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January 4, 2022

Cavaliers get real-world experience and give back to JCCC

Some students in career programs such as Graphic Design and Web Development & Digital Media are graduating with more than a degree. They’re also getting invaluable, hands-on experience through JCCC’s Student Agency.

“The Student Agency has the potential to engage with many of the career programs at JCCC, providing those students with important experiences in their fields,” said Vince Miller, Dean of Academic Support.

Students take on clients from area businesses and within the College, and provide them with creative services ranging from websites to videos to branding and social media. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, students contract to provide services for clients. In the process, they expand their skill set and apply their coursework in the field.

James Hopper, Web Development & Digital Media professor, has been involved with the Student Agency since it began in 2018. “We wanted to give students a way to partner with a client to build their portfolio. ‘Here’s the client, budget, timeline and goal – now what do you need to do?’ Employers really want to see how a student works with clients. Being part of the Student Agency is the perfect opportunity.”

The client fee not only pays students and faculty for their work; it also contributes to student scholarships through the JCCC Foundation. That’s a win-win for students.

Out-of-this-World Collaboration

JCCC’s Student Agency recently contributed to the multidisciplinary Kansas Cosmos project. Students and faculty from the Web Development, Graphic Design and Astronomy programs, along with the Honors Program and the Kansas Studies Institute, created a web application that maps the solar system to scale across the state of Kansas.

Imagine driving on I-70 across Kansas and having a handheld telescope tell you where you are in comparison to the vastness of the solar system. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to know interesting facts about the objects orbiting roughly 62 miles above you? Check out the web application at kansascosmos.org.

The Student Agency has been involved with Kansas Cosmos since summer 2021, when Graphic Design, Honors and Web Development students redesigned the homepage and interactivity on the site. This fall, they are adding new features.

“They’re creating an interactive aspect that allows users to earn mission badges for traveling to orbits and locations across the state,” said Tai Edwards, Professor of History, Director of the Kansas Studies Institute and Kansas Cosmos project leader.

JCCC’s Foundation Made Happen

During the early phases of the Kansas Cosmos project, the JCCC Foundation provided support through scholarships for contributing students.

“In-state tuition was covered for all students the three semesters we were researching, designing and building the site,” said Edwards. “That financial support was essential to the success of the project, because it allowed even more students to participate,” she said.

Business Challenge? We Can Help!

If your business has a project or a problem you’d like to solve, hire us! Our students are under the mentorship of experienced faculty, and all must have:

  • Completed 12+ credit hours in a related discipline
  • GPA of 2.5 + in those courses
Email studentagency@jccc.edu or call 913-469-2522 to set up a meeting. As a bonus, a portion of your client fee will go toward JCCC Foundation student scholarships.