Space College Foundation, Inc. (Space College) is intended to be an educational institution wherein students can be trained for careers in space exploration. The intent is to turbocharge the creation of the next generation of space explorers by expanding access to an overt course of studies focused on space exploration. Unlike other academic and training centers which focus only on classroom studies in one specific location, Space College will reach students regardless of their location. Space College will focus on educating students (and eventually generating graduates) by providing them with a broad, well-rounded background - one suited not just for a career in space exploration, but other professions as well.
Moreover, due to uneven access to institutions and facilities across the U.S. and the world, much of what Space College will do will involve virtual participation i.e. distance learning, massive open online courses (MOOC) etc. for individuals with geographic issues. In the case of established educational and training institutions, Space College will seek to utilize resources already available to students and the utilize offsite and virtual resources to help them achieve the skills they desire. Space College will seek to fill gaps by offering its own courses, training, and eventually, certification.
We believe that:
- space exploration is an adventure that everyone should have a chance to participate in regardless of their age, physical location, socioeconomic status, or cultural background - and do so in a way that meets their personal dreams, interests, and skills.
- a career in space exploration should be as easy to pursue as any other career and that the same means used to attract, train, and employ people for other careers can be used for careers in space exploration.
- students, teachers, space professionals, and the public should all be able to participate in the development and refinement of space exploration learning tools and teaching materials as well as make use of them.
- use of open source software and designs, combined with crowd-sourced development and citizen science, serve to enhance the learning experience and the development of new knowledge and technology and can instill a sense of community and ownership among all involved.
- the use of Internet and computer-based resources can provide a meaningful educational experience regardless of the location of the participants at a cost that is a fraction of traditional classroom formats. Such means of interaction can provide access faster than traditional "bricks and mortar" can.
- locations on Earth ("planetary analogs") can be used as classrooms for learning how to explore other worlds. These planetary analogs can serve a dual purpose for learning about our own planet and dealing with issues that confront its inhabitants.
- people pursuing space-related careers - or already employed in space exploration - have an important role to serve as ambassadors for - and promoters of - the benefits and excitement that can be derived from space exploration. Everyone can be an evangelist. First rule of Space College: talk about Space College.
- there is value to using old hardware for new purposes - and that new information can be derived from old data.