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Innovation 2014 - Notes from the Opening General Session

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Monday, March 03, 2014

Happy to be at The League for Innovations.  Just a few of my notes. Wish I could type faster. Please add your notes to the comments section below.

Welcomed by Gerardo E. de los Santos, President and CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College


2014 ETS / Terry O’Banion Award Winner

Dr. Piedad Robertson, Board of Trustees, Educational Testing Services

“Leadership is a joint effort of people who think alike and try to achieve what have not been done before.”


2013 John E. Roueche and Terry O’Banion International Leadership Award Winner

Martha Kanter, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education and Senior Fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University

At the heart of Community Colleges, is their mission is to help students excel.

Ten years ago, the external factors were the same - budgets cuts, flailing economy, the need to train our students for jobs that will help the economy grow.  Like then, now, there is a continued need to innovate in higher education to surmount those challenges.

We need to educate our leaders understand 2 things.

1.      1. More than half community colleges work full time and can only go to school part time. Full time school is not an option.

2.       2. We need to look at innovation in the classroom. Community colleges have been innovating for the last century.

Her ask:

1.       Bring in local and federal leaders and journalists and tell them your story – giving access to more students and different students, innovating in the classroom, tactics you have to keep college affordable. Tell them what you have done to build partnership, increase the STEM pipeline and the number of teachers in the pipeline.

Community colleges are building our nation. Democracy is at risk. Higher education needs to stretch ourselves to tie ourselves to shaping the nation to what we want to become. The national conversation is about workforce training, or how to serve the students who are not served. The Crucible Moment report on Civic Learning showed that students did not know there were 9 justices on the Supreme Court or the history of democracy. 

2.       American Democracy commitment – Made at White House Summit in 2012. Voter registration is one of the first goals.  Also need to get students to lead government.

 Access is an outcome that can be delivered to the public. 1 Million veterans returning that need to be served by Higher Ed.

How do we get this country to have the best educated workforce in the world? 4 strategies:

·         1. Access

·         2. Affordability

·         3. Quality

·         4. Completion

We need to replicate and scale what works.


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Student Profile: Dustin Cagle, Northeast Alabama Community College, National College/Postsecondary Vice President of SkillsUSA

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Friday, February 28, 2014
I was delighted to meet Dustin at WDI, after he gave remarks at a morning session. I was moved by his story of student success, and how SkillsUSA help him and many others find his career passion. He was kind enough to let me post his speech below.


SkillsUSA Opening Session Speech


          We hear a lot these days about the “Skills Gap.” We hear stories of students who are heading off to college unprepared and end up failing to complete any kind of credential or being able to transfer to a four-year school. We hear stories of young adults who lack the skills and work ethics needed to get a job and keep a job.


Well, I’m here to tell you a different story.


Good morning, my name is Dustin Cagle. I am a student at Northeast Alabama Community College, where I am a drafting design major. I also serve as the National College/Postsecondary Vice President of SkillsUSA.


At SkillsUSA, you hear stories of student success, of students making a difference in their communities, of students building and securing their own futures. You hear stories about skilled and educated students who are realizing their dreams as they advance to higher education or the world of work.


SkillsUSA helps students, like me, find our career passions. In addition, it empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.


We know that through work force development, individuals can receive training that makes them a greater asset in the work force. We also know that leadership and professional development are essential to ensuring those same individuals get a job and are successful at that job. So why not offer your students a program that focuses on the best of both?


We are a national student leadership organization serving more than 300,000 student and professional members in all 50 states and three U.S. territories. SkillsUSA complements technical skills training with instruction in the employability skills that make for a well-rounded worker. That is what sets us apart and what can give your students an edge in the workplace. When people talk about college-ready and career-ready, or 21st Century Skills, they are talking about the combination of academic skills, technical skills, and employability skills. SkillsUSA ties them all together making your students necessary and sought after by employers. A prepared, educated and motivated employee is any company’s best resource. The need for talented human capital will always be paramount to the success of any company  ̶  no matter what they produce or service they provide. Nurturing that potential is a long-term investment that pays off for America’s top companies and small businesses. Nurturing that potential is what SkillsUSA is all about and it’s why we have such great support from corporate America. More than 1,000 businesses support SkillsUSA. Companies such as Toyota, Lowe’s, Snap-on, State Farm, Bosch, Caterpillar, and many others see value in SkillsUSA students.


