- To engage high school students and introduce self-employment (i.e., entrepreneurship) as a viable and attainable career option.
- To provide hands on experiential learning, problem solving skills, decision making skills, and critical thinking skills.
- To provide relevant curriculum that aligns with National Content Standards and Benchmarks for Entrepreneurship Education and Career and Employability Content Standards and Benchmarks.
Approach/StrategiesThe Cuesta College Business & Entrepreneurship Center sought out innovative curriculum targeted for high school students by combining Generation E Institute’s curriculum and Biz Whiz Academy’s entrepreneurship products. Through the Small Business Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) grant and the Doing What Matters for Jobs and The Economy Initiative, the training for the high school teachers was paid for as well as the software licenses' fee for high school students to access on-line supporting learning materials such as marketing plans, business plans, and real templates of small businesses to start.
Data and OutcomesTotal number of students served: 427 among the seven high schools and eight instructors. Grade level: 5% 9th graders (22); 35% 10th graders (149); 21% 11th graders (89) and 39% were seniors (167). Our goals of this project:
- To work with area high schools and ensure implementation of the Generation E Institute and Biz Whiz Academy entrepreneurship content and curriculum.
- To help strengthen career pathways from secondary to postsecondary programs in Business and Entrepreneurship in the region.
Through this collaboration with Biz Whiz Academy, Generation E Institute, a non-profit that offers curricula and experiential learning programs for youth that focus on entrepreneurship and the generous funding from the CCCCO and the Doing What Matters Initiative, the Business & Entrepreneurship Center at Cuesta College, successfully piloted this new entrepreneurship curriculum. Selected Central Coast High School teachers became certified to teach the Generation E Institute entrepreneurship curriculum and accessed the Biz Whiz Academy products as part of an 18-week or semester long accredited entrepreneurship course. Teachers took advantage of this curriculum and also used the Biz Whiz Academy products and lesson plans to help teach students business skills. During the course students launched at least two businesses and used Biz Whiz Academy plans as a resource. This program helped guide students through the critical thinking, problem solving and idea generation required to launch a business.