Priorities:Santa Clara University Student Priorities
2021-2022 Student Priorities
Priority 1: Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2021-2022)
Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Santa Clara University’s campus can be observed in physical spaces and amongst the community. The Innovation Zone, previously named the Maker Lab, is a space for all students to collaborate and create projects with a variety of machinery and tools. Secondly, the Senior Design Program instituted in the School of Engineering encourages students to innovate and produce cutting-edge projects using their knowledge accumulated in their undergraduate careers. Additionally, the Bronco Accelerator is another strong example of the University supplying entrepreneurs with funds, resources, and connections to see their ideas come to life.
Priority 2: Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2021-2022)
As Santa Clara University is based in the heart of Silicon Valley, there is a thread of innovation that can be consistently seen through many of the different professors’ teachings on campus. From including group projects that encourage students to innovate within their major to including group discussions connecting topics to current events, SCU Professors tend to encourage students to innovate within the classroom. Outside the classroom, many professors are either directors or fellows of their own labs such as the Maker Lab, EPIC Lab, COVE, Frugal Innovation Hub, the Imaginarium and so on. Faculty encourage students to find solutions to real world problems by using the skills that they learned in the classroom; this builds an innovative atmosphere and urges students to think about the impact of their knowledge and skills. Furthermore, The Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has a Faculty Advisory Board that provides faculty with a way to guarantee that students are receiving the best resources and guidance from the Ciocca Center so that they are able to learn and craft the best innovative experiences around campus.
Priority 3: Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration (2021-2022)
Santa Clara University facilitates a number of pathways and pipelines that facilitate collaboration with industry. The Bioinnovation and Design Lab at SCU currently hosts two projects with the Amronyx Corporation and G-Tech Medical Silicon Valley that are open to students interested in learning how to apply knowledge learned in academia research to market with industry partners, as it relates to addressing challenges in healthcare. In the Leavey School of Business and Ciocca Center for Entrepreneurship, the Bronco Venture Accelerator, SCU Venture Capital Association, and SCU Finance Club offers corporate-backed internships to students who are interested in applying analytical skills to real-world market data and advising services for start-ups in Silicon Valley. Lastly, the College of Arts and Sciences (Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Department of Engineering) and Leavey School of Business frequently invite industry-veterans for lecture series and speaker events, where opportunities to participate or apply for internships local to Silicon Valley are discussed and presented. Santa Clara University and its academic department often invite alumni with industry experience and insights to campus to discuss prospects and reflections to current students.
2018-2019 Student Priorities
Priority 1: Encouraging Innovative Cross-Collaboration Among the Schools at SCU
Most essential to the success of real-life projects and teams is collaboration. At Santa Clara University, however, the individual schools are often siloed, lacking cross-collaborative activities and courses that would enrich the students’ experiences even further. Courses within the Engineering school are excellent for technical training, and Business school courses prepare their students for much of the business scenarios they may encounter, but at the core of entrepreneurship is a combination of technical advancements and business acumen that can only be achieved with collaboration. We intend to implement a hands-on, project-based course that will bring engineering and business students together in a collaborative environment. Students will learn crucial technical and business topics, and how their intersection can push innovation to the next level. Teams will be made up of students in various majors who can act as both leaders and learners, ultimately contributing to a product that will move through a version of the entire entrepreneurial process. Based on student interests and market research, this course will be developed (by our team and faculty champion) to meet the demands of the students and their future careers as collaborative contributors to innovative success.
Priority 2: Promoting Awareness of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Resources
While many I&E opportunities exist at SCU, there is currently a problem in boosting student awareness of them. The Engineering School has sent out emails, created an online calendar, and even put up physical fliers advertising events that students can get involved in, but an overload of information has led to most engineering students neglecting these efforts. Typically, the same group of students is attending each event, so the challenge resides in expanding the group of attendees to a wider range of engineers. Our team intends to have a large, quarterly event where organizers and professors can pitch their events to students, which would restrict advertising to a few hours as opposed to lengthy, weekly emails. Additionally, our team members will act as liasons between the administration/event organizers and the students by raising awareness through fliers, social media advertising, and outreach to clubs.
Priority 3: Identifying and Accommodating Students’ Entrepreneurial Ambitions
In order to create demand for the abundant I&E resources on campus, we must first understand students' expectations and ambitions for their college careers. If they expect a large emphasis on entrepreneurship in a classroom setting, we can meet them there with new courses and revamped lab guidelines. If we find students want more freedom and are interested in entrepreneurship outside of the classroom, we will provide access to community-sourced projects and resources. We would like to find out where these expectations and desires lie through extensive market research. We hope to properly gain the perspective of students and professors by explicitly speaking to these individuals, as well as implicitly analyzing which resources, approaches, and courses are popular and why others need work.
Priority 4: Bridging the Gap Between Classroom Curriculum and Applied Innovation
Problem solving in the workplace is much different than the guided labs many students are used to doing at university. Due to this fact, when students find themselves in internships and full-time jobs, they are ill prepared for the more open-ended problem solving that exists in the workplace. In order to better prepare students for the future, we hope to rework labs to allow for more freedom in studentss solutions and creative problem solving. Additionally, by better promoting more projects on campus, students will get the opportunity to collaborate with other engineers, which is a key component of real-world projects. The combination of these two initiatives will ideally instill confidence in students when they are asked to work on collaborative, open-ended projects during their internships and full-time jobs, which will lead to even more opportunities for the students in the future. As such, we intend to work with faculty to create innovative lab guidelines and objectives, as well as provide more opportunities for team and project creation.