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Santa Clara University Student Priorities

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Overview

        Santa Clara University has a huge amount of resources for all students who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, however, not many students are enrolled in these programs.  There seems to be a rather large disconnect between the students and the programs.  This is not for a lack of trying.  Many organizations try very hard to organize to students, but there are not very good channels for connecting the students to their desired program.  Sure, there are bulletin boards all around campus, and emails that go out, but most students ignore both of these methods.  There needs to be a better way to reach a larger amount of students.  

        There is also the problem of divisions.  Each school under the Santa Clara University umbrella (Arts and Science, Engineering, and Business) seems to have a disconnect.  They all seem to work with in their own school and not promote innovation by working together.  Bringing all these schools together would surely promote a greater pool of ideas and innovations.  

Spring 2018 Priorities

STRATEGY #1: Expanding the pursuit of innovation at SCU

Strategy #1:  Bronco Innovation Center

        Santa Clara University has a wide range of Innovation and Entrepreneurship resources. The two biggest issues in strengthening the innovation culture at SCU seem to be broadening the scope of those resources and increasing student engagement with the opportunities that are present. The Bronco Innovation Center concept is one to allow more resources for students to get hands-on exploration and pursuit beyond the classroom relevant to innovation. This means learning more than just the brainstorming and basic prototyping that comes with the beginning of the design and innovation process, but really giving students the chance to understand the whole process.

The idea is to introduce a space on campus where students interested in pursuing their own projects or start-ups in the realm of innovation can get help from trained student consultants across disciplines (engineering, business, arts & sciences, law, etc.). The plan would be contingent upon heavy involvement from a faculty champion willing to help train volunteer student consultants. The volunteers would have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in many projects within their area of discipline, and would be centrally connected to a great resource to pursue their own ideas. Overall, it would be a student-based support ot the deficit in "pursuit" of innovation on campus. 


Strategy #2:  Course Video Descriptions

There are a wide range of I&E courses at SCU, but a lot of them are not well marketed to students that are not in the School of Engineering. A lot of the time these classes may seem intimidating or daunting to non-engineering majors. As a way to alleviate this feeling, on the course description page of a particular class, there should be a 1-2 minute video of the professor describing the requirements, topics, scope, and application of their class. This contrasts the current course description page which hascurrently has abrief description of the class, the prerequisites, and required books. A video describing the course will not only be a more engaging way to learn about a class but it will give students a better feel for the professor's personality and the importance of the class. It will also help students get a better idea of if they want to take that class.

The quality of many elective classes at SCU are dependent on the content and the professor. The main resources students currently have access to for learning about a class and professor are the student submitted course evaluations or the generally biased reviews from websites likeRatemyprofessors. Students of all majors could formulate a better understanding of an elective course with a video description coming directly from the professor.

Strategy #3:  Project Board Website

The current SCU site is heavily geared toward potential students instead of current students. Many resources that students do use are specific to career development or relevant to specific academic departments. There are very limited resources outside of general career development tools that inspire and initiate interdisciplinary work among SCU students.

Therefore, our team discovered a need for a centralized site - ideally connected to the SCU site and geared heavily toward current students - in which projects and research conducted by either students or professors could be shared and teams for projects could be created. We thought that a site such as this would create an easy way for students to explore real-world projects through interdisciplinary work among all SCU students from all schools (Engineering, Business, Arts & Sciences, and Law).

Strategy #4: Nameless Career Fair

        Our campus lacks opportunities for students to explore the career path of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This is because often, students get placed in boxes based on their major or they get sucked into the idea that they need to work at a “name brand” company in order to be happy. Generally, career fairs are very overwhelming with people around you all trying to land the same job. This environment naturally causes people to gravitate towards big companies because everyone thinks that having a job at a big company means success. However, success should be something that is defined internally and measured by one’s self instead of listening to other people’s judgments about what is and isn’t allowed to make you happy. This is an attempt to pair students with jobs they could actually be happy at and explore the possibilities that are out there.

