Sacramento, CA, October 10, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship names 2016 Entrepreneurial College and Entrepreneurial President at 14th annual conference.
Los Angeles Southwest College and President Charles Terrell of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Receive Top Honors.
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has named Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC) in Los Angeles as its 2016 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College of the Year at its 14th Annual Conference, now underway in Sacramento. Charles Terrell, president of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College (EWVCTC) in Moorefield, West Virginia, was been named NACCE’s 2016 Entrepreneurial President of the Year.
2016 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College
“We are pleased that Los Angeles Southwest College has been selected by an independent judging panel as the winner of the Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College Award,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., president and CEO of NACCE. “One of the most critical aspects of being an entrepreneurial college is leading the way for students to think and act entrepreneurially, LASC has done an outstanding job of setting the course for this in the Los Angeles area, and this is making a lasting impact on its students and the local community.”
Located in the heart of Los Angeles, LASC provides a strong student-centered learning environment. More than half of LASC’s students are first-generation college students, 70 percent of whom live at or below the poverty level. LASC has 8,000+ credit and noncredit students and serves as an educational and cultural hub for the surrounding communities. In the past several years it has increasingly established itself as an entrepreneurial magnet for the area.
“We continually strive to get our students to understand there are opportunities for advancement if you get your education,” said Denise Noldon, Ph.D., interim president of LASC. “By introducing them to an entrepreneurial mindset, we try to shift their thinking so they are looking at ways to use their education for their own advancement in addition to preparing to enter the world of work. It’s a whole different way of getting them to think about opportunities.”
One shining example of its innovative nature and entrepreneurial leadership is LASC’s Pathways Program. Through this initiative, 400+ high school students attend Middle College High School on the LASC campus where they can take advantage of the college’s dual enrollment program. The students also get exposure to entrepreneurs in the community who are establishing thriving businesses. The program enables students to undergo training and participate in experiential learning opportunities within their high school environment.
The LASC Foundation, another entrepreneurial resource at the college, has helped initiate and support the “Southwest Speaks,” program, a highly popular speaking series featuring leaders from various industries in the local community. Through the forum, students are encouraged to develop, innovate and make something happen. These events get students motivated to think along entrepreneurial lines.
“Future plans for LASC include looking at global entrepreneurship outreach, making sure women are aware of entrepreneurial opportunities, and creating a small business institute to strengthen our pathways and incubator models for high school students to start businesses,” said Noldon. “Our focus on e-ship is to really think about being innovative and establish a ‘producer mindset’ instead of a consumer mindset. The producer mindset is about being engaged and creating opportunities to work for yourself or with others you choose.”
2016 Entrepreneurial President
“As the college’s foremost leader in entrepreneurship, President Charles Terrell, Ph.D., sets the highest standards for entrepreneurial thinking and action,” said Corbin. “He continues to find innovative and creative ways to offer students new entrepreneurial experiences that expand their career opportunities and add to the economic vitality of the region.”
Eastern WVCTC is a 21st century institution driven by the principle that a quality higher education should be affordable and convenient. The college offers a number of degree programs, as well as numerous skill sets and certificates to accelerate individuals towards their career goals. Eastern WVCTC also has a Workforce Education Department that supports local businesses with workforce training opportunities, continuing education credit for working professionals, and offers lifelong learning opportunities for community members.
By adopting an entrepreneurial mindset and acting on it, Terrell has created an entrepreneurial culture at Eastern that is noteworthy. Officials of the SBDC in Charleston, West Virginia, were recently so impressed with the college’s entrepreneurial focus, they awarded Eastern a $30,000 grant to hire a SBDC coach for the region.
“We shared this information with a state partner and received another $20,000 grant and we now have a full-time small business coach who works with our Launch Pad and the SBDC,” said Terrell. “This is really making an impact on making connections for our community and the college.”
One of the college’s recent entrepreneurial initiatives is the NewBiz Launch Pad, which opened 18 months ago. Since that time, it has had interactions with 3,000 business and community leaders and has offered scores of workshops, seminars, executive coaching demos, and open houses. “We are trying to inform the community about having an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Terrell. “We emphasize it in our e-ship workforce education offerings and include in our technical and vocational programs. We can’t emphasize it enough.”
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs, focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com.
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NACCE has over 300 member colleges, representing nearly 2,000 members and approximately 3.3 million students.