By: Douglas Schacht, Entrepreneurship Instructor, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton WI
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2014-2015 Coleman Foundation Grant received by Fox Valley Technical College is focused on promoting and piloting an accelerated three-credit entrepreneurial mindset course as an elective for students in program areas that naturally lend themselves to self-employment (horticulture, residential construction, interior design, culinary arts, etc.). The project was specifically designed to address Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge Action Steps 1, 2, 4, & 5. We chose to create an accelerated, 5-day, 3-credit course to be taught during our January 2015 and August 2015 interim weeks. Our goal was 15 students per class, and our inaugural class that recently wrapped up had 12 students in it from a variety of program areas.
I recently completed reading and grading their final reflection papers and was pleasantly surprised by many of the comments shared by students. The overarching theme went something like “I had no idea what to expect walking into this course but am so glad I took it. After this experience I am more confident in my future than I ever could have imagined.” Reflecting on those comments it seems clear that we did a good job helping those students embrace their internal locus of control and power to choose which is critical for these future entrepreneurs.
A significant lesson learned is that we need to do a better job educating our internal stakeholders on what this course provides and use the students from this course as ambassadors in the recruitment process for the August course. We will also be reaching out to our Student Life team to engage them in the shaping of this course and outcomes moving forward.