With $220,000 awarded to West Virginia University at Parkersburg by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, an entrepreneurial technology degree program will be launched.
The associate of applied science program (AAS) and the certificate of applied science (CAS) will be offered to business owners and individuals looking to start their own business. A concentration has been embedded with the AAS and CAS programs in social media and application development.
Through the new program, the goal is to develop students who will use technology as an avenue for realizing their entrepreneurial capacities.
"The innovative curriculum uses project-based learning to enable aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to design and develop their own businesses in a creative atmosphere," said Rhonda Tracy, senior vice president for academic affairs. "Future plans include employing the use of our Downtown Center to serve as the catalyst for entrepreneurship activities."
By collaborating with locally established entrepreneurs who are using technology in job-related markets, students will gain first-hand experience.
Currently, WVU Parkersburg is partnering with the City University of New York's Institute for Virtual Enterprise to implement a West Virginia Technical Assistance Broadband grant and is researching the development of an LLC to provide students paid internships.
The grant intends to utilize CUNY's Virtual Enterprise approach to provide students with virtual entrepreneurship training. Through the Virtual Enterprise, students develop commercially viable projects in the classroom and are guided through the process of forming and running a simulated business related to their discipline.
Last summer, representatives of WVU Parkersburg Business and Economics division traveled to New York City to receive training with the Virtual Enterprise tool and hopes to implement the Virtual Enterprise on the main campus and in the college's Downtown Center in the near future.