President Dr. Betty Young is pledging Hocking College's commitment to entrepreneurship by recently signing the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge (PFEP). Dr. Young became one of over 150 community college presidents who have signed the pledge.
Inspired by the Obama Administration’s 2011 Startup America program, this vow commits each signer to create an atmosphere on their college campus that celebrates entrepreneurialism.
Currently Dr. Young is the fourth community college president in Ohio to sign the PFEP.
What’s The Purpose of the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge?
This pledge obligates each college president to begin encouraging entrepreneurship in their communities by utilizing five specific action-based steps. These steps are specifically designed to assist each president in achieving the following goals:
- Creating internal & external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
- Increasing entrepreneurship engagement at their college
- Encouraging engagement in industry cluster development
- Utilizing both college and community assets to create jobs
- Promoting their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship
How Is Hocking College Currently Promoting Entrepreneurship?
In response to Dr. Young signing the PFEP, Hocking's Business and Entrepreneurship Program Manager Micah Covert stated that “these (steps) are things Hocking College has already been doing for years.” He added that one of the aspects Hocking excels in is “teaching students how to become entrepreneurs and think with an entrepreneurial mindset.”
For example, Covert recently helped a group of students in Hocking’s Equine Sciences program achieve a goal through the medium of entrepreneurship. After deciding to attend the Equine Affair at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus, OH this April, the students also made the choice to wear matching vests to this event that promoted their future alma mater. In order to pay for the vests, Covert motivated them to sell baked goods and candy, and conduct a raffle. As a result, the students raised over $600 over a period of eight weeks.
Covert was also Dr. Young’s choice to become Hocking’s Internal Champion. In accordance with the PFEP, his duties will include networking with colleagues and connecting students with local entrepreneurs.
How About Some More Examples of Hocking’s Commitment to Entrepreneurship?
Another example of Hocking College’s dedication is a projected eco-guided rivers tours project. According to Hocking's Ecotourism and Adventure Travel instructor Scott Kreps, these tours are slated to begin on May 31, 2018 and will take place during the Nelsonville Music Festival. Under the supervision of a certified Hocking College eco-guide, 2-3 passengers will get the opportunity to travel via canoe down the Hocking River. During the course of the tour participants will learn skills such as how to maneuver a canoe and dig for fresh water muscles.
Kreps added that, “This initial pilot project will act as a precursor to the development of an Eco-Guiding Co-op business that will involve multiple community entities focused on increasing ecotourism in Southeast Ohio.”
However, Dr. Young maintains that no example embodies Hocking College’s commitment to entrepreneurship more than Rhapsody. Located in historic downtown Nelsonville, Ohio, the college-owned restaurant has been successfully providing both on-the-job training for students in Hocking's’s Culinary Arts program, and a gourmet-style dining experience for local residents since 2005.
Dr. Young cited Rhapsody’s longstanding role as being an “economic driver for the region in developing new sustainable small businesses.”
How Will Signing This Pledge Further Benefit Hocking College?
A major benefit of Dr. Young signing the PFEP is that this officially makes her a member of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is made up of educators, entrepreneurs and business professionals who serve as advocates for community-oriented entrepreneurship.
Dr. Young noted this relationship will allow her to tap into resources and support systems that will help “provide even wider pathways to prosperity for any students who decide to attend Hocking College.”