Orange Coast College’s MAKERSPXCE endeavors to empower students, faculty, staff, and community members to innovate, collaborate, and share in maker culture, while leading productive & creative professional and entrepreneurial lives in the context of our region’s vibrant economy. Generous support had been provided by the State of California, Coast Community College District, and Orange Coast College. *For more information about our initial grant, visit CCC Maker (cccmaker.com).
One of Orange Coast College’s (OCC) main institutional problems is we are not currently capitalizing on bringing high technology to underserved populations in our region, especially in relation to increasing the adoption of design and maker culture on our campus. Overall, we are focused on career technical education (CTE) and transferring to institutions of higher education, but we are not targeting opportunities to increase integration with our local economy and regional expertise. While we do have a job and internship center, OCC’s capacity to increase internships and account for skills-based learning needs to be supported by a larger ecosystem, so we can offer more opportunities for student success and meet the demands of California’s 21st century economy.
We are building an infrastructure for students and our community to participate in and celebrate making, foster a robust culture of collaboration across all disciplines, and enhance academic and industry partnerships. By focusing on the four key outcomes: curriculum innovation, community of practice, curriculum innovation, and student success (internships & entrepreneurship), we’ve devised a sustainable 2-year implementation strategy matching existing/new resources with continued/new activities to produce outcomes that affect positive, systemic change. We will relocate our anchor program’s makerspace into a 250% larger space (4,500 sf), pool resources and equipment on campus among interested departments, and develop non-traditional curriculum and a badging system to recognize hard and soft skills that will lead to increase qualifications for internships and jobs.
Areas of Focus
Considering our anchor program (Architecture Technology) has successfully operated a departmental makerspace and is developing a mobile collaboration lab for outreach, we will embrace them as maker ambassadors and focus on community building among the design disciplines on campus and initial facilitators of multi-disciplinary collaborations. From our student survey, we learned in-place counseling will be an organic way to help support non-traditional students in a hands-on way. We’d like to see our advisory board participate closely with students and the community in meet-ups that document new ways of thinking and making, including video and blog-based content to increase makerspace engagement. We will also be working closely with marketing and graphics resources on campus to more openly celebrate students and our successes.
Our makerspace strategy is three-tiered. Tier 1 (complete): We have a successful departmental makerspace and mobile collaboration lab on campus that is well used by our anchor program architecture and supported by our interiors department, including some collaboration with art, business, and chemistry. Tier 2: We are moving into a new facility on campus over the summer with a 250% increase in square footage (4,500 sf) to facilitate collaborative, project-based learning with longer hours and immediate access (4 maker zones and 1 classroom connected with a large circulation path). Additional opportunity: adjacent 3,000 sf space. Tier 3: A westside redevelopment project on campus that will include a makerspace facility spatially central to our technology department, which hosts many of our maker-centric CTE programs.
Our main curricular goals are to create multi-disciplinary “Design Technology” pathways to support non-traditional/CTE students in their quest for entering the workforce (see Perkins 2016-2017 proposal), including offering a place for transfer-minded students to be immersed in maker culture to gain valuable 21st Century skills not typically recognized. We’ll employ a badging system in conjunction with Launchpath, comprehensively assess and implement a foundational design program that will bridge from high school and/or discipline exploration into a multi-tiered, holistic maker movement on campus and in our community. Workshops addressing regional and disciplinary expertise sharing will improve campus/industry collaboration and lead to increased equity among stakeholders. Vibrant work-based learning opportunities will prepare students for internships and job recommendations.
We’ve identified 4 areas of regional industry we feel integrate well with the CCC Maker grant mission and our specific project goals on campus, they include: action sports (world #1), aerospace/automation, entertainment (Disney, etc.), and designers/vendors that support makerculture. Management of our internship to employment system will be by way of our highly successful Job & Internship Center. Deep alliance with our business department has already been underway to develop a more robust entrepreneurial model of teaching (pirate plank/shark tank style with industry critics who are also looking to support and hire students). A Maker Club will be created on campus to promote and host work-based learning events and experiences, alumni/business connections, and sustainable matching funds/donations.