Preparing Students for Jobs of the Future
Rocklin, Calif – The CCC Maker initiative has published The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide – Preparing Students for Jobs of the Future to share the planning process used to guide college teams through building makerspace communities that complement what college students are learning in the classroom to better prepare them for the innovation economy. The open-source guide is available online at the CCC Maker website below. (Sierra College, 2018)
California Community Colleges embarked on journey to create makerspace communities affiliated with colleges in mid-2016 funded by a grant from the California Community College Chancellors Office under the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework. Sierra College is the administrator and fiscal agent.
Opportunities for More Colleges
According to Dale Dougherty, CEO, Maker Media and chair of the CCC Maker Advisory Committee, community colleges are in the unique position to democratize making by giving students in the largest and most diverse education system in the country access to makerspaces. “Students develop the ability to learn, adapt and change when they join a maker community,” said Dougherty. “As students create projects that reflect their interests and abilities, and share it with students from other disciplines such as art, engineering or business, it can change the nature of their lives. They gain a sense of agency to learn, earn and live a good life.” The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide is intended to help other colleges make these same opportunities available to their students.
The $17 million grant provided from the California Community College Chancellors Office has enabled colleges to plan and develop makerspace communities that reflect each college’s unique ecosystem, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Statewide Project Director, CCC Maker and Associate Dean, Workforce Innovation, Sierra College. “During the startup phase, we were not prescriptive,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Rather than focusing on the physical space and tools, we developed a makerspace startup process that encouraged colleges to explore opportunities to create and connect by building community. The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide reflects the methodology CCC Maker developed to support colleges in planning makerspaces that are student-centric and fit with their culture and ecosystem.”
The guide provides strategies to develop a makerspace implementation action plan by identifying community needs, mapping out ecosystems, analyzing findings and piloting student and faculty engagement. The CCC Maker initiative focused on four areas for implementation – community, curriculum, internships and makerspace so the guide outlines how college makerspace plans can gain traction in these areas. The 80-page publication also shares the guiding principles that shaped the CCC Maker approach.
The CCC Makerspace Startup Guide includes chapters on Institutional Self-Study, Ecosystem Mapping, Logic Modeling, Community Outreach, Internships, Makerspace Design and Facilitators. To share the CCC Maker startup process with the wider maker community, author Goli Mohammadi interviewed the CCC Maker Technical Assistance Providers, Deborah Bird and Salomon Davila, as well as the other members of the CCC Maker leadership team and Maker Ed, to consolidate the resources developed and capture what was learned during the planning phase.
Of the 34 colleges that signed on to participate in the startup process, 28 developed detailed plans and 24 received CCC Maker implementation funding through May 2019. Those colleges just reported their third quarter results for the first nine months of implementation, viewable on the CCC Maker website.
The true measure of the CCC Maker initiative’s success is student impact. California Community College makerspaces are affording students opportunities to discover their passion, develop their potential and recognize the valuable innovation skills and entrepreneurial mindset that they can contribute to California’s economy as they launch their careers.
“Real World Experience”
Kimberly Glaster, a Sacramento City College student, indicated that one of the greatest benefits that a makerspace offers to students is the opportunity to gain real world experience in a community environment. “Students from all backgrounds can come to one location to work together as a team to create an idea or thought into something tangible,” said Glaster.
A college makerspace can serve as a central place on campus attracting students from a variety of disciplines, according to student Pouyan Kiani, Sacramento City College. “A makerspace can act as a hub where students can grow intellectually by learning different skills and collaborating with other people,” said Kiani. “Most of these skills are not taught in classrooms, so the makerspace offers a unique dimension to a student’s education.”
Sierra College. (2018, June 11). California Community College Makerspaces Publish Startup Guide [Press release].