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PRESS RELEASE March 15, 2018

Contact: Paul Feist Phone: 916.327.5353

E-mail: pfeist@cccco.edu


California Community Colleges Makerspaces Make Progress in First Six Months of Implementation in Preparing Students for Careers


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Thousands of community college students are discovering “making” as a way to prepare for careers in emerging industries as a result of 24 California community colleges building makerspace communities that facilitate hands-on experiences in making, innovation and entrepreneurship.


The CCC Maker initiative exposes students to career options while allowing them to develop in- demand skills they can demonstrate to prospective employers. The Workforce and Economic Development Division of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office provided $17 million to fund the initiative under the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework. Sierra College is the initiative’s fiscal agent and administrator.


“These makerspaces allow our students to unleash creativity while fostering the type of innovation that is critical for jobs of the future,” said California Community Colleges Executive Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Digital Futures Van Ton-Quinlivan. “Hundreds of 20-hour internships and work-based experiences coordinated by the educational makerspaces will result from this initiative.”


“During the initiative implementation phase from July to December 2017, colleges reported that 9,158 students participated in activities in California Community Colleges Maker-funded makerspaces,” said California Community Colleges Maker Project Manager Carol Pepper-Kittredge. Community colleges also reported 235 employers have been recruited to participate, 217 students went through pre-placement training and 81 students earned digital badges documenting their skills.


“Already, student leaders are emerging, planning the spaces, promoting events, operating equipment and training other students,” Pepper-Kittredge said. “For instance, at City College of San Francisco, architectural graphic students redesigned the SmartHUB, and computer science students are creating a badge system for MakerSPHERE equipment. At Glendale Community College, 35 student volunteers helped run Glendale Tech Week and a Latinas in STEM workshop.”


More than 300 faculty members are collaborating to embed “making” experiences into community college curricula and participated in 144 professional development activities.


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Efforts to create and grow their makerspaces are assisted by webinars, instructional online videos and blogs on the California Community Colleges Maker website, which allow the makerspace community to share best practices.


So far, 292 classes have accessed the makerspaces. Folsom Lake College offered “Making Social Change” in fall 2017, and Sierra College worked with Adobe to develop Kickbox.edu, which allowed students to use creativity and entrepreneurship to understand “minimal viability” of new products or services. Other colleges have submitted new maker curriculum for approval. Orange Coast College developed an action sports curriculum to teach design, engineering and fabrication of skateboards, surfboards, standup paddleboards and other performance objects suited to the local creative 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 in English and math, 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 http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/, https://www.facebook.com/CACommColleges, or https://twitter.com/CalCommColleges.


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More than 700 community members attended the holidaymaker event co-sponsored by Allan Hancock Community College with Santa Maria Public Library and Santa Maria Discovery Museum.


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A Sacramento City College student helps with preparations to open the campus makerspace.