Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RSC,SMCC Presidents Join Entrepreneurship Forum

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College and Shari  Olson, president of South Mountain Community College have joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Through this program, 186 community college presidents nationwide have committed to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic wellbeing of the communities they serve.
 “Entrepreneurs are key to economic growth in our communities,” said Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante, Ed.D. “Being a part of NACCE demonstrates Rio Salado’s commitment to providing needed support for those who are starting their own businesses.”

Rio Salado and South Mountain Community College are both part of the Maricopa Community College District located in the greater Phoenix area.

“South Mountain Community College has helped thousands of our students realize their dreams of going into business for themselves,” said South Mountain Community College President Shari Olson, Ph.D. “As an institution,  we are firmly committed to this initiative.”

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-serve, 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 Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.

About Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College was established in 1978 by the Maricopa Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. The college, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, was recently recognized as the fastest growing community college in the nation serving more than 67,000 students annually. In addition to providing high-quality instruction for 100+ degree and certificate pathways, Rio Salado is dedicated to providing flexible, affordable access through;  adult basic education, collaborative partnerships, early college initiatives and online learning.

About South Mountain Community College
South Mountain Community College (SMCC) has served the higher education needs of Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Guadalupe and Laveen for more than 30 years, offering associate degrees, certificates of completion, courses that transfer to universities and technology training to more than 10,000 students annually.   SMCC is one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges.