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Blog

Explore. Dream. Discover

Megan Payne

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  These words spoken by Mark Twain ring true for us as adults, but even more so for the hopes and dreams we have for our children. 

Instilling the ideas of anything being possible and dreaming as a means to explore and discover, not just imagine, are important for our youth.

The Young Entrepreneurs Consortium provides endless opportunities for the students in the 12 partner districts and three career and technical centers to take the concepts of entrepreneurism and make them a reality.

Stark State College has had the privilege of offering several entrepreneurial pathways for these students, which embrace four core components: problem-based learning, work-based learning, entrepreneurship coursework, career advising, and counseling. Our goal is to provide the students the soft skills, qualities, habits, and academic skills that characterize effective entrepreneurs. Additionally, the courses offered are providing them with a head start on their college education and future career. 

There are several pathways available to students, so they can determine the amount of time they would like to devote to dual credit during their high school years.

First, a Career Enhancement Certificate in Entrepreneurship/Business is available for 12 credit hours. The Certificate will signify to future employers that students possess entrepreneurial skills important to success in the workplace (communication, critical thinking, innovation, creativity, etc.). Next, students can pursue a 15 to 17 credit hour pathway, which enhances the Certificate slightly and allows them to earn more college credits while in high school. A third option is a One-Year Entrepreneurship Certificate, which is 32 credit hours of college-level coursework focused on business and entrepreneurial studies, as well as some general education, core college classes. Finally, a student can pursue a complete Associate Degree in Entrepreneurial Students for 64 credit hours. Students electing to take this pathway will graduate from high school with an associate degree, and will have completed 50 percent of a bachelor’s degree. 

Regardless of the pathway selected by the students, Stark State College is proud to be part of an innovative consortium providing students with opportunities, possibilities and the foundation for their dreams to lead to exploration, discovery and their future plans.  

About the Author
Para M. Jones, Ph.D., is president of Stark State College, one of the largest of Ohio’s 23 community colleges. She also served as President of Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina and has been a community college leader for 28 years. Dr. Jones holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska, an MBA with honors from Ashland University and a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from the University of Mount Union.

What do you or your child see for their future? To learn and earn credits in high school to grow in college and beyond visit the YEC Entrepreneurship Coursework.