The Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) is led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF). It is a national competition where community college student teams, working with a supportive faculty or administrator mentor, use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems; earn full travel support to attend an Innovation Boot Camp in the Washington, D.C. metro area; and compete for cash awards.
The Innovation Boot Camp provides professional development, mentoring, and coaching designed to build strategic communication and entrepreneurial skills to help students advance their innovations in both the private and public sectors. Students participate in sessions on commercializing ideas, using technology for social applications, communicating with stakeholders, refining a pitch, and more. The Boot Camp culminates in a poster session and engagement opportunity with STEM leaders and Congressional stakeholders, and a pitch presentation in front of a panel of esteemed industry and entrepreneurial professionals to determine the first, second, and third place winning teams.
The national CCIC is designed to enable community college students to discover and demonstrate their capacity to use STEM to make a difference in the world and to translate that knowledge into action.
The Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) encompasses two distinct but interrelated phases of the competition.