First You Panic, Then You Gasp, Then You Study!
Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City faced the loss of a major grant, a newly created Department of Entrepreneurship with no resources, and a faculty and staff questioning direction of the entire initiative. Focus groups to vent frustration were held. Script development and results will be presented for future use.
Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City created a Department of Entrepreneurship and hired a Director in anticipation of a multi-million dollar grant. When the granting agency dissolved the program, MCC was left with a grand plan, but no resources to implement it. Hundreds, if not thousands, of work hours had been spent to develop an entrepreneurship program that would span MCC’s five campus 42,000 student, 1300 employee district. Emotions quickly ran high, and after several months, it was decided to put the entrepreneurship program in a lower profile and focus on gathering institutional support. Focus groups were the agreed upon method of providing a venting opportunity, but more importantly, developing a vision of where this diverse institution wanted entrepreneurship to proceed.
To begin, a script was developed that would not only allow closure on the grant experience, but gather information needed to better understand how the five campuses wanted entrepreneurship to impact them individually. Focus groups were then conducted with students, faculty, staff, and administration for each of MCC’s five campuses. A qualitative analysis was then done for each group and between groups. The results reflected MCC’s diversity of students and employees, but also created a common ground upon which to start building MCC’s view of entrepreneurship. From this common foundation, MCC has worked, and continues to work, to impact the greater Kansas City metro area with an agenda largely determined by the very students, faculty and staff implementing and being affected by the entrepreneurship program.
Todd D. Mick, Ph.D., Director of Entrepreneurship, Metropolitan Community College, MO
Clint Dougherty, Program Coordinator for Entrepreneurship, Metropolitan Community College, MO