Community Colleges to Fuel New Business Creation Via Virtual Incubator Network

February 1, 2011

Mott Grants $995,500 for Pilot Project at Colleges in 10 States

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an innovative approach to
encourage the creation of more start-up businesses to help sustain continued
economic recovery, The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) today
announced the selection of colleges in 10 states to pilot a Virtual Incubation
Network. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has made a $995,500 grant to launch
the pilot project in early 2011 and anticipates a second year of funding of up
to $742,500.

The AACC initiative was recognized in a White House announcement Jan. 31, as an
example of creative entrepreneurship to be encouraged by a new Startup America
initiative “to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship
throughout the nation,” as part of the Obama Administration’s national
innovation strategy.

The virtual incubator initiative will be implemented by AACC in collaboration
the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), and
ultimately through partnerships including with the national network of Small
Business Development Centers, many of which are operated on community college

“Small businesses play an enormous role in stimulating and sustaining economic
growth – both in local communities and nationally,” said Walter G. Bumphus,
president and CEO of the AACC. “This new initiative presents an exciting and
innovative way to encourage small business growth without costly investment in
new facilities and added infrastructure.”

Community colleges are often called on to establish small business incubators to
nurture local companies through the most challenging start-up stages of
development, increasing jobs and revenue for local communities. Close to 35
business incubators are operated by two-year colleges nationwide. The
development of the virtual incubator network recognizes that these services need
not depend on a traditional brick-and-mortar facility. Instead the new network
will “test-drive” new delivery mechanisms that include support provided at the
business site and hybrid in-person and technology processes. The AACC hopes its
member colleges will eventually be able to bring the work to scale at hundreds
of community colleges, particularly in geographically isolated, depressed and
hard-to-serve communities where they are needed most.

The 10 colleges that will lead this effort are:
Rio Salado College, Tempe, AZ
Long Beach Community College, Long Beach, CA
North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, IA
Mott Community College, Flint, MI
Southeast Community College, Lincoln, NE
White Mountain Community College, Berlin, NH
Burlington County Community College, Burlington, NJ
Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM
Lorain County Community College, Elyria, OH
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI

The American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization located in Washington, D.C., that represents the nation’s close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges. The colleges represent the largest and fastest-growing sector of higher education and currently enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. Offices are located in Flint, Michigan; metropolitan Detroit; Johannesburg (South Africa); and London. The Foundation, with 2009 year-end assets of approximately $2.1 billion, made 469 grants totaling $109.3 million. For more information, visit Mott.org.

NACCE connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference and symposium, publishes a quarterly journal, hosts monthly webinars and podcasts and a dynamic list-serv, develops Web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, and creates guides in beginning and
sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs as well as tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. For more information, visithttp://www.nacce.com.

SOURCE: American Association of Community Colleges


College Freshmen Report Record-Low Levels of Emotional Health

February 1, 2011

This year’s freshmen reported record-low levels of emotional health, according to the latest results of the University of California at Los Angeles’s national survey of first-year undergraduates. At the same time, more students gave themselves high marks for ambition to achieve.

College counselors say the two are clearly related, as students put more pressure on themselves to excel.

The percentage of students reporting good or above-average emotional health dropped from 55.3 percent in 2009 to 51.9 percent in 2010, according to “The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2010” survey. That marks the lowest point since 1985, when the survey first asked the question.

Denise Hayes, the president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, says the data confirm national trends.

Read more of Lauren Sieben’s story at The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Two New Editing Tools

February 1, 2011

Two new tools that every college student can use. Definr and Thsrs are two separate tools for quickly checking out the meaning of the word or an alternate synonym.

Definr makes searching for definitions incredibly easy and fast by populating definitions below the search box as you hit the “meep!” (enter) button. http://definr.com/

Thsrs, an unrelated thesaurus tool doesn’t just find synonyms, it finds shorter words that have the same meaning as the word you enter. So if you are a perspicacious person but want to be modest about it, Thsrs recommends you simply use the word “wise” to describe yourself. http://www.ironicsans.com/thsrs/


Speaker: Early Childhood Programs Key to Arizona’s Economy Now & In Future

January 28, 2011

Arizona business and political leaders committed to promoting economic development need to consider early childhood education as one of their key strategies, the vice president for a national, business-led public policy organization urged.

“The foundation for the skills needed for America’s 21st Century workforce is developed during the first five years of a child’s life,” said Mike Petro, Vice President and Director of Business and Government Relations for the Washington, D.C.-based Committee for Economic Development. “Yet the United States invests the fewest resources in children this age.”

REad the full story at AZ First Things First.


New Center Offers Veterans Comprehensive Services

January 27, 2011

A new center is opening in the East Valley that will connect Arizona’s veterans and their families with educational, vocational and community resources.

The grand opening of the East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC), hosted by Rio Salado College, takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

“We wanted to reach out to the thousands of Arizona veterans and provide them increased access to high-quality college programming,” said Kishia Brock, Vice President for Student Affairs at Rio Salado College.

“The center acts as a one-stop shop for information about services and programs offered through the Maricopa Community Colleges,” Brock said.

Services offered at the EVVEC include: educational, employment and workforce development workshops, tutoring and academic skill-building, assistance with applying for VA benefits and understanding the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI bills, referrals to community resources, Skype communication with family members in the military, and cultural events/activities.

The EVVEC is a collaboration between five Maricopa Community Colleges – Rio Salado, Chandler-Gilbert, GateWay, Mesa, and Scottsdale, – and several government and military agencies including the Department of Economic Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program.

Learn more at http://www.riosalado.edu/locations/veterans-center.


Obama Calls for Spending Freeze but Says He’ll Spare Education

January 26, 2011

In a State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama proposed a five-year freeze in discretionary spending on nondefense programs and vowed to veto any bill containing earmarks. But the president said he would spare education and research from the freeze and spending cuts, calling them vital to the nation’s long-term growth and competitiveness.

“Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine,” he said. “It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.”

Read all of By Kelly Field’s article at The Chronicle of Higher Education.


AZ Gov. Brewer wants to cut community college funding

January 25, 2011

According to Capitol Media Services, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, proposed budget cuts for higher education that stand out even in a year of deep budget cuts. For community colleges, she wants to cut state funding in half.

Brewer wants to cut state support by 20 percent at four-year universities. The governor’s budget director told the news service that “inefficiencies” in higher education can be eliminated so that the four-year institutions don’t have to raise tuition. As for community colleges, the governor is hoping that they can bring in more funds from local support and tuition.