School:South Plains College
- 1 South Plains College
- 2 Background
- 3 Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- 4 Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- 5 Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function
- 6 Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration
- 7 Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts
- 8 Landscape Canvases
- 9 Related Links
South Plains College
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. In 2019, SPC acquired a new building in downtown Lubbock aptly named the Downtown Center, which is now open for Art and Science classes. The academic building includes 46 classrooms, and students have access to all services that are needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. 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
- National College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS)
- Plains Bridges to Baccalaureate Program
- Student Government Association
- Study Abroad Program
- 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 NCAS and Bridges program, as far as getting students involved in innovation and entrepreneurship. Fortunately, SPC offers Intro to Engineering 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:
- App controlled robot
- 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 University 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.
In the fall of 2009 South Plains College opened the Center for Clinical Excellence (CCE), a state of the art facility that utilizes the latest technology to educate health occupation students on the South Plains. The CCE is home to the Clinical Informatics Center where students have access to interactive learning simulations, virtual IV trainers and computer assisted instruction. This interaction requires students to utilize critical thinking and decision making skills. It also provides the opportunity to practice newly learned skills and procedures.
We are hoping that this room will create a spark amongst 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. In 2022, we had a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Helen DeVitt Jones Student Learning Center. The center offers spacious common areas or private study rooms. Students can print course materials and make copies within the printing station located in Room 99. In addition, students can check out anatomy models to study within the learning center.
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. Once a month the STAR Center offers workshops to provide students with specific skills and experiences designed to enhance personal and academic growth. Workshop topics include study skills, stress management, financial aid renewal process and job skills (interviewing, job search).
The Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate (PBB) Program is a partnership between South Plains College (SPC) and Texas Tech University (TTU) funded by the National Institutes of Health. PBB is a multi-faceted program for students from underrepresented groups interested in science and who plan to start their college career at South Plains College. The program aims to help these students succeed in higher education and to help them make a smooth, successful transition to a four-year institution, such as Texas Tech University. The PPB Program provides activities and services to help SPC students succeed in college, transfer to a four-year university, and continue their education in the biological/biomedical sciences. Examples of activities include workshops focused on time management, study strategies and careers in science, undergraduate research, and travel to a national scientific conference.
Below is a link to our Landscape Canvas. This is a list of the resources that are available in or around our area.