Employers look to community colleges  ̶  your schools  ̶  for dependable workers who are willing to learn. SkillsUSA can help you connect to local businesses and help you offer a steady supply of motivated and skilled employees.


Today’s students are facing some harsh realities. Our economic future is uncertain. Many communities are facing tough times. College costs are skyrocketing. The number of applicants for admission at two-year schools is higher than they’ve ever been, making it more competitive.


Now more than ever, we need an edge that allows us to stand out from the crowd. That edge is SkillsUSA. We enrich the student experiences on campus, improve student recruitment and retention, and further business partnerships.


I would like to share with you how SkillsUSA personally influenced my life.


Before SkillsUSA, I didn’t know what my future looked like. It was like I was lost in the dark without a flashlight. I was just going with the “high-school flow” just wanting to graduate school and be done. I had no goals set for myself and didn’t have a path to follow. I didn’t have the self-confidence to set those goals and to find a right path.


Then I found career/technical education and SkillsUSA. Career/technical education provided me with a trade I was good at, BUT SkillsUSA drove it home. SkillsUSA gave me the confidence to set goals and a sense of direction to further my education… to go to college.


So here I am now in college, and SkillsUSA is STILL molding me.


SkillsUSA has now given me a deeper sense of confidence and purpose. I have the confidence to set further goals and continue to grow as an individual. I now have the sense of purpose to influence others to further their education as well and graduate college. SkillsUSA linked me with business and industry to give me potential job opportunities. I now have job offers in places I never imagined. SkillsUSA showed me what the future workforce is in dire need of and molded me into that leader that America needs. I am now EDUCATED and SKILLED to lead America!

Tags:  WDI 

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Emerging Model Marries Technology and Hope- By: Dr. Scott Fredrickson

Posted By Barbara Cox, Monday, February 24, 2014
Dr. Scott Fredrickson is a Professor of Entrepreneurship & Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Learning Center at Saddleback College

It seems to be a repeated pattern that when the economy takes a downturn, our institutions of higher education see enrollment increases. Long-time workers find themselves in need of new skills or of updating their existing ones. Education programs that emphasize job or career preparation feel the impact and work to provide the most and the best. Following the most recent major downturn, the pattern held, and colleges were pressed to move students forward toward new or changed careers, and to do so with fewer resources to do so.

Interestingly, another phenomenon happened on the way, one not always seen in the old pattern. Attention came to focus as much or more on building businesses as on preparing jobs. We needed to create the jobs, not wait for bandages to bring back the old ones. At the same time, and with speed we’d not seen previously, emerging technologies, innovation, and the creativity of a new generation, coalesced to make the possibilities for new businesses surge forward.

One more phenomenon seems to have been taking hold, and some will tell you that this one, too, is generational. Maybe it has been an awakening, an outcome of growing awareness on unprecedented scales. Let me share a short observation with you. Several teachers of business have contributed their experience that getting students motivated to plan a business is a challenge. Some of the most engaged of students would announce their intention to become wealthy by inventing a new app, or to live "in the fast lane” by selling "really hot t-shirts!” These teachers now tell me, and I see it myself, that the current wave of students wants to do something remarkable, whether minor or great, to help the world. And they want to do it by creating a business that will do it, and make money down this path. Furthermore, they feed this motivation by learning about engineering, sustainable agriculture, energy savings and generation, health sciences, people, technologies … you name the question. These students want to enter the arena of economic growth by creating solutions to serious, deep-rooted problems and the businesses to deliver them.

