PPCC President Lance Bolton has been floored by the success of the Quad.
Photo by Wild Prairie Photography

Devon Martinez, Staff Writer

A college degree isn’t the only valuable thing to have when entering the job market.

Companies expect more, and honestly, there are traits you need to develop in order to become a valuable member in the modern economy.

The Quad is a partnership that will teach you these valuable skills.

The only thing you need is an open mind, a skill, and the passion to work with others within the community to solve problems.

Applying to the Quad’s summer intensive workshop in June, and its semester-long Innovation Consultant Project will provide the satisfaction of experience that is needed for your future career.

Currently, the Quad has five rigorous Innovation Consultant projects in play, with about 30 students enrolled in the program, at 4-6 students per project.

Each project is “scope-based, designed to be done during the length of a semester of college. The actual time spent on the projects depends on how long the problem takes to solve.

Each project is different and focuses on different problems with different companies/local nonprofits.

Currently, project partners include: El Paso County Department of Public Health on local ‘food deserts’ (urban areas where quality food is hard to buy); Alitia, a software company interested in moving towards Augmented Reality, Innovations in Aging on developing an affordable housing model for seniors, Colorado Springs Utilities, where students work on energy solutions, and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, which is currently focused on the contaminated land at Venetucci farm, and possible ways to generate revenue with the land.

The summer intensive paid workshop is a bit different and is treated as a regular 9-5 job. Participants are expected to dive into a business or community problem, and to use skills and entrepreneurial creative spirit to collaborate and solve problems.

Interdisciplinary majors are encouraged and needed, and the Quad draws talent from PPCC, UCCS, CC, and USAFA, creating collaboration from a diverse group of individuals with different perspectives and ideas.

According to Beka Adair the Associate Director of the Quad, this isn’t an internship.

“You’re essentially a consultant working with a client to produce something,” Adair said.

Adair recommends students put their all into the application process. The Quad is seeking bright minds motivated to build a better Colorado Springs. Adair says students should not be afraid to tell their stories and share who they are.

PPCC student Jeremy Stauceanu worked on the summer intensive for summer of 2018 and worked on the Venetucci farm project for the innovation consultant project for the 2018 fall semester.

Staucenu has already used some of the skills he picked up from the Quad for projects in the real world.

“I helped a friend start a coffee shop over the winter break,” Staucenu said. “They had four to five years of data from the previous coffee shop. So, I helped them look at that, and I helped them make projections of what is realistic, and what they can expect to get out of it.”

Staucenu recommends that all PPCC students look into the Quad if they want to get a step ahead and learn important skills.

For more information, visit www.quadcos.org