Spring 2018 Article - Nameless Career Fair

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Spring 2017 Priorities

STRATEGY #1: REINVENTING RESOURCE MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Tactic #1:  Camino Utilization

        Santa Clara, as shown through our Landscape Canvas, has many resources - from classes to clubs, from speaker events to workshops - but these are far underutilized due to a system of communication that is both difficult for the administration to maintain and doesn't fully reach out to the students of each college. In the school of Engineering, there is a weekly email sent out that is hand-crafted every Sunday night that lists out most of the events that will be happening that week. Club meetings, Maker Lab events, workshops, and many others are listed off in this email- but in the eyes of many, it comes across as almost "spammy". Most notably, not all engineers are interested in all disciplines of engineering, so they need to sort through dozens of items in order to find one they might be interested in. Along those same lines, the Business and Arts/Sciences schools appear to lack anything close to this, and students have to be completely on top of the hundreds of emails they receive each week just to see what they’re actually interested in.

        By utilizing Camino, a resource that every student on campus already accesses on a near-daily basis, we could potentially completely rework how our school’s resources deal with communications. Through Camino, club leaders, event organizers, and school administrators could communicate resources directly to interested students by publishing announcements about events when they are announced, directly messaging students to work out questions or RSVPs, and automatically add the event dates, times, and details to the students’ Google calendars. Students would sign up for which “groups” they would be interested in, whether they be Entrepreneurship, Art, Career Preparation, whatever it might be, and only receive notifications for those interests. It would be much more streamlined and direct than our current means of communication, and also helps grey out the boundaries between schools.

STRATEGY #2: REINVENTING CLASSES

Tactic:  Combining Pop-Up Classes

        In order to give the school an experience of innovation and entrepreneurship, Santa Clara offers various one-unitpop upclasses on relevant topics. A problem with these classes is that they don’t satisfy any requirement, are offered at odd times, and they are only worth one unit. This makes it so students can't or don’t want to take them. Therefore by combining them all into a 4-unit class would solve this problem. A problem that hasn’t been resolved yet is the fact that these classes are traditionally at odd times and are hard to fitinthe schedule. If the classes were all a part of the same class it wouldn’t have to be squeezed in eliminating the potential to take other classes. The largest benefit of these classes being in line so they can build off each other, and come together in a big final project that has areal worldcomponent.

STRATEGY #3: CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PURSUE

Tactic:  Multidisciplinary Startup Venture

        Something that our landscape canvas revealed about Santa Clara University was that there was a clear gap when it comes to pursuing a startup venture and applying the innovative and designskills into areal and practical sense. Being in the heart of the Silicon Valley and sitting on top of many valuable resources, SCU does not do enough to foster the development of student-driven startups and fails to encourage collaboration and experimentation across different disciplines within the Business, Engineering and Arts and Science schools.
         To remedy this, we outlined a startup competition which pairs students from multiple disciplines as well as industry professionals and professors to organize an idea and bring it into a real, physical startup. This would be a yearlong commitment where most of Fall Quarter would be spent in the team and skill building phase. Students would organize amongst themselves and pitch startup ideas to industry professionals/professors who are interesting in providing their expertise to those ideas to fruition. After teams organize themselves, Winter quarter would be where the idea finally transcends into a real startup. Teams would develop business strategies, produce prototypes of their product or service, develop marketing tools, create a distribution system and search for potential investors. School funding aswell as resources such as the MakerLab wouldbe accessible to students to eliminate any financial risks and apprehension. Finally, by the end of Spring Quarter, students would present their startup and be judged by industry professionals, potentially having their ideas and talent taken beyond the campus confinements and into either a company or on their own as a fully functional startup.

STRATEGY #4: MAKER STORE

Related Links

Spring 2018

Michael Mehta

Taylor Mau

Mariah Manzano

Connor Tisch


Spring 2017

Andrew Torrance

William McMullen

Matt Belford

Rory Pannkuk


SCU Campus Page