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South Plains College

Background

In 1958, the college opened its doors primarily as a two-year academic transfer institution, the first such college in Texas in over ten years. South Plains College(SPC) encouraged the expansion of community colleges in Texas, arguably the most significant development in Texas' higher education in the last half of the twentieth century. SPC has continued to grow and expand, opening an extension at Reese Air Force Base in 1970, and a technical branch in Lubbock in 1973. In 1977, the college acquired and refurbished the West Texas Hospital building in downtown Lubbock, and in the fall of 1978 established the Lubbock Campus at that site. With the closing of Reese Air Force Base in 1997, the college acquired, through public conveyance, six educational buildings at the base. Thus, South Plains College continues to develop the unfolding intellectual environment of a community that is taking responsibility for the future.

Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship

- NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars(NCCAS)

- Plains Bridges to Baccalaurate Program

- Student Government Association

- Phi Theta Kappa

- Resident Housing Association

- Pay It Forward

- Student Entrepreneurs After Real Change (S.E.A.R.Ch)

- Maker Space in the Math and Engineering building

These opportunities are some of the few that are available at SPC. However, of them the only truly active ones are the NCCAS and bridges program, as far as getting students involved in innovation and entrepreneurship. Fortunately, SPC offers a class that challenges students to create an innovative product. These items are designed to solve some the major issues of the modern world. Some of these projects include:

- Solar powered DC outlet

- Styrofoam drone

- High efficiency incinerator

- Stair stepping furniture dolly,

- and many more that have yet to be designed by the brilliant young minds coming to South Plains College.

These two programs and this one class only reach a very small portion of the student body and this needs to drastically change. 

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Though there are some faculty that are no strangers to entrepreneurship and thinking with an innovative mindset, this does not appear to be something that is really pushed on campus. Part of our goal is to change this mindset and introduce a new way of thinking for all the staff and faculty. We want there to be a push in the direction of I&E. If our focus is only on seeing our students graduate and transfer to 4 year universities or start a job after getting their certificate, we will not move forward. So we need to have a strong push for I&E amongst the facutly. If we instill this mindset in the people running things, then we can guarantee it will trickle down to our students, opening up a new way of thinking for everyone that passes through SPC. 

Actively Supporting the Unviersity Technology Transfer Function

As of right now there are no policies in place supporting IP Policies at SPC. We do not have a technology transfer office, and from my research I found nothing in regards to intellectual property of students, and supporting the transition from IP to patenting and marketing the actual product. This is something that will need to be addressed over the long haul. 


Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

Though we do not have as many resources on campus as other schools, we have the Maker Space! This is a room set aside for innovation, collaboration, and prototyping. This room was made possible by the Fellows at SPC. So far this room has been used as an example to faculty of what a mobile classroom can look like. Also, it is full of prototyping materials which allows S.E.A.R.Ch club to hold design thinking workshops at least once per semester.

We are hoping that this room will create a spark amoungst the entire school and eventually lead to collaborating with industry.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

One of SPC's main goals is to assist in the economic development of the surrounding area. In 2008 SPC commissioned Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. to do a study trying to find the socioeconomic impact of SPC on the surrounding areas. The results were very promising, with SPC stimulating the economy by about 2.3% of the total income. However, these results stem mainly from student spending and employment of former students in the area. If our students were to create a lasting impact on the community through innovative ideas and products, the stimulation of the economy by SPC would increase substantially.

As a school, we are collaborating with Lubbock Economic Development Alliance by encouraging students to attend Computer Science Seminars that they are hosting for the foreseeable future.

Below is a link to our Landscape Canvas. This is a list of the resources that are available in or around our area.

 Landscape Canvas 2018

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1I6V8ho2VBZ470tEg9v7N_BozCSMJjEieGy7MiCxeA44/edit#gid=1

Related Links

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South Plains College Student Priorities

Texas_Tech_University 

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