NACCE Presents: Community Colleges as Incubators of Innovation

Unleashing Entreprenurial Opportunities for Communities and Students

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Community colleges have traditionally focused on providing students with opportunities to gain credentials for employment but the increasingly important question is: Are they preparing students for the looming dynamic disruptive, and entrepreneurial environments ahead?

The expert course contributors, with the support of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), start from the premise that community colleges are uniquely positioned to lead entrepreneurial initiatives through both internally-generated curriculum design and through collaboration with the local entrepreneurial community to build bridges between the classroom and the community, which in turn can offer models of implementation and constitute a network or support system for students. Community colleges can become incubators of innovation, a magnet for talent, and provide the impetus for development strategies that their communities have not begun to realize.

This course is designed to be self-paced and action-oriented. Each chapter offers course participants a personalized roadmap for community college innovation aimed at impact on campus and throughout the community.



Course topics include:

  1. Leading with an Entrepreneurial Mindset
  2. An Entrepreneurial Approach to Education
  3. Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  4. Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development
  5. How Collaboration Supports the Growth of an Urban Ecosystem
  6. The Ecosystem that Thrives
  7. Creating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Rural Appalachia
  8. Community Colleges as Entrepreneurial Catalysts
  9. The Power of Collective Action
  10. Sustainability Lessons

Based on decades of research and outreach, this course is the perfect professional development opportunity blended with actionable assignments for real-world impact. Students may complete the course in an accelerated or extended format, providing the flexibility most professionals require.

The online offering will be available on-demand to community colleges across the nation in June, 2019.



Your Instructor

Samantha Steidle
Samantha Steidle

Samantha has over 18 years experience in entrepreneurship and innovation. She is an educator, facilitator, researcher and speaker for futuristic topics in business and academia. She regularly hosts workshops and consults on the topics of revenue innovation, the art of delegation, new business models, entrepreneurial philanthropy, design thinking, inbound outreach, gig-economy, the future of work, recruiting innovators, and the entrepreneurial mindset. While serving as Innovation Officer at Virginia Western Community College, she contributed to the creation of six entrepreneurial initiatives including three coworking spaces (including CoLab Coworking), an incubator, an accelerator (RAMP), a FabLab and an innovation corridor. She earned her Bachelor's in Accounting from Radford University, Masters in Business Administration from University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, and completed her Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Old Dominion University in May, 2021. Her dissertation was titled " Exploring the Role(s) of Community Colleges in Addressing Wicked Problems through Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Sustainability (SDGs)".



Course Curriculum

Available in days
days after you enroll



"Samantha is an amazing instructor. She curates material from experts and innovators in the field, then mixes with her own professional experience to make the material easy to access, relatable and highly practical. Ranging from broad theories to minute details, Samantha covers her topics from start to finish in an actionable way. I loved learning about the concepts I had heard in passing, applying them to my work, breaking them down until I could see not only how they functioned, but how to master them and make them work for me. I highly recommend Samantha's fresh style of teaching!"

- Caleigh Keith McKinnie
Director of Culture & Retention at NEFCO Corporation



Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and remains open for six months. It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish during that timeframe.
Where do I get my textbook?
The textbook will be shipped to you after you enroll in the course.
What if I have other questions or concerns?
Contact the instructors at [email protected]


Get started now!