ARC wants its students to be 21st Century Workforce Ready upon completion of their educational goals, possessing the necessary “4 C’s,” creative thinking, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, as well as technology literacy (CCST, 2016). Our problem is to develop a system in which students can receive financial support while also advancing their education / career goals at the same time. Many students want to succeed as entrepreneurs and workers in the 21st century and recognize the importance of the 4 C’s, but they often need to take on non-technical work for financial support. Our Maker project, Design Hub, provides a pathway to paid internships through real world project based learning in the Design Hub which is directly transferable to paid internships in the community and industry.
Our primary strategy is to leverage efficiencies within our existing planning and funding structure in order to focus grant resources on internships. One significant efficiency that we can offer to small or nonprofit employers is to handle the formal staffing and supervisory requirements of interns. By creating paid internships in the Design Hub, we will take this burden off of the employer. Employers may then use our facility or have our interns work in their facility for either short or long term (2 weeks – 16 weeks) periods and will be able to spend more time directly involved with the student.
The Design Hub has a two-stage internship strategy. The first stage is an in-college Problem-Based-Learning, PBL, program through the enrollment of Work Experience units. Students work on projects that originate from inside and outside the college. External organizations send the Design Hub projects via faculty connection and outreach affiliations. The second stage, as historically proven, happens naturally most of the time as outside businesses and organizations value the quality of the Design Hub experience and hire student interns directly or with funding assistance through the Design Hub.
Makerspace (Design Hub)
The Design Hub is a campus-based, interdisciplinary center serving faculty and students and multiple industry partners. Currently, it is located in an instructional classroom and two adjacent workrooms. By 2020, the Hub is slated to acquire an adjacent lab classroom, creating a 2,000 square-foot space in total. By providing a ready and trained base of qualified students to work for our college and community, we will ensure a nimble and changeable workforce development program.
Our strategy is three-pronged. First, we will create Design Hub Work Experience curricula, including badging system, to provide opportunities to learn from authentic industry work environment. Second is to advertise to faculty and encourage the inclusion of Design Hub activities into existing curricula so that students can experience learning via making even if they are not enrolling in Work Experience units. This is partly enabled by using Kumu mapping to visualize the synergy of more than 15,000 course level SLOs with the mission of the Design Hub. The third is to utilize the Design Hub as a central curriculum resource to support a myriad of experimental courses and programs created to address industry needs.
Our strategy first makes use of the large faculty, full time and adjunct, and their connections to industry and community. This includes professional development activities to help faculty understand the mission and resources of the Design Hub. The Design Hub is in touch with local high schools both as a tech support resource as well as a hub of sharing resources across high schools and the college. The Design Hub is also active in special community events like the State Fair to connect to the community, the Design Hub is planning to lead the collaboration of makers from different colleges to participate in the State Fair. Last, our interns serve as the perfect Design Hub advocate and industry connection. The Design Hub plans to support the voluntary tracking of participants, student help, and interns after graduation.