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Using an Open Educational Resource to Engage Students AND Community Entrepreneurs

Posted By Jeffrey D. Waybright, Monday, November 18, 2013

How SCC’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship is Currently Taught

At SCC we offer a 30 credit certificate in entrepreneurship during winter and spring quarters. Our program is team taught by three faculty and is taught using an integrated approach. Our program is made up of three classes that run consecutively and topics (accounting, marketing, operations, etc.) are interwoven throughout each class versus being taught in individual classes. We currently only utilize one textbook that covers writing a business plan in the class. The rest of the material is provided by the three instructors.

Learning about HP LIFE, a no-cost Open Educational Resource

This past October while at the annual NACCE conference, I had the opportunity to learn about HP LIFE e-learning and the wheels in my head immediately started turning.  If you are unfamiliar with HP LIFE e-learning, it is an online learning tool that has been created by HP to help entrepreneurs gain the business and technology skills needed to start or grow their business.  HP LIFE e-learning contains 20 interactive modules that individuals can take in their own time. Each module usually takes between 20 and 60 minutes to complete. The best part is that HP LIFE e-learning is free to use.

Integrating HP LIFE

We have decided to incorporate these modules into our entrepreneurship program at SCC beginning in January 2014.  Our intent is to assign the individual models (as they fit into the curriculum) as homework assignments prior to covering the topics in class.  Our hope is that the students will come better prepared to discuss the topics and be able to ask more in depth questions that will strengthen their learning. We will require the students to complete the module and then post their certificate of completion in Canvas in order to receive credit for each assignment. 

Engaging Community Entrepreneurs via HP LIFE

In addition to utilizing HP LIFE e-learning  in our entrepreneurship program we also intend to utilize the modules in some small business workshops that we are launching in December, 2013.  We are creating these free workshops to assist the entrepreneurs in our community.  These workshops will be offered on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month in the evening from 5:30 to 7:30. Although the HP LIFE e-learning modules will not be the only topics we cover in these workshops, they will definitely help get us started.  We haven’t decided whether we will have the workshop attendees complete the modules prior to attending the workshop (and provide their certificate as their entry ticket) or if we will have them complete the module as part of the workshop.

Stay tuned, I will post an update after we start using the modules!

Jeffrey Waybright is the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship program coordinator and an accounting instructor at Spokane Community College.  Jeffrey received his Accounting degree and M.B.A. from Eastern Washington University. Before becoming a college instructor, Jeffrey spent eight years as a practicing CPA in Washington State and still holds his license.

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