Developing Sustainable Business Models

The concept that describes this business mission is social entrepreneurship, the development of   sustainable business models to solve chronic social issues. Since the inception of the term in 1980 by Bill Drayton founder of Ashoka, the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, social entrepreneurs have developed innovative solutions to many of society’s most pressing social problems. Social entrepreneurs act as change agents for society by drawing upon thinking in both the business and non-profit worlds to develop new approaches to a company’s mission and thus sustain social value. Finally, after 34 years of being perceived as "charity work,” social entrepreneurship is coming into its own.

Examples of sustainable businesses with a social conscience include:

VisionSpring – a combination of Mary Kay and LensCrafters that sells inexpensive reading glasses across India, China, and Latin America. This business employs local sales reps using the Grameen Bank micro-finance model that has proven successful across Bangladesh.
TerreCycle – produces over 250 products from 60 waste streams that would otherwise be destined for landfills.

Thermpod – manufactures a sleeping bake-like device that warms low-birth babies in hospitals and clinics in areas that have unreliable electricity and heat lamps that don’t always work.


Social entrepreneurship can also operate with an existing business structure. Intrepreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur within an existing organization. Finding the collaboration of social  good and smart business as well a meeting the needs of the community is becoming the new standard against which we judge the health and worth of a business. Business typically measures performance by accounting standards of profit and loss. Social entrepreneurs must also use these standards but take into account a positive return to society. These broad social, cultural and environmental goals are most commonly associated with nonprofit organizations. But when embraced by a business organization, can foster sustainable profits and positive community goodwill.

Triple Bottom Line

The "triple bottom line" was first coined by John Elkington in 1994. He proposed that companies should be measured with three bottom lines; profit or loss, plus social and environmental concerns.” These additional two lines would measure how socially responsible the company has been to their community and the environment.
For example, if a company made a profit, but neglected maintenance on their storage tanks that eventually burst, polluting a major river providing drinking water for a large population, and the government ends up spending taxpayer money on river clean-up, how would this company be measures?

In today’s world, a socially sustainable business must develop three measurable objectives:

1. Profitability – A business must continue to make money developing products and services the market deems worthy and protect shareholder equity.
2. Socially responsibility – A business must be aware and respond to the social and community needs of its employees, customers, other stakeholders, and markets.
3. Environmental awareness – A business must commit to sustainable environmental practices to ensure the health of the community, reduce waste, and conserve energy.

Social Entrepreneur Challenge

In 2013, the state of Michigan launched the Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneur Challenge. The goal of this public-private effort was to develop innovative solutions to help solve chronic and social issues like poverty and hunger by applying sustainable free market models.

Michigan was the first state to hold a social entrepreneur competition and was extremely pleased with over 400 participants and 150 business plans submitted. 10 winners were selected and coached to pitch their business models to potential investors. 8 of the winners are currently in the process of obtaining investments of well over $200,000 from investors and non-profits foundations.  

Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition  

Saddleback College will host the nation's first county-wide social entrepreneur competition May 10, 2014. Saddleback’s competition will follow the Michigan model and help entrepreneurs discover local, organic, and innovative solutions to problems like homelessness, poverty, and hunger by applying free market, sustainable business models. Finalists can potentially win over $125,000 in cash, prizes, and chatting services. In addition, finalists will have a rare opportunity to pitch their ideas to social impact investors from across the nation with a chance to get funded upwards of $100,000. The goal of the competition is to educate students and the community that profits alone are not the only measure of success and sustainability. Everyone must participate in the social revolution. Learn what Saddleback College is doing to make a difference.

How To Participate  

Social entrepreneurs who wish to participate should go online to the Saddleback College Entrepreneurship & Innovation Learning Center at:  Once individuals or teams submit their ideas, they will be able to access coaches from the Saddleback College network to help develop their projects and presentations. Online and in-person events will be offered to further assist participants in refining their submissions before the final May application deadline.

