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The Challenges of Spreading the Word about Entrepreneurship to Middle and High School students

Posted By Gary Muller, Monday, April 8, 2013

In last few year years, we have worked hard to excite our local middle and high school students about the possibilities of becoming an entrepreneur. We believe there are a lot of budding young entrepreneurs in our community and we want them to understand that Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) is committed to helping them pursue their dreams. We also want them to know we have the resources to support their efforts.

We have offered a variety of programs to get students on our campus to see the things available at CVCC. Our Entrepreneurship curriculum programs and Small Business Center work together in making presentations to our guests.

We have campus wide tours for middle school students which focus on the under the radar programs such as Entrepreneurship. These tours have been very successful in raising the awareness of these students and their teachers. This is a long term strategy for attracting new students, but it is a part of our overall strategy.

We have participated in the CVCC Successful Pathways tours for local high school guidance counselors and administrators. These tours have been successful in educating these key high school resources about CVCC’s focus on entrepreneurship.

Whereas the Successful Pathways tours target high school counselors, we are also working the Western Piedmont Council of Governments’ Youth Entrepreneurship Summit which is a program addressing the interests of high school seniors. There are 150 students broken into five groups of thirty students and the goal of each group is to develop a mini business plan in a morning session and then present a 5 minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges in the afternoon.

We are pleased that five of our entrepreneurship students were selected to serve as the facilitators to assist the student groups in preparing the mini business plans and elevator pitches. We believe the positive experience will help build CVCC awareness with the local high school students.

This spring we are expanding our CVCC Shark Tank competition to include our local high school students. Our Shark Tank event is a takeoff on the ABC reality show where students pitch their business ideas to a panel of business leaders and the top finishers receive scholarships to CVCC. Our event has been very successful and we hope a high school Shark Tank will catch the interest of some of our local young entrepreneurs and motivate them to become a part of this year’s competition.

We hope our active involvement with our local schools will build awareness of our program. We are also trying to make entrepreneurship fun and interesting.

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Otis J. White says...
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I agree Tim. As higher education educators, we need to rethink our relationships with the secondary education system. Forming partnerships where students are given opportunities to experience college level courses and material is a critical part of building a successful workforce. It is not enough to just rely on AP courses and some dual enrollment. We need to work together to help students identify areas of career interest and get them real world experiences and knowledge in those areas so they can have a head start on higher education as well as career directions. OJW
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Otis J. White says...
Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I meant to say ... "I agree Gary ... " ... :-)
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