Spring on the York College campus

Evolve: The Campaign for York College

By Troy Miller, Vice President, Development
An artist's rendering shows the soon-to-be Knowledge Park, an industrial brick building with modern accents and a campus feel.

The Center for Collaborative Innovation (CCI) is not a new concept to be implemented at York College of Pennsylvania (YCP). It is a strategic organization that has evolved naturally from key elements that make YCP a distinctive institution of higher learning. 

Collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship are our basic tenets. The three main components of the CCI, the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI), the Engaged Scholars, and the Knowledge Park are already effective processes working every day at YCP. 

The CAI houses pedagogical high-impact practices. The Engaged Scholar program supports hands-on community-based and project-based applications of learning. The Knowledge Park is the learning laboratory where both of these programs are applied through an intersection with industry and our faculty and students. 

Centered at the intersection of the five schools, the CCI pulls these parts together in a collaborative model that knocks down silo walls and permits true interactivity. 

Center for Academic Innovation

The CAI provides resources for innovative teaching and research practices that are interdisciplinary and cross both disciplinary and pedagogical boundaries. As such, the CAI will create collaborations across the five schools and connect with student life, the Engaged Scholars programs, and the partnerships available through the Knowledge Park. The CAI will also provide resources for the incubation of new ideas by students and faculty. By focusing on innovative programs and student experiences, the CAI will connect with the other areas of the CCI to provide a distinctive educational experience for students that is engaging, innovative, and global.

Engaged Scholars

The York Engaged Scholars program is “an Honors program with a difference.” Its programming is designed to fit our own unique mission, supporting hands-on community- and project-based applications of learning. The York Engaged Scholars program reflects our already-tested experiences with York College’s Scholars programs—and particularly with the first of those programs, the Graham Innovation Scholars. This approach has demonstrated strong outcomes for students, and has already situated the College within the York business, governmental, and nonprofit sectors. Through interdisciplinary, action-based undergraduate research and project-based curricula/co-curricula, the York Engaged Scholars share an entrepreneurial mindset—the ability to take on problems and creatively solve them, whether in their own business or within an existing one.

Knowledge Park

The Knowledge Park provides an additional site on York College’s campus where high-impact pedagogies can be activated, and where The Engaged Scholars (and the general student body) can learn by doing, while also supporting the region’s economic development. In today’s highly competitive knowledge economy, institutions that understand the importance of nurturing partnerships between higher education, industry, and community partners are at the leading edge of problem-solving and innovation. As the central physical location that allows York College to form key partnerships, the Knowledge Park acts as a learning lab for our students and faculty as well as a source of innovative human and intellectual capital for industries. Embedded industry and community partners will work with our Engaged Scholars and faculty to give students experiential learning opportunities and chances to use the pedagogies developed within the CAI.

The CCI is something the College has been investing in for years, with your support, during the EVOLVE campaign, we can take this unique and distinctive process to the next level in a way that not only supports current students, but all future students, and the region as well.