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PHCC to become an Entrepreneurial college

Entrepreneurial meeting

NACCE Meeting - Sara Whiffen (standing, left), a research assistant at the Darden School of Business, acted as facilitator
during a community meeting March 7 at the Artisan Center with members of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC president, is one of three community college presidents throughout Virginia to sign NACCE’s President’s for Entrepreneurship Pledge, according to the organization’s website. Signing the pledge represents a commitment to increasing engagement in entrepreneurship at the college, and getting local stakeholders involved to encourage innovation and job creation.

PHCC recently welcomed visitors from NACCE to The Artisan Center in uptown Martinsville to meet with college leaders and members of the community to talk about entrepreneurship in community colleges and effectuation, which is an entrepreneurship principle introduced in 2001 by Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Heather Van Sickle, director of NACCE, presented to the group along with Sara Whiffen, a research assistant at the Darden School of Business who works with Sarasvathy. NACCE Fellows also accompanied the group, who are tasked with starting the conversation among college and community leaders about how PHCC should become an entrepreneurial college.

“For PHCC to fulfill its mission as a community college, committed to the economic well-being and quality of life for the people that we serve,” Godwin said, “we absolutely must adopt an entrepreneurial framework internally and promote an entrepreneurial mindset within the community as a whole.”

Administrators from Martinsville and Henry County joined a diverse group of area businesses, organizations and representatives from local school districts who braved the snow to attend the meeting on March 7. There were many people who planned to participate, Godwin said, but the weather hindered some from attending.

“It’s really exciting that they’re looking to us as a pilot college for this program,” said Rhonda Hodges, dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at PHCC. “With Dr. Godwin’s background (in entrepreneurship), it’s very obvious why they would look to us, but we also offer a variety of programs in entrepreneurship on our credit and career credit sides that we can build upon.”

Godwin added, “Entrepreneurship is the very DNA of this community. It was created by down-home innovation built upon the entrepreneurial spirits of generations of local residents. New products, new services and new enterprises run in the veins of this community. Our goal at PHCC is to nurture that core, which made this region great.”

PHCC currently has an associate of applied science degree available in entrepreneurship with a small business specialization and a career studies certificate in entrepreneurial studies. The Artisan Center also offers entrepreneurship courses tailored for artisans.

Hodges said the next step is for NACCE to gather additional feedback from students, faculty, staff and the community to guide PHCC along the process of becoming a more entrepreneurial college.

For more information on entrepreneurship classes and resources,  view our available classes or call (276) 656-0343.