August 07, 2017
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Makerspace initiatives at 24 community colleges from Orange County to Oroville are being awarded a total of $6 million in grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to establish maker programs that foster student innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
Makerspaces are do-it-yourself centers where people get together to learn and invent using technology such as 3-D printers and computer-aided design (CAD) software that might otherwise be unaffordable for an individual to purchase. Grants awarded to the 24 community colleges are funded through the California Community College CCC Maker initiative, which is aimed at inspiring learning by doing, teaching in-demand skills, engaging employers, introducing students to dynamic careers and encouraging collaboration among multiple disciplines and colleges to deliver innovative education that strengthen the workforce.
Thirty-four colleges were awarded seed grants in January to develop makerspace plans. Twenty-eight submitted implementation proposals in June. From there, 24 colleges were awarded the latest grants of $100,000 to $350,000 per year for up to two years.
“These 24 colleges have demonstrated their commitment to establishing makerspaces, placing students in internships, developing curriculum that prepares students with 21st century skills and participating in a statewide network of college makerspaces that are tailored to meet the needs of regional economies,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, California Community Colleges Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Economic Development.
California community colleges awarded grant money are:
Allan Hancock College
American River College
City College of San Francisco
College of Alameda
College of San Mateo
College of the Canyons
Folsom Lake College
Golden West College
Moreno Valley College
Mt. San Antonio College
Mt. San Jacinto College
Orange Coast College
Sacramento City College
San Bernardino Valley College
Woodland Community College
“The selected colleges were taken through a rigorous planning process to qualify for funding. Steps included examining the range of models for building a makerspace; mapping the ecosystem of assets, stakeholders and collaborators; performing a self-study; creating a logic model; and connecting with students,” said Carol Pepper-Kittredge, statewide project manager for CCC Maker, which is based at Sierra College.
“Math and anthropology instructors talked about how they paired with career technical education instructors to develop curriculum that integrated student projects created in the maker environment,” Pepper-Kittredge said. “Innovation and learning will come from a cross-disciplinary approach. That’s why there are so many examples of this now in the workplace.”
Dale Dougherty, chairman and CEO of Maker Media and chair of the CCC Maker Advisory Committee, compared college makerspaces to libraries that are a resource to the entire campus. “Makerspaces are about learning and the intersections of all disciplines, and the kinds of experiences that we can give students,” Dougherty said. “In a makerspace, students learn not to live within comfortable boundaries but to take creative risk and try things. If given the opportunity, a little support, and shared context like a makerspace, we could get a lot of amazing work from people. And they in turn, would see themselves as amazing which I think is the real goal here.”
The CCC Maker is a California Community Colleges initiative under Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 114 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit our website.