Statewide Makerspace Initiative Recognized for Innovation

Marketing Action’s Karen Fraser-Middleton  led strategic communication for the three-year CCC Maker initiative that guided California Community Colleges in planning and building makerspace communities.

The California Community Colleges (CCC)  invested $17M in the CCC Maker initiative to facilitate the college makerspace network to address the skills gap. In makerspaces, students learn hands-on production skills and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Read the article written by Fraser-Middleton and published by the League for Innovation in Community Colleges in January 2019 –

College Makerspaces Develop Innovation-Ready Graduates

The following is an excerpt from the article:

Four Pillars of CCC Makerspaces

The four-pronged approach to establishing makerspaces used by the CCC Maker initiative focused on building community, developing maker curriculum, providing work-based learning experiences, and creating the physical makerspace. An advisory committee chaired by Make Media CEO Dale Dougherty has encouraged the colleges to view their makerspaces as “solution centers” for local businesses that benefit from students’ ingenuity harnessed through internships and as a source of talent for hiring. According to Dougherty, community colleges are in the unique position to democratize making by giving students access to makerspaces. “Students develop the ability to learn, adapt, and change when they join a maker community,” said Dougherty. “As students create projects that reflect their interests and abilities and share it with students from other disciplines such as art, engineering, or business, it can change the nature of their lives.”

The CCC Maker initiative is administered by Sierra College. CCC Maker colleges are supported by Deborah Bird and Salomon Davila, Technical Assistance Providers who coach and support the college teams. Symposiums on workplace skills and maker curriculum have been offered through partners such as the New World of Word and the California Council on Science and Technology. These in-person events, combined with an online Workplace by Facebook platform, have built a community of practice among educators separated by hundreds of miles across the state. The initiative has offered 36 webinars to guide implementation and participation, including extensive financial reporting support.

The colleges have been given unprecedented access to the CCC Maker website where they have their own pages and have jointly contributed over 350 blog posts. The website also posts a ClicData graphic report that shows the results of colleges’ quarterly reporting through Smartsheet. During year one of implementation, dashboard data submitted by the colleges noted the following:

  • 16,566 students accessed makerspaces, participated in 1,216 student activities, and earned 443 badges

  • 869 students were recruited for internships and 576 received pre-placement training

  • 600 employers were recruited and provided 209 internships

  • 195 advisory committee meetings were held and industry partners gave 2,227 match hours

  • 1,081 faculty members attended 360 professional development activities

Other articles previously published by the League include:

Sierra College Incorporates the Maker Mindset Into Education

Sierra College Manufacturing Student Starts Up His Future at Maker Space