MSJC Receives Grant Funding to Build a Makerspace Community

August 4, 2017

Mt. San Jacinto College was one of 24 colleges to receive a CCC Maker Implementation Grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to build an inclusive makerspace community, provide internships, embed making into curriculum and prepare students with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) skills to succeed in the innovation economy.

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office awarded MSJC $100,000.00, renewable for a second year, through a competitive process to create an inclusive makerspace community, provide internships, and develop curriculum to prepare students with innovation and entrepreneurial skills to thrive in the regional economy. Twenty-four colleges received funding to participate in the CCC Maker initiative and collaborate across the state, sharing college makerspace best practices and developing a model for creating college makerspace communities.

California Community Colleges are building makerspaces so students, faculty and staff can interact with others who have shared interests, learn to use tools, make class projects and develop their knowledge through exploration and hands on experiences, said Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CCC Maker Statewide Project Manager.

“Makerspace community members collaborate and teach others, enabling students, faculty and business owners to interact in ways not possible in the classroom, enriching students’ education,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Faculty members are discovering how making, entrepreneurship and projects for social good can be incorporated into their teaching. Students benefit from freely exploring their interests while learning to use laser cutters, art supplies, electronics labs, sewing machines, milling machines and many other creative tools.”

To develop a makerspace proposal, MSJC has identified ecosystem partners, gone through a design thinking process to plan a makerspace, conducted student activities to access student interest and engaged faculty in the CCC Maker Initiative, according to Dr. Roger Schultz, MSJC Superintendent/President.

“The makerspace will enhance the student experience and will be central to developing connections with industry partners, securing real world work experiences, developing hands-on skills and supplementing curriculum,” said Schultz.

“Our students will be placed in internships. Faculty will develop curriculum that prepares students with 21st century skills. We will create a makerspace community and we will benefit from exchanging ideas with other colleges in the statewide network of college makerspaces,” said Schultz. “As a result of the CCC Maker Grant, MSJC will develop an innovative education model and our students will be better prepared to work in our regional economy.”

The vision of the statewide initiative is to drive innovation in education and prepare California Community College students for success in STEM/STEAM careers that demand 21st Century skills, explained Pepper-Kittredge. “Through the CCC Maker initiative, colleges engage with businesses in new ways, students are inspired by learning by doing, career skills are incorporated into education, students develop interests in emerging technologies and community colleges contribute to a thriving statewide economy,” said Pepper-Kittredge.

Learn more about CCC Maker at cccmaker.com