Community College and University Partnerships: Serving Local Entrepreneurs
Learn how Edmonds Community College and other community colleges partnered with the University of Washington/Bothell’s Business Development Center to connect with local entrepreneurs and assist them with start -up educational resources. Topics will include community outreach, funding and sustainability, developing and adapting community college curriculum, working with clients and advantages of university/community college partnerships.
This presentation is aimed at community college faculty or staff new to working with community partners and clients. The purpose of the presentation is to provide ideas about how community college students in classes such as Accounting 101, can assist entrepreneurs. The focus will be on four areas: Identifying strengths and abilities and what the college can offer to local entrepreneurs; best practices in working with local universities to serve local entrepreneurs; faculty roles in working directly with clients in the classroom and student roles in working with clients in the classroom. Fund raising and sustainability best practices will be reviewed as well. The presentation will be in PowerPoint format with questions and answers and will include several handouts: Business Development Center mission, goals and activities; teaching activities; contracts; program data as well as a handout of the presentation. The format for the PowerPoint presentation will be “how to” and will include step by step information for each of the key topics discussed.
Overview of each area:
*Identifying strengths and abilities: How can community college students assist small business owners? What strengths do they bring to the table? What are the strengths of the college in serving entrepreneurs? What information is needed to know if a class (students and instructor) can really work with a “live” entrepreneur.
*Best practices: Why should a four-year university work with local community colleges? What are the strengths of the institutions? How should clients be assigned to certain classes? What steps need to be taken to sustain relationships?
*Faculty roles: Why would a faculty member want to bring an entrepreneur into his/her class rather than just teach through case studies? What impact does the live client have on the curriculum? What training is needed? How is existing curriculum impacted? Should faculty receive stipends for working with clients? How should work with clients be evaluated?
*Student roles: What are the responsibilities of students when they are presented with a live client? What training or preparation do they need? What rules of engagement need to be established? What are the advantages of dividing the class into groups? Should the entire class work with the client as a requirement or should it be on a voluntary basis? Should outcomes be linked to client satisfaction? How should students be evaluated?
Susan Loreen, Dean, Business Division, Edmonds Community College, WA
Kristen Spangler or Walt Freitag, Title, University of Washington/Bothell Business Development Center, WA