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Member News: C.C. Eship / NACCE Journal Spring/Summer 2009

Embedding the Entrepreneurial Learning Spirit in Our College Community

Thursday, July 2, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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By Angie Taylor, Ed.D.

Vice President, Workforce Solutions

Gateway Community and Technical College, Florence, KY

The creation of the Entrepreneurial Learning College is making a powerful difference in the ownership of learning outcomes for students, faculty and staff at Gateway Community and Technical College.

The Entrepreneurial Learning College (ELC) team wanted to embrace not only programs for student entrepreneurs, but to go deeper into the culture of our college integrating Gateway’s core values in our entrepreneurial mission. Gateway has a firm belief in meeting the dynamic learning needs of students, faculty and staff, sustaining an atmosphere where they are all full partners in their learning. Lastly, we believe in facilitating teamwork, collaboration, and interactive learning that engages both students and facilitators (faculty and staff).

MV2 teams (Mission, Vision and Values) have been created for the purpose of fostering the work that will move Gateway closer to meeting each of its strategic goals. An Entrepreneurial Learning College sponsor is assigned to each team with a charge of supporting the team in entrepreneurial learning and thinking initiatives. These initiatives focus on activities that engage and empower team members, asking questions to prompt further discovery around discussion topics, and, most importantly, encouraging innovative problem solving. The ELC sponsors meet regularly to discuss entrepreneurial projects and ways to improve support to the MV2 teams.

The ELC sponsors challenge all learners to think of innovative ways to help them and their students take more responsibility for their own learning, and to create innovative learning opportunities to provide internal and external service to the college and community. The ELC sponsors encourage faculty and staff to reach higher when planning their professional development activities and leadership goals for the year.

As an Entrepreneurial Learning College, our guiding principles provide the foundation for the work by asking entrepreneurial learning questions:

1. Critical Thinking: Has the learner evaluated the risk and resulting reward?

2. Willingness: Is the learner willing to not only try new initiatives and processes, but to also stop doing things that don’t work?

3. Empowerment: Is the learner encouraged to manage his/her own learning experience?

4. Risk-taking with resilience: Is the learner encouraged to take a risk and if there is failure, is resilience taught and supported?

5. Innovation/Creation: Is the learner demonstrating innovative or creative ideas?

6. Collaboration: Does the learning experience/program incorporate more than one resource?

These guiding principles have helped move successful programs forward, such as the Innovation Center where grant projects are incubated until successful. More importantly, the entrepreneurial learning experiences are forming solid criteria for developing future programs.

Becoming an Entrepreneurial Learning College is a driving force of Gateway’s success. All learners are encouraged to develop innovative approaches to problem solving, and recognize the learning opportunities in their daily work with a focus on making a difference.

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