North Idaho College has been named the 2018 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College of the Year by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.
NIC President Rick MacLennan, Dana Mohr, NIC instructor of Business and Entrepreneurship studies, and Ryan Arnold, NIC director of Regional Entrepreneurial Strategy, accepted the award at the NACCE annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, this past week. MacLennan credited the award to the college’s ability to respond entrepreneurially to change.
“NIC has a history of engaging with longstanding and new partners,” MacLennan said. “The heart of our work is developing our business and community relationships to help fuel the economic vitality of North Idaho. Creating relevant learning opportunities for our students in today’s ever-evolving economy is one of our major imperatives here at NIC.”
Rebecca Corbin, NACCE president and CEO, said NIC’s forward thinking and leadership set it apart from other colleges. NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. The association represents 300-plus community and technical colleges and 2,000 faculty, staff, administrators and presidents who serve more than 3.3 million students.
“North Idaho College has been a trailblazer in leading students and the community in entrepreneurial thinking and action,” Corbin said. “By creating strategic partnerships in the community and with local industry, the college is building new and innovative pathways to economic vitality in the region. It is a pleasure to recognize this outstanding college, which was selected by an independent judging panel, as the winner of NACCE’s 2018 Entrepreneurial College of the Year Award.”
North Idaho College is becoming a regional hub of entrepreneurial education and support. A myriad of partnerships, programs, and efforts kicked off this past year in the Hedlund Building on NIC’s main campus.
The vision for the Hedlund building is a 30,000-square-foot hub where hands-on steam education (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), entrepreneurship, and creative collaboration can all take place — helping NIC students be better prepared for the next generation of jobs and careers. In January 2018, several steps made that vision come closer to being a reality.
First, the Idaho Small Business Development Center moved in, providing business coaching and workshops. Soon after, GIZMO-CDA, a nonprofit makerspace focused on all-ages STEAM education, moved in as well.
Another addition is the Emerging Media Arts Lab, which is a partnership between GIZMO-CDA, NIC, and the University of Idaho where students can learn on and use the latest virtual reality and augmented reality technology.
“Combined with the new state-of-the-art Parker Technical Education Center and a brand-new Cybersecurity program, NIC is proud of what’s happening with its institution and partners, and excited for what’s next in 2019 and beyond,” Arnold said.
A short video on NIC’s Entrepreneurship program is available at nic.edu/venture.
Information: Ryan Arnold at 208-665-2798 or email@example.com.