Bibliography  socialentrepreneurs/    

Tags:  Entrepreneurship  Entrepreneurship Challenge  Saddleback College  Triple Bottom Line 

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Posted By Cindy Tauscher, Monday, February 24, 2014

Conducting an Ecosystem Mapping & DACUM

Northeast State Community College is participating in the NACCE - Sam’s Club Shared Vision for Small Business 2014 Cohort. Our goal is to aid in the success of small businesses by providing training and related services appropriate to the after start-up stage. Our first two steps have been to determine what training and support services are available in the five county region that Northeast State serves and what training and services are needed by owners at this stage their business development.

In order to determine the training and support services that are available, we are developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem map. The map shows the institutions and organizations that are supporting the entrepreneurial network in the region. It literally is the glue that binds all of the entities together. The steps in creating the ecosystem begin with meeting with the entities in the area to learn what they are doing. The meetings are centered on introductions of each other and gathering a construct of information. The geographical places are put on a map. We are using Google Earth at this time. As a person selects an entity, the website pops-up so a person can learn more about the organization or agency from the website. The development of an ecosystem is an on-going process.

The second endeavor is to conduct a DACUM (Developing A CUrriculuM) to learn the training and services that are needed at this stage and going forward. A DACUM is a guided group process with experts in the field being the panelists. We had five entrepreneurs that had owned their own business for a varying amount of time. They completed the DACUM in two evenings. They identified 7 major duties and associated tasks and several skills and knowledge areas.

The next step is two-fold. The first is to take the DACUM material and develop a needs assessment. The second is to plan the first training session based on one of the duties that was revealed through the process. The resulting needs analysis can provide guidance for future entrepreneurs. It allows for training to be conducted on a timely basis, and it aids in the creation of entrepreneur cohorts.

This past week, we presented process of conducting an ecosystem mapping and DACUM at the NACCE – New River Summit in Ghent, West Virginia. Have you conducted an ecosystem mapping and DACUM in your community? If not, I’ve attached the PowerPoint of our Summit presentation so that you can begin this critical information-gathering work in your region.

Cynthia Tauscher has been with Northeast State Community College for over twenty years. Her previous career experience was in manufacturing. Prior to her becoming Coordinator of Business Related Workforce Development, her main emphasis at Northeast State was in leadership training having trained over 700 regional supervisory personnel from industry in an intensive 84 hour class. Her emphasis areas now include continuing education in entrepreneurism and health-related professions. Cindy is pursuing her DBA.

Download File (PPTX)

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Live Blogging the NACCE Summit at New River and Technical College in Ghent, WV – February 20, 2014

Posted By Griffin Cottle, Thursday, February 20, 2014

It’s back to work after a great mid-day show from the RiffRaff Arts Collective of Princeton, WV.  More on them here:

Panel of Artisan Entrepreneurs – What do we need to succeed?  Lori Midkiff, Merideth Young and Brad and Jordie Veneri from Tamarack

Merideth – It’s been around 3 years since I started my artisan jewelry business and I’m now able to make my living full time (my husband also recently quit his job and now works for me J).  It’s nice to be able to run my business from home and I wouldn’t want to leave to have a shop.

Brad and Jordi – Right now we’re making steel cut and stained-glass art from home, but only as gifts… we haven’t started to sell anything yet.

Lori – It would be nice to have a studio near a high traffic or tourist destination to help increase my sales.  I’ve also started looking at regional crafts shows as another way to drive sales.

Group – The classes that we would like to see community colleges offer are basic business management classes for artisans.  We all have incredible skills in painting, printmaking, etc., but don’t know how to turn all of them into successful businesses.  Pricing especially… it’s very difficult to decide how much to sell your work for. 


