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California Community Colleges Publish Makerspace Startup Guide

makerspace startup guide

A new resource from the California Community Colleges provides a step-by-step guide to building makerspaces on campus, from initial planning stages to facility design, pilot programs and community outreach. The free Makerspace Startup Guide comes out of the CCC Maker initiative, a project funded by the California Community College Chancellor's Office, Workforce and Economic Division, devoted to fostering a maker culture throughout the community college system and preparing students for the workforce.

The guide is based on lessons learned from colleges' efforts to plan and develop makerspace communities that reflect each institution's needs and identity, according to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, statewide project director, CCC Maker, and associate dean, workforce innovation, Sierra College. "During the startup phase, we were not prescriptive," she said in a press release. "Rather than focusing on the physical space and tools, we developed a makerspace startup process that encouraged colleges to explore opportunities to create and connect by building community. The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide reflects the methodology CCC Maker developed to support colleges in planning makerspaces that are student-centric and fit with their culture and ecosystem."

Topics covered include:

  • Institutional self-study, including how to research and analyze existing systems, resources and data;
  • Ecosystem mapping, or identifying potential partners and assets to help sustain a makerspace;
  • Logic modeling, mapping out a pathway to achieve specific goals;
  • Community outreach strategies for engaging people to adopt, maximize and promote the space;
  • Internships, building partnerships with area businesses to help prepare students for the job market;
  • Designing a makerspace with community needs in mind; and
  • The role of change-makers, the facilitators who will charge ahead and help the makerspace succeed.

The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide is available on the CCC Maker site (registration required).  

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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