Eagle Rock Professional Development Center Partners with Austin Independent School District to Foster Next Generation of Young Entrepreneurs
To better prepare students for careers in the 21st century workforce, Colorado-based Eagle Rock Professional Development Center (PDC) is supporting Austin Independent School District’s (Austin ISD) “Student INC” program to bring entrepreneurship education to South Austin, Texas. The program focuses on growing students’ entrepreneurial thinking skills using a model that bridges classroom learning with access to the local business community. A new Honda Community Partners Spotlight video about the project is available at http://honda.us/StudentINC.
Responding to the rise of startups and technology jobs in the region, Austin ISD launched the Student INC entrepreneurship program to groom the next generation of innovative business and community leaders. Austin ISD tapped Eagle Rock PDC, which works with educators across the country to make the high school experience more engaging for young people, to help enhance the existing Student INC program at Crockett High School and implement programming that sets students up for success after graduation.
“We are preparing students to seize the opportunity to fill a badly needed skill gap that forces Austin-based companies to import talent,” said Desiree Morales, Austin Independent School District. “We’re thankful to the Eagle Rock Professional Development Center for helping us continue to develop and enhance our entrepreneurship education programs for Austin youth.”
Student INC Entrepreneurship Program
Student INC invites students to lead their own learning through real-world collaborative projects. The program creates connections to universities and the local startup community, and provides opportunities that students from South Austin may not otherwise access. A key component of the Student INC curriculum is the “INCubator” capstone class, which fuses the innovative initiatives Austin ISD has been incorporating over the last several years. INCubator puts strategies and skills learned by students to use by identifying real community problems and building a business around the solution. Students develop projects with support from their teachers as well as private sector professionals from the business community. Each student who participates in the program gains the knowledge and skills to open a business or a nonprofit enterprise.
The Eagle Rock Professional Development Center
Founded and solely funded by American Honda, the Eagle Rock Professional Development Center opened its doors in 1993 with a mission to help educators across the country make the high school experience more engaging for young people. The PDC works with schools, school districts and youth service organizations to create healthy, high-functioning learning environments that foster students’ unique potential. PDC activities include a teaching fellowship program, hosting visiting educators on the Eagle Rock School campus in Estes Park, Colo., providing teacher licensure services, graduate practicum opportunities, as well as research opportunities.