Moreno Valley College was one of 24 colleges to receive a California Community College Maker Implementation Grant from the California Community College Chancellor's Office. The Chancellor's Office awarded MVC $100,000, 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.
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, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CCC Maker Statewide Project Manager.
"Makerspace community members collaborate and teach other, 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, MVC identified ecosystem partners in the local region including the city of Moreno Valley, Vocademy, and the Desert Regional Consortium, done through a design thinking process to plan a makerspace, conducted student activities to access student interest, and engaged faculty in the CCC Maker Initiative.
"This grant will allow the College to further develop leaders," Robin Steinback, Ph.D, said. "Everyone needs a little inspiration in their career journey and this grant provides students with experiences beyond the classroom, opportunities to explore careers and learn through real-world scenarios. The grant will also fund 20 students in paid internships. Faculty will develop curriculum that prepares students with 21st century skills. As a result of the CCC Maker Grant, MVC will be able to develop an innovative education model for students, giving them the opportunity to 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," Pepper-Kittredge said. "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."