Northeast State CC Team Panel: Dr. Janice Gilliam, President; Dr. Keith Young, Dean of Off Campus Programs and Services; Cindy Tauscher, Coordinator of Workforce Solutions

Keith – How to define and develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem?  Our definition is an "interactive community… composed of varied and inter-dependent actors (which) interact to promote new venture creation.”  The goal is to map the existing network of service providers who work in business and economic development and identify the gaps and resources that exist in the community which can help spurn new business development.

Cindy – Developing a curriculum for entrepreneurs involves taking the information that entrepreneurs learn and turning it into a curriculum that we can teach.  In our case this meant compiling a list of the activities and duties that entrepreneurs are responsible for, developing a needs assessment, and designing a class around it.


Economic Outlook, Tourism Industry Panel Discussion – How do we fuel artisan and tourism businesses as educators and business owners?  Todd Christensen – Executive Director, Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation; Leslie Baker – Director of Operations, Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Complex and Campground; Ron Magruder – Previous Chairman of National Restaurant Association and previous President of Cracker Barrel; Jackie Whitley, Southern West Virginia CTC (Shared Vision Project Awardee)

Leslie – Students today haven’t been taught good presentation and communication skills in school, and as a result businesses are being required to pick up the slack and teach them on the job.  How to look people in the eye, give a good handshake, come appropriately dressed, work with your colleagues, etc.  These things are not being taught by colleges and universities.

Todd – The biggest thing that I see is that economic development agencies don’t have as good a relationship with community colleges as they should, and there needs to be a lot more collaboration there. 

Jackie – I think that community colleges can position themselves to be the trusted, go-to entity for artisans who are interested in going into business.  We can connect them with the resources and basic skills in customer service and sales that they need to be successful.  Colleges also need to take advantage of the partnerships they have with groups like the NACCE, and all of the resources they offer.


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NACCE Summit – New River and Technical College Ghent, WV – February 20, 2014

Posted By Griffin Cottle, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Keynote Panel: David Hughes – Business Development Analyst, Appalachian Regional Commission; Darrell Akins – Founder and CEO, Akins Public Strategies

Dr. Washington – Entrepreneurs can start young (and should)… Think paperboys and kids selling things door to door.  We need to build on that.  At the same time coal is a part of our culture, and soul, and we need to keep that at the front of our minds as we work to diversify our economy and encourage entrepreneurship in Appalachia.

David – I want to thank New River CTC and NACCE for their hospitality in hosting us.  ARC currently manages 125 business incubators in the Appalachian region, and was started in 1965 to begin diversifying the region’s economy from one of dependence to empowerment.

Darrell – Organized the first Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit.  Entrepreneurship doesn’t belong to any one field or industry… the artisan, plumber and technician who want to work for themselves and start businesses are every bit as valuable as the new technology startup, and the questions involved and knowledge required to make them successful are all the same.

David – Community colleges are integral to ARC’s efforts at poverty eradication and economic development.  As potential hubs of entrepreneurship, mapping the existing ecosystem of business and economic development services in the surrounding area will be critical to improving and expanding entrepreneurship education at community colleges in the region. 


Keynote Speaker: Todd Christensen – Executive Director, Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation

Todd – The small artisan towns in Appalachia where arts and crafts, textiles, and other home materials are still made and sold have been that way for generations, since the time of the Great Migration westward when these town were the last place to buy materials before the great trek West.  These places are still there and are a foundation for entrepreneurship expansion in Appalachia. 

Despite the loss of mining and manufacturing jobs over the past 30 years, thanks to high-speed telecommunications we can make each of these towns and vendors the focal point of the modern textile economy.  Our efforts in the Creative Economy – an economy that uses its human, natural and cultural assets for the betterment of the community – include cricket row, a regional marketing and branding committee, the Heartwood Artisan Center, the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail, and the Appalachian Spring for outdoor recreation.

The most important thing is to have collaborative relationships where everyone is involved and gets to take credit, and to benchmark and track the outcomes on jobs created and economic impact from day one.  Intensive planning is key.  "Community Rediscovery” – preserve the culture and update the economy.


