West Virginia becoming a national leader in entrepreneurial learning
CTCS commits to developing entrepreneurial mindsets across campuses and communities – the first system in the nation
The West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS) announces a new collaborative project with the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) supported by the Kauffman Foundation.
CTCS will be the first college system in the nation to wholly commit to cultivating entrepreneurial culture and mindsets in classrooms, campuses, and communities throughout the state. This means developing the skills and mindset of an entrepreneur will become a core part of the community college experience in West Virginia, opening students up to new skills and opportunities as they prepare for their futures.
“As a system, it is our job to cultivate education that meets the needs of our students and our state economy,” said CTCS Chancellor Sarah Tucker “This partnership is an opportunity for us as a community and technical college system - and as a state - to become national leaders in educating future generations of entrepreneur at this scale.”
The partnership, funded by Kauffman, and between the community and technical colleges and ELI emerged as a result of a competitive grant process that West Virginia won because all nine of its member colleges committed to entrepreneurial activities and trainings for faculty to support their students and their communities. That commitment is what made West Virginia such an appealing partner for ELI, as they were looking for an opportunity to scale successes they were seeing at single institutions to a statewide model.
“The world has changed in ways that now require all students to learn how to think like an entrepreneur,” said ELI Founder Gary Schoeniger. “Whether they work within an established organization, join the gig, economy, or start a business of their own, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program empowers students with a mindset that will enable them to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. ELI is excited to partner with the WV Council for Community and Technical College Education to spread this mindset across the state of West Virginia.”
The focal point for the project is ELI’s Ice House programs for developing an entrepreneurial mindset. They are experiential, problem-based learning programs designed to inspire and engage participants in the fundamental aspects of developing the mindset of an entrepreneur. Students are challenged to solve problems, find and apply new knowledge, take action and cope with the uncertainty and challenges they face in the world.
The partnership will begin by providing a three-day Ice House Facilitator Certification training for the faculty and staff of each institution that will allow them to offer the programs in classrooms, across campuses, and in their communities.
“The commitment of our colleges to this project has been outstanding,” said Tucker. “Our system’s enthusiasm for and dedication to its students has given us the unique opportunity to participate in a project that no other state currently has access to.”
All nine CTCS institutions along with representatives from ELI signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2018 to show their dedication and commitment to the project. The first webinar training is scheduled to begin in August 2018.
The Community and Technical College System of West Virginia (CTCS) serves nine community and technical colleges with campuses throughout the state. Our mission is to promote and provide high-quality, accessible, and responsive education and training opportunities that maximize student learning, improve the standard of living for West Virginians, and contribute to the economic vitality and competitiveness of our state.
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