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Students struggle for a variety of reasons. School systems are complex areas to navigate, and often times, school success is defined by how well a student can navigate the cultural and societal landscape of a school or university. Makerspaces are well-equipped to work with this population as experiential learning relies on the experiences and knowledge acquired through fixing and making. This offers leadership opportunities for at-risk and at-promise students. By working with these students to help them design library services, and makerspaces, they can improve services for everyone.

Design thinking workshops empower these students to generate new ways that the university can develop pathways to their success. Through research and targeted workshops, the presenters have used a variety of methods to help these students succeed. The results are long-lasting relationships, a strong community, and fewer students failing or dropping out.