Bismarck State College was among 11 two-year colleges nationwide to receive a grant in the Entrepreneurial College in Action Grant Competition held Oct. 13-16 in Charlotte, N.C.
BSC was awarded the $15,000 grant from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and the Coleman Foundation, which has provided grants at the NACCE annual conference since 2007.
Carla Hixson, associate vice president for Continuing Education, Training & Innovation, and Kevin Cavanagh, assistant professor of management, pitched their proposal to a team of judges in two separate rounds. Of 38 college applicants, BSC was among 18 chosen to present before a live audience and among the 11 finalists awarded a grant.
BSC will form a team of faculty and staff to integrate entrepreneurship classes into requirements for several technical programs and to increase awareness of the offerings. A non-credit class open to the public also is planned.
"We wanted to provide opportunities to our students and the community to start their own business," Hixson said. "There is recognized need for new small business startups in the southwest region and to make these enterprises sustainable in the community."
Approval of the curriculum change is underway for technical programs such as Carpentry, Graphic Design & Communications, Welding, Automotive Collision Technology and others. Integration as an optional course may be as early as January 2014, Hixson said. Content will focus on feasibility, marketing and business plan.
Information about the non-credit class is available Tuesday, Nov. 12, at a public event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the BSC Armory, Room 125. "Innovative Entrepreneurship" will preview eSeed, a skill-building tool to start or revitalize an existing business. Those interested are asked to call BSC Continuing Education, Training and Innovation at 224-5600 to help ensure space for everyone.
Cavanagh said the BSC Management program has an entrepreneurship option. However, current students have to get their technical degree first and then enroll in the management class.
"Now we can apply entrepreneurship almost anywhere that people would be starting their own business," Cavanagh said.
About Bismarck State College Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit bismarckstate.edu.
About the NACCE The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship is the nation's leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. Its two main goals are to empower an institution to approach running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset, and to grow the college's role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in its service area. More information at nacce.com.
About the Coleman Foundation The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grant maker focused primarily on supporting Midwest non-profit organizations. Foundation resources support cancer treatment, developmental disability services and entrepreneurship education. More information at colemanfoundation.org.