The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that President Gary Wheeler of Glen Oaks Community College has joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Through the program, presidents of community colleges throughout the country commit to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve. Officials for five other Michigan community colleges have also joined the new forum.
With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, more than 180 community colleges throughout the country have joined the entrepreneurship forum, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.
“The appropriate role of community colleges includes serving as a center for new ways of thinking, of economic development, and of community building,” President Wheeler said. “Glen Oaks believes that each of us is stronger when all of us are pulling in the same direction. This forum promises to help each of us understand how our efforts fit into a national strategy for entrepreneurship.”
Other Michigan community college officials joining the forum are: President Rose Bellanca, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor; Charles Dillon, West Shore Community College, Scottville; Timothy Nelson, Northwestern Michigan Community College, Traverse City; Dale Nesbary, Muskegon Community College, Muskegon; and M. Richard Shaink, Mott Community College, Flint.
About the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum
The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America Call to Action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.
According to NACCE Executive Director, Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country.
Community college presidents who join the Forum make five commitments:
- Develop transparency of community college and community assets
- Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
- Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
- Engage in industry cluster development
- Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.
“The five commitments were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Van Sickle. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. “One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the “entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com. Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.