January 13, 2016
FVTC One of Five in Nation to Receive Study Abroad Grant
New initiative aims to bolster entrepreneur development.
Fox Valley Technical College was named a national recipient of one of five new study abroad programs with the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grants on behalf of the White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: the Association of International Educators.
Through the college’s Global Education & Services department, the $40,000 grant will focus on developing practical curricular designed for entrepreneur training. The project, Entrepreneurial Thinking for Employability, will help advance workforce skills in the area of business innovation. This is a new study abroad entrepreneurship model that has not previously been offered through these grants.
In the news:
Wisconsin Technical College Wins Grant, Will Expand Study Abroad to Colombia (Partners of the Americas) >>
FVTC gets $40K study abroad grant (The Post-Crescent) >>
The program will initially include five FVTC students and five students from the nation of Colombia working together in a mini boot camp training format, modeled after the college’s successful E-seed™ program through its Venture Center. The cohort of students will collaboratively develop a plan to help market and sell products for a grocery store in Colombia, in addition to blueprinting its operations, financing, and budgeting activities.
FVTC students will visit the business site in Colombia, followed by the return of all students to the college to orchestrate a small business operations plan. “It’s a dynamic set up for global learning and shared small business practices,” says Aaron Gorenc, coordinator in FVTC’s Global Education & Services department. “We’ve learned that students from Colombia are typically well versed in technology, so the business planning and operational components will be particularly helpful to them.”
Gorenc noted that the experience provides an ideal platform for FVTC students to acquire skills in communication and project management on a universal scale. “Our global economy is calling for more of these types of partnerships and for our graduates to be better prepared for it,” he added.
The new FVTC and Colombian program will begin with virtual interactions between the two countries and teams through the spring semester. In the fall, students will have the opportunity to participate on a short-term study abroad program. FVTC students and staff will travel to Colombia in September where they will engage in professional, academic, and cultural components of the program. Following that experience, Colombian students and their staff members will travel to Appleton and participate in a similar program at FVTC.
Since 2014, 70 Innovation Fund grants have been awarded to teams of 153 higher education institutions from 19 countries in the Western Hemisphere. The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. NAFSA: the Association of International Educators, is the world’s largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education.