Presidents Agree on Importance of Spreading Entrepreneurship Across the Community College Curriculum
Springfield, MA – January 22, 2007 – Community college presidents from all corners of the country spoke with one voice about the growing importance of entrepreneurship education at community colleges at the 4th Annual Conference of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), held in Orlando, FL, January 8-11.
“Entrepreneurship across the curriculum is becoming very widespread in community colleges as many students realize they want to start their own business with the skills they have learned,” said Andrew Scibelli, president emeritus, Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA. Scibelli served as moderator of the Presidents’ Panel, posing wide-ranging questions on entrepreneurship education and its impact on schools and students as well as its ability to foster economic growth in surrounding communities.
Referring to the conference title, “Entrepreneurial Leadership: Revolutionizing Community Colleges,” panel participant Ruth Nichols said, “The entrepreneurial revolution can apply to students because they are already in the mode of taking chances. That is what going back to college is for so many of them. It is a prime time to nurture them in an environment that will promote them into going into some sort of entrepreneurial venture.” Nichols is president of North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville, GA.
“The single biggest thing I have learned in the last three years being involved with NACCE is that everybody has the potential for being an entrepreneur,” said panel member Dan Schoening, president of Arizona Western College in Yuma, AZ. “Artists have to paint and sell and cooks must know how to operate restaurants. Entrepreneurship is truly essential in our society, and community colleges are in the best position to support students to become entrepreneurs.”
Conference attendee Cliff Rockstead, an instructor at Nashville State Community College summed up the feeling of many in the audience when he said, “The highlight of the conference was the Presidents’ Panel that articulated so well the bigger picture of what’s at stake in growing entrepreneurship at community college.”
Also participating on the panel were Bernard Franklin, president of Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City, MO; H. Martin Lancaster, head of the North Carolina Community College System; Merna Saliman, president of Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods, Kansas City, MO; Marty Smith, president of Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD; and Betty Young, president of Northwest State Community College in Archbold, OH.
With over 365 people attending, the NACCE Conference was the biggest yet for the rapidly growing organization, which was founded in 2002 on the campus of Springfield Technical Community College. “We’ve received very positive feedback from conference attendees,” said Heather Van Sickle, executive director of NACCE. “We’re already making plans for next year’s conference, which is scheduled for January 6-9, 2008, in San Antonio, TX. The innovation that is occurring at community colleges in the field of entrepreneurship education is phenomenal, and we look forward to presenting more new ideas and best practices to educators from across the country again next year.”
About the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference, hosts a dynamic list-serv, develops web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, creates guides in beginning and sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs, as well as, tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. For more information, visit www.nacce.com.