requirement is if a team member registered as a participant in the 2020 CCIC. As the 2020 CCIC was cancelled, registered team members for the 2020 competition can reapply to be a team member for the 2021 CCIC even if no longer attending a community college. Individuals reapplying must be part of a college team that has members that are currently enrolled in their alma matter and in a two-year degree program; play an active role on the team; and be approved by the faculty and/or administrative mentor to participate.

3. What is meant by “team” for the purpose of the content? Teams must consist of 2 to 4 student team members and a faculty or administrator who can serve as a team mentor. NSF and AACC encourage teams to be diverse and multidisciplinary (comprised of engineers, STEM technicians, marketing and business students, humanities students, and more).

4. Can multiple teams from the same college apply? Yes. Up to five teams from a single community college can apply. However, no more than one team from an individual college would be selected to advance to the finalist round attending the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp.

5. Can a student be on multiple teams? No. Each student can only be on one team.

6. Can a faculty or administrator mentor serve on multiple teams?  No. Each faculty or administrator can only mentor one team.

7. Is there a specific grant point average that qualifies a student to be “in good standing” at their institution? No. We rely on the educational institution to determine if a student is in good standing.

8. Must the mentor teach a STEM discipline? No. Mentors can be full-time, part-time faculty or administrators that specialize in and/or oversee in any discipline at their college.

9. Once an entrant submits a video, can they revise or replace it with another video prior to the April 20 deadline? No. Once you submit a video to the competition, it is considered a final submission and cannot be revised or replaced. However, you can save your entry on the challenge platform and edit it many times before officially submitting.

10. How will finalists be notified? All registered team members will be notified via email by early-May if they have progressed to the finalist round.

11. Will information on the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp be sent directly to finalists? Yes. Finalists will be contacted in early-May and provided with detailed information pertaining to attending the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp, participating in two preparatory webinars, and conducting assignments to prepare for the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp including detailed guidelines on developing posters for the virtual poster session.

12. What if a team member is unable to attend the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp? All finalist team members, including the mentor, are required to attend the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp. However, on a case-by-case basis, AACC will consider issues that may arise that prevent team members from attending.

13. How will the first, second, and third place team winners be notified and awarded? Winning teams will be announced at the end of the Virtual Innovation Boot Camp. Each member of the first, second, and third place winning teams will be mailed a check upon completion of necessary tax forms, a few weeks following the Boot Camp. The winners will be announced via an AACC and NSF news release and well as displayed online on the challenge website.