Panel Discussion – Best Practices in Supporting Artisanal Small Businesses: Steve Weir – Greenbrier Valley Economic Development; Jill Holliday – Entrepreneurship Instructor, New River CTC; Tim Mittan – Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network

Tim – There are certain basics about business that apply to every kind of business, artists included.  One difference is that artists and artisans sometimes need to focus on the creative side, and have someone else do the selling.  It’s "how to run the business,” not "what’s in the business” that’s important.

Steve – The realization that there is a "give” to the art process, and the fact that they have to put food on the table is sometimes a challenge to get across. 

Tim – Some of the best curricula for artisan entrepreneurs is to teach outside of the traditional classroom, and doing the instruction online.  Be flexible.

Steve – They have to know things like how to develop a website and how to self-promote, which are also things that community colleges have a large role to play in teaching them.

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Coleman Entrepreneurial College in Action

Posted By Mary Beth Kerly, Monday, February 03, 2014

How to Create Momentum

Momentum, defined by Merriam Webster, "is the strength or force that something has when it is moving.” So, obviously, the trick is, how do you get something moving in order to create the momentum in the first place?

Step One: Identify Stakeholders

When Hillsborough Community College first set out on our journey to re-examine our academic certificate in Entrepreneurship, we thought it would be wise to get input from folks in our business community. A simple "LinkedIn” search yielded some great results! Who would have thought that a keyword search of "Tampa” "Entrepreneur” would give us so many people to contact! We sent emails, scheduled lunch meetings, and asked everyone we met who they felt would be interested in the development of the program in entrepreneurship. We knew, that to create momentum, both in the college and in the community, we had to find people who had a passion for our mission and ENGAGE them.

Step Two: Do your Research

It’s a bit easier to gain momentum if there is research to get an understanding of what is needed and to "prove” that your idea has merit. At our college, numbers talk and students count in the decision making process. Knowing this, we conducted a survey to all of our students asking pointed questions about entrepreneurship. This data helped us get the attention of our administration, fellow faculty, and was very helpful when we talked with local government officials!

Step Three: Image is EVERYTHING!

So we had the community involved, we had the administration and faculty involved, now the trick was to get students involved, and more importantly, interested! So, we put together a series of events involving our community partners. We had speakers visit the campus to talk about various topics, planned and executed a day long Symposium for Veterans, and had "Shark Tank” types of events. Just because we had these wonderful events didn’t mean that students would actually come. We know that students today only will go to an event if they get, a) food, and b) credit! So, we did both. Some faculty assigned the speaker events as part of the class, others as extra credit, and the Student-led Business Leadership Club sponsored food. And it worked. We filled our 150-seat auditorium. Having that many students in one place on a FRIDAY at 10:00 a.m. got the attention of other faculty as well as our administration. It was also great for our community partners—they saw interested students and then wanted to do even more for us.

Heavens know that success breeds success. We tried to set ourselves up by involving the community, doing our research and creating an image of interest. Today, our events are drawing close to 200 students, and we have community members contacting US for meetings! Now that’s momentum!

Beth relocated to Tampa, Florida from Wilmington, Delaware in 1999 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Marketing and her Masters Degree in Business Administration from Goldey-Beacom College. Her professional experience includes serving as a Marketing Coordinator for Delmarva Power and Light Company, Special Programs Manager for a start up telephone company called "Conectiv Communications" and the Public Relations Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware.  After moving to Florida, she began work as a part-time instructor and International Education Marketing Specialist for Hillsborough Community College.  In 2005, she was asked to serve the 16 county region (Southwest Florida) as Special Assistant to Governor Jeb Bush.  After leaving the Governor’s office in 2007 she began consulting for small to medium businesses and non-profits in the areas of organizational behavior and marketing.  In the Fall of 2008, Beth began teaching full-time at Hillsborough Community College in the Business Administration Department.  

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Notes from the WDI Plenary Session

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Thursday, January 30, 2014

My live blog notes from the WDI conference.  

Experiential learning and budget responsibility

William Law, President of St. Petersburg, welcomed the crowded room to the conference and St. Petersburg. He called the work at community college, "noble work” and said the Workforce has never been more important.  His school provides an interesting entrepreneurial experiential opportunity to his student government leaders. They have budget line responsibility for student fees. The leaders decide how the money is allocated and present a plan to the President. I love this hands on, real time, impactful opportunity the students have to learn and also make a difference on their campus. 

Redesign, Reinvent, Reset

Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of AACC spoke on the 21st-Century Commission and its three Rs:

  • Redesign students’ educational experiences;          
  • Reinvent institutional roles; and
  • Reset the system to create incentives for student and institutional success.

There are seven recommendations around the Three Rs, each with detailed implementation guidance in the report. Check out the report here.

The Importance of Technical Education in Reclaiming the American Dream

Nicolas Pinchuk, Chairman and CEO of Snap-on, Inc, and Skills for America’s future opens his talk by saying "I am not an academic, I am a tool maker." Pinchuk talked about the shrinking middle class and how "our greatest weapon is career and technical education.” Pinchuk emphasized that "we succeed by the efforts of everyday people doing extraordinary things.”  

30% of manufacturing jobs disappeared in the last 20 years. The most important factor in opening a plant in an area is a capable workforce. In America, 6k jobs are left open because they is not a qualified workforce. Pinchuk says the answer is education.

1.       Community colleges need to be reimagined. Curriculum needs to match what jobs are out there. Colleges need to match what is going on in industry. Educators have to consider how they are evaluated. The goal of education is not a degree but a career. Professors should evaluate yourself in practical terms.

2.       We need to rediscover the American Dream. We also need to rebrand manufacturing.  "We have lost the respect of the dignity of work.”

3.       We need support of leadership at city, state and federal levels. Technical education needs to be prioritized.

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How Is Your Entrepreneurship Program Supporting Direct Selling Entrepreneurs?

Posted By Megan Ballard, Tuesday, January 28, 2014

If your college's entrepreneurship program isn't already supporting direct selling entrepreneurs, you're missing an important market...and not a small one! Did you know that there are over 16 million direct selling entrepreneurs in the United States? On February 27th, from 2 - 3 pm Eastern, NACCE is co-hosting a webinar with our good friends at the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF). During this webinar, we'll present an overview of the Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program (DSEP) curriculum, a 30-hour, non-credit program that was co-created by NACCE and DSEF.

So why should your program support direct selling entrepreneurs using the DSEP curriculum? Well, here are three reasons to start:

  1. Direct sellers are independent contractors who operate their own entrepreneurial venture with some of the lowest barriers to entry of any business type. For colleges/entrepreneurship centers, this means quick business starts & broader diversity of entrepreneurs in your programs.
  2. The cost of the materials includes the instructor’s guide, marketing and PR support, and is extremely reasonable- less than $30 per student workbook.
  3. The curriculum is flexible, and can be adapted by colleges in different ways to suit the needs of local direct selling entrepreneurs, as you'll discover during the webinar.

Registration will open the week of February 3rd -- look for information in next week's e-news and in the Upcoming Events section of the website!


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Coleman Entrepreneurial College in Action

Posted By Joseph Kapp, Monday, January 13, 2014

The Five "Ators" That Hasten Entrepreneurship

At Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College ("EWVCTC”), we serve an expansive geography, covering an area roughly three times the size of Rhode Island. Our service district is home to a very diverse population, including ranchers, farmers, hunters, workers, professionals and commuters. Given the breadth and scope of our population and geography, it is natural that we encounter competing organizations, bureaucracies and interests — any of which could thwart even the best-laid plans and partnerships.

As a result, when it comes to economic development initiatives and entrepreneurship activities, at Eastern we sometimes see ourselves as the proverbial "Switzerland”: a neutral third party whose goal is just to make it happen for the benefit of our service district and larger neighboring region.

