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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Chuck Eason, Cuesta College

Cuesta College Completes Successful Business & Entrepreneurship Pilot Program

  • Type of Practice: Student Engagement and Career Awareness
  • Type(s) of Users Served: First-time Students, Transfer Students
  • Sector(s): Small Business
  • Momentum Point(s) & Leading Indicators : MP 4, MP 5, MP 6, MP 7, LI 5, LI 7 (click here for description)
  • Regions Involved:
  • Colleges Involved: Cuesta College
  • Other Organizations: Cabrillo High School, Central Coast New Tech High School, Lompoc High School, Lopez High School, Paso Robles High School, Pioneer Valley, Santa Ynez High School

The Challenge

• 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, 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.

The Solution

The 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 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.


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.

The Data

Total number of students served: 427 among the seven high schools and eight instructors.

Grade level: 5% 9th were seniors (167) graders (22); 35% 10th graders (22); 35% 10th graders (149); 21% 11th graders (89) and 39% were seniors (167)

Supporting Information

Biz Whiz Academy

Click for an example from the program at Paso Robles High School!

Biz Whiz Academy Video

Generation E Institute Student Business Showcase 2014 Overview

Generation E Institute

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Common Metrics

Leading Indicators

LI 1 Alignment of skillsets within a program (or set of courses) to a particular occupation and the needs of the labor market
LI 2 Regionalization of stackable certificates aligned with a particular occupation ladder
LI 3 Alignment of a certificate with state-, industry-, nationally-, and/or employer- recognized certification
LI 4 Creation of a credit certificate from non-credit certificate
LI 5 Curriculum articulation along a career or multi-career educational pathway
LI 6 Updating the skills of faculty, teachers, counselors, and/or “supporting staff to student” to reflect labor market needs
LI 7 Integration of small business creation and/or exporting modules into for-credit curriculum in other disciplines

Momentum Points

Middle School Cluster
MP 1Completed an individual career and skills awareness workshop in middle school that included a normed assessment process and was in a Doing What Matters priority or emerging sector
Transition from Middle School to High School
MP 2Completed a bridge program between middle school and high school and revised student career/education plan
MP 3Completed a student orientation and assessment program while in middle school or high school
High School Cluster
MP 4Completed one course in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 5Completed two or more courses in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 6Completed a CTE articulated course
MP 6aSuccessfully completed a CTE dual enrollment course or credit by exam, with receipt of transcripted credits
MP 7Completed a program in high school within a CTE pathway
Transition from High School to College Cluster
MP 8Completed a bridge program between high school and college in a CTE pathway
MP 9Completed college orientation and assessment as a first-time community college student who entered a community college CTE pathway
MP 10Transitioned from a high school CTE pathway to a similar community college CTE pathway
MP 11Transferred from a high school CTE pathway to a similar CSU, UC or private/independent university CTE pathway
MP 12Completed a counselor-approved college education plan, for first-time community college students who enter a CTE pathway
MP 13During high school, participated in an internship, work-based learning, mentoring, or job shadowing program in a CTE pathway
MP 14Percentage of community college students, who participated in a high school CTE pathway, whose first math or English course was below transfer-level
Community College Cluster
MP 15Completed two courses in the same CTE pathway
MP 16Retention rate between Fall and Spring within a CTE pathway
MP 17Completed a non-CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
MP 18Completed a CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
General Education and Transfer Progress Cluster
MP 19Completed a work readiness soft skills training program (either stand-alone or embedded) within a CTE pathway
MP 20Completed college level English and/or math, for students in a CTE pathway
MP 21Completed the CSU-GE or IGETC transfer track/certificate for students in a CTE pathway
MP 22Completed requirements in a CTE pathway, but did not receive a certificate or a degree
MP 23Completed an associate degree in a CTE major
MP 24Completed an associate degree in a major different from student’s college CTE pathway
MP 25Transferred from community college to a four-year university in the same CTE pathway
MP 26Transferred from community college to a four-year university in a major different from their CTE pathway
Community College Transition To Workforce Cluster
MP 27Participated in a college internship or workplace learning program within a CTE pathway
MP 28Attained a job placement in the same or similar field of study as CTE pathway
MP 29Acquired an industry-recognized, third-party credential
Workforce Progress Cluster
MP 30Attained a wage gain in a career in the same or similar CTE pathway
MP 31Attained wages equal to or greater than the median regional wage for that CTE pathway
MP 32Attained wages greater than the regional standard-of-living wage
MP 33Participated in incumbent worker training or contract education in a CTE pathway (for example training for layoff aversion, meeting heightened occupational credentialing requirement, transitioning employees whose occupations are being eliminated, or up-skilling existing employees)
MP 34Exception


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