ICC and Western Carolina University sign entrepreneurship pact

Published 11:58pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

Students in the entrepreneurship program at Isothermal Community College will have an opportunity to seamlessly continue their studies at Western Carolina University, officials recently announced.

Isothermal’s President Walter Dalton signed articulation agreements involving the WCU College of Business’ Entrepreneurship Program and Isothermal at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) annual conference in Charlotte on Oct. 14.

The agreements create a guarantee for ICC students that certain credits earned while studying for one of two entrepreneurship-related associate degrees will transfer upon admission to WCU’s bachelor of entrepreneurship or bachelor of science in business administration degree with an entrepreneurship major.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the keys to the future economy, and this agreement creates a secure path for Isothermal students to complete their associate degrees and be assured of the acceptance of those credits into WCU’s programs, which is one of the best four-year entrepreneurship programs in the nation,” said Dalton.

WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher echoed Dalton’s sentiment.

“I am pleased to strengthen what is already a great partnership with Isothermal,” he said. “We look forward to more Isothermal students in entrepreneurship transferring to Western Carolina and leading economic development for the future.”

Kim Alexander, dean of business sciences at Isothermal, said Isothermal is working on additional agreements with WCU.

“We have two agreements that were signed at NACCE,” said Alexander. “The first articulates our associate of arts and sciences (AAS) business administration degree that has a track in entrepreneurship. The other agreement is for our AAS entrepreneurship degree. Both articulate into WCU’s entrepreneurship degree programs.”

Dr. Frank Lockwood, a WCU associate professor of entrepreneurship with an extensive background as an entrepreneur, said the new agreements are unique to Isothermal.

“Isothermal is leading the way in this effort and we are excited about it. On the whole, the quality of the student we get at Western Carolina University from a community college is outstanding,” Lockwood said. “We anticipate these agreements will create a real culture of entrepreneurship among the students.”

An important aspect of the relationship between the two schools is the ability to complete the bachelor’s degrees at WCU using the distance education format.

“We know that the bulk of job growth and creation comes from small businesses,” said Alexander. “With the right tools, small businesses can grow into large businesses; ideas can become reality; innovation and success can create a multiplier effect on individuals and their communities. Students can get those tools through these programs. The bottom line is that the agreements open the door for opportunity and economic development.”

– article submitted by Michael Gavin

Editor's Picks