To enhance our role as a neutral-broker among often competing interests, we have discovered that operating in the capacity of the following five "ators” roles allows us to promote and propel greater economic development and entrepreneurial activity.

1. Communicate as CollaborATORS

Fundamentally, entrepreneurship and economic development are about bringing people together in collaboration. As welcome and friendly community leaders working with existing programs, foundations and government entities, community colleges can serve as one of the primary community collaborators. Using transparent actions and open language to transcend and dispel past grievances, frustrations and turf wars, community colleges can drive and enhance collaboration. Collaborating with local business leaders to go beyond traditional workforce development programs, community colleges can assist in identifying the array of financing programs available to energize these businesses’ growth. And by bringing new and emerging business owners to the table, and introducing them to potential mentors and business development resources, collaboration helps develop the community’s future business leaders.

Action Item: Create an entrepreneurship and economic development round-table. Bring together for regular meetings, conferences and networking:

  • New and established business owners;
  • Local, state and Federal government economic development; and
  • Grant making and money lending institutions including foundations and banks.

2. Function as FacilitATORS

As facilitators, community colleges can serve as gentle catalysts and unifying agents to mobilize economic growth and entrepreneurship activities. This is particularly true for rural communities that may have limited access to resources. In addition, where everyone has busy schedules and heavy workloads, taking care of organizational details such as arranging meetings, developing agendas, providing meeting spaces and coordinating activities, can serve an important function in bringing communities members together to drive entrepreneurship.

Action Item: Take your role as a collaborator to the next step by facilitating entrepreneurship and economic development. Develop agendas and calendars, and provide much needed meeting spaces to facilitate the entrepreneurship and economic development activities.

3. Assemble as information as AggregATORS

These are many questions new or existing business owners may have, but are not sure where to find the answers: Where do I obtain funding? What are permitting or licensing fees? How can I obtain a small business loan? Where should I locate my business? These are just a few examples, and often the answer to any of these questions may be scattered across a host of organizations. Community colleges, collaborating with other agencies, organizations and foundations, can provide a "one-stop-shop” for business information, access to capital and resources, etc. In doing so, business owners, new and existing, will come to view the community college as a valuable partner in the development of their enterprise.

Action Item: The natural outcome of serving as collaborators and facilitators is that the community colleges will naturally come to be seen as an aggregator of economic development and entrepreneurship resources. Developing a virtual library of resources and directory of the various organizations with which your community college partners, will enhance your college’s role as an aggregator of economic development and entrepreneurship activities.

4. Incite IncubATORS and AccelerATORS

When starting or expanding a business, new and existing business owners consider three important inputs: costs, risks and time. To the extent that community colleges reduce any or all of these inputs, businesses will benefit. Community colleges that start and run incubators and accelerators, can help drive substantive business activities by reducing costs, risks and time.

Action Item: Develop programs, workshops and events that drive innovation. From formal programs and dedicated places to mobile and virtual spaces, identify opportunities to help businesses get off the ground.

5. Excel in as EducATORS

For entrepreneurs to thrive in community college settings, education must go beyond traditional methods and formula. By its very nature, entrepreneurship is a pure meritocracy, that refuses to adhere to titles, certificates or degrees traditionally lauded in academic settings. The community colleges are the perfect place for entrepreneurship to thrive, but only if we can put to one side those traditional notions that accolades are the end all and be all. Entrepreneurs care about building successful enterprises, and so are less concerned with the academic credentials or honors that follow their names.

Action Item: Encourage a culture of entrepreneurship within your college. Bring together professors and employees who already own or are thinking of starting a business, and encourage a sharing of ideas for regular meetings to increase an entrepreneurial school mindset. Similarly, be mindful that obtaining a paper certificate or good grades may not be the purpose of entrepreneurs: that the development of a successful, sustainable business is more likely the end goal. As such, community colleges should develop classes, programs and curricula to reflect this reality.

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