Modesto Junior College (MJC) has been serving Stanislaus County for 100 years. We support and develop our students’ aspirations for improvement, encourage their hopes for a better life and aim to meet their need for community.
We are dedicated to identifying and cultivating the many talents of our students through learning “by doing” in a wide variety of academic and professional programs. Our Applied Creativity and Community Transformation (ACCT) Institute fosters teaching and learning by asking students, educators and community leaders to work together to engage in real world problem solving, local apprenticeship and volunteerism.
Active Competitions: 2022-2023
In 2022-2023, there are three active categories of problem/solution projects at MJC aligned with the ACCT Institute’s MJC Forward initiative. These competitions ask students and instructors to work with community leaders and organizers and institution partners to transform the classroom into an exploratory laboratory where learners build-essential skill sets and better prepare for the future, all while helping solve the problems of our community.
Each of these following challenges seeks to foster innovation, creativity, problem-solving through collaboration, and flexibility by asking students to brainstorm, design, reflect, retool and rethink while engaging local organizations, college alumni, and community leaders to build momentum for their big ideas.
- Identify a Problem in Your Community
- Identify a Problem and Propose a Solution in Your Community
- Solve a Problem in Your Community
- $5,000 to help fund implementation of a plan to solve a problem from the Problem Bank
Propose a Solution in Your Community
This competition asks teams to identify an existing community issue and to propose an innovative solution.
Deadline: June 17, 2023.
What Are We Looking For in a Solution?
- Innovative: A solution with a novel approach to address a social problem
- Collaborative: A project that engages and enlists others
- Social Impact: A solution with a positive and measurable impact
Who Can Apply?
At least one registered MJC student must initiate the process, applying for a team to participate in the contest. The MJC student representative(s) on a team must be registered in at least one course at MJC during the Fall 2022, Spring 2023 or Summer 2023 semester.
There is no cost to participate in the competition and no prior experience is required.
One of the purposes of these competitions is to incentivize a goal or future achievement, so it is not necessary to have a solution implemented. Rather, a solution should be a well-thought out proposal with some kind of prototyping, experimentation or other evidence of viability.
- Joining The Competition
- Register on the website and create your user profile.
- Create or join a team. A team is required and must have a minimum of 2 members.
- Review the different competition types and start your application.
- Submit your application before the competition deadline(s).
- Evaluation of Submissions
- Once the applications are submitted, there will be a review period.
- Submissions will be reviewed by a select panel of experts.
- Approved submissions will be move into the final round of judging.
- Judging & Selection Criteria
- Quality of Proposal: Is the proposed solution clearly defined and can it provide a quality outcome?
- Timeliness: Can the solution be implemented in a reasonable timeframe?
- Inclusivity: How well does the solution represent the key stakeholders within the community?
- Social Impact: What level of social impact does the solution provide to the members of the community?
How to Get Started
Below are helpful tips to get you started identifying local problems and/or solutions in your community:
- Talk to people in your community to find out what problems they are facing every day.
- Post problems you identify on social media, for instance on your neighborhood Facebook Group or on NextDoor asking for input. Read people’s posts to find out what issues are bothering them most.
- Talk to other students at your school — set up a table on campus with a sign asking for 5 minutes of their time to answer some questions. If possible, give away some snacks as a thank you; or create an online survey with questions about people’s community-related concerns and send it to your friends/family. Ask them to circulate it and to post it on their social media pages.
- Invite your friends/family to participate in a video brainstorming session where you can talk through everyone’s ideas about problems they deem important in the community.
- Skim the local newspaper to find out what issues reporters are writing about, or visit your local government’s website/blog to see what issues they’re talking about. Reach out to local government’s representatives: the local Bureau of Economic Development, the mayor’s office, etc. to ask them about local problems. You can also attend a city council meeting to get some more ideas!
- See these resources developed by Modesto Junior College, https://libguides.mjc.edu/CommonGround#s-lg-box-13983556 and http://commonground.blogs.yosemite.edu/, as well as Stanislaus County’s https://www.stancounty.com/ceo/econ-dev/pdf/ceds.pdf.
Before You Start Your Application
- You need a team of at least two individuals to apply.
- Use the “Save Draft” button to save your application before final submission.
- Pay attention to character and word limits.
- Your session will automatically time out after two hours.
- Submit your application by the submission deadline.