School:York College of Pennsylvania

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Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

York College of PA offers a wide variety of experiential courses, spanning multiple disciplines and fields of study. It starts the first semester with the First Year Seminar (FYS) class, open only to Freshman and those students transferring in. This course serves as a hands on jump start for the students’ college careers. Courses like Entrepreneurial Thinking provide first year students with the skills and experiences needed to succeed in not just academics but also in an entrepreneurial mindset. The constellation program builds off of this first class. This is York’s general education program and provides specific areas of study such as Sustainability but with a multidisciplinary curriculum, allowing students to draw from a wide range of perspectives. The Kinsley Engineering center serves as a place for product or technology development. The engineering program at York College also requires students to dedicate three semesters to co-ops to graduate emphasizing entrepreneurship and business skills. The Graham Innovation Scholars have overseen the creation of a new makerspace on campus to promote innovation and entrepreneurship outside of the engineering center. The Graham Innovation Zone or GIZ is a space for collaboration and ideation between the different cohorts of The Honors Community. UNBOUND is a student led organization that teaches design thinking to students and local businesses to show how the process of innovation can be applied to many fields. The art department offers partnerships with the college’s art studio, Marketview Arts, an off campus art gallery and community hub in the heart of downtown York, PA. Student art gets put on display and allows art students to explore the spirit of entrepreneurship in their field. Students can also apply to the Weinstock Venture Investment Fund which helps take a business from idea to implementation. After successfully pitching an idea students can receive up to $5,000 and explore entrepreneurship first-hand.

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Center for Teaching and Learning at York College awards grants for faculty to provide them with opportunities to receive funding for resources towards developing innovative pedagogies. Grants from this center will allow all applicable faculty to test new teaching strategies, support student learning outcomes, replicate results in multiple disciplines, and enhance faculty understanding across all departments of new teaching methods. These grants are awarded for twice a year. The faculty proposals must include a problem that needs fixing, the method of innovative teaching, the expected impact of the program, and the evaluation of the program. The grants could be used to purchase and teach new technology or sponsor workshops or guest speakers. Previous grants have been awarded to faculty to fund Poverty Simulations to sensitize participants to uncomfortable situations. Our grant program is the most prominent and successful faculty funding program on campus. The SAIL (Student Academic Innovation Lab) is also a a program on campus which collaborates with students and faculty in order to create a more innovative and successful learning environment. The Graham Collaborative Innovation Fellows also bring along faculty on study abroad trips, helping teach design thinking as well as opening connections between students and faculty, and learning about different cultures.

Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

Tech transfer is not available at York College.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

York College of PA has an engineering co-op program with many business partnerships. These include and are not limited to: Johnson Controls, Voith Hydro, and Harley Davidson.  In addition to engineering, industry contacts exist for nursing majors who do clinicals. For those majors which are not specified, the Alumni Relations Office and many schools have contacts in various industries.

In the engineering department, there are many adjunct professors who work in the industry as optics engineering, consulting engineerings, etc. In nursing, many classes are taught by local nurse practitioners.

The Intelligence Analysis program at York College is another example of this cross collaboration between the college and external industry actors. Intelligence students not only get chances to hear and participate in panel discussions with intelligence agency officials but are also given the opportunity to co-author a book on U.S. national security threats and interests. The past iterations of this book have been recognized by the Director of the National Geospatial-Agency Robert Sharp and give students the experience of becoming published authors.

A knowledge park is also being developed which is to be used as a hub for school faculty, students and local business leaders to meet and exchange ideas and work together on projects.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

York College of Pennsylvania has multiple programs and departments that relate to the continuous furthering of innovation in the market. The Kinsley Engineering Center, in the engineering department is filled with machinery that allow engineers to explore and tinker. There are multiple oscilloscopes, tensile tester, an 3-D printers. The Stabler Department of Nursing has cutting edge simulation labs that mirror hospital facilities as nurses would see them in the work force. The J.D. Brown Wet lab space in downtown York city is a space owned by the college for anyone to use to develop a start-up business. The Graham Innovation Scholars is an application based program that helps accepted students mentor students to utilize innovation and entrepreneurial skill sets. The campus counseling services are available free to any student that attends York College. Counseling services include; one on one counseling, group counseling, referrals to local resources, all at no additional cost. The Career Development center works one on one to polish resumes, host networking events on campus, does mock interviews, real interviews, as well as mini internship fairs and career planning workshops. This is a resource for all students attending York College to utilize at no additional cost. College students have opportunites to mentor in their desired skills by partaking in the local efforts of developing Guppy Tank, Generations of Hope, and Salem Square; all programs that are implemented to engage and connect the campus with the city's youth.

Related Links

York College of Pennsylvania Student Priorities

Student Profiles:

Madison Davis

Max Vargo

Erin Hirtzel

Rachael Huebler

Victoria Cox

Ben Hinkel

Benjamin O'Connor

Nick Vandemark

John Kershner

Vivian Ferris

Miranda Gajda

William Amtmann

Related links