President Speaks at White House Summit
Mission College President Laurel Jones returned this week from
the White House where she had the opportunity to highlight the Mission College
Center for Innovation and Technology (MC2IT) during a summit that
focused on entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education.
Her comments as a panelist at the White House Summit on
Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority
Serving Institutions provided the only perspective from a California school as
well as the only one from a community college. Most of the other panelists were
from East Coast universities, many of which are focusing on creating
entrepreneurship courses that teach students how to launch their own start-ups,
Jones said. By contrast, MC2IT allows businesses to be instrumental
in students’ educational plans.
“It was really amazing that we were one of the few
institutions that had a very different approach to entrepreneurism and
innovation,” said Jones, who was invited to speak by Rep. Mike Honda’s office.
“Those in attendance were quite impressed that we are looking at
entrepreneurism from the perspective of having businesses being prescriptive in
The half-day event drew about 200 people from colleges and
universities, the business community and government. Jones said she received
kudos for Mission College's MC2IT approach, particularly from those
Jones launched the nonprofit MC2IT last fall with
the dual aim of helping students and the local business community. As one part
of the organization, students work directly with high tech companies on back
burner projects they would like completed but don’t have the time or employees
to do themselves. MC2IT also hosts a speaker series aimed at young
executives in the area.
Also as part of MC2IT, Jones plans to establish
an incubator lab on campus where students can work on projects and young
executives can have plug and play access to work, think about their own
projects and to network.
As part of her panel comments, Jones spoke about MC2IT
in relation to the college’s focus on science, technology, engineering and math
majors and making sure underrepresented students have access to those