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Cayuga CC Joins National Entrepreneurship Forum

DATE: 03-27-2012

Cayuga Community College is one of seven community colleges in New York State to join National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship’s (NACCE) Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. By participating in the program, Cayuga has committed to expanding entrepreneurship at the College and to increasing the impact it has on the economic well-being of the communities it serves.

NACCE developed the initiative in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders. To date, more than 150 community college presents have joined NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum.

“In recent years, Cayuga Community College has become a leader in entrepreneurial activity among our community college peers,” Cayuga Community College President Daniel Larson said. “We were the first community college in the country to have an endowed faculty chair to support entrepreneurship: the Fred L. Emerson Foundation Endowed Chair in Enterprise and Innovation.

“We have infused entrepreneurial concepts and experiences for students enrolled in all academic programs, not just business courses,” he said. “Through funding from such organizations as the Kauffman and Coleman foundations, we have instituted new programs that introduce our students, faculty, and community members to hands-on entrepreneurial learning and targeted programming. We look forward to continuing to provide leadership in the area of economic growth and innovative thinking for our region and our country.”

The other New York community college presidents who have joined the forum are: Randall VanWagoner, Mohawk Valley Community College; Carol Brown, North Country Community College; Kevin Drumm, SUNY/Broome Community College; Carole McCoy, SUNY/Jefferson Community College; Donald Katt, SUNY/Ulster County Community College; and Joseph Hankin, SUNY/Westchester Community College.

“As a national organization supporting entrepreneurship development, NACCE touches the lives of students and community members across the country,” said Ron Thomas, NACCE board chairman and president of Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount MN. “NACCE has an obligation to lead the way in providing assistance to entrepreneurship education programs, which are an essential part of the economic recovery at local, regional, national and global levels.”

According to NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. The Forum was launched at the White House in January 2011 and works to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of American entrepreneurs. Community college presidents who join the Forum make five commitments:


• Develop transparency of community college and community assets

• Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship

• Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges

• Engage in industry cluster development

• Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.

“The five commitments were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” Van Sickle said. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions. One of the major things that clearly make a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship. So we want to put something in front of leadership that they can actually commit to. We want to create a national network of institutions sharing these commitments and see what impact that can have on communities.”

In the past few years, Cayuga has adopted an entrepreneurial “infusion” model at a variety of levels to make the biggest impact:

  • at the curricular level by delivering entrepreneurial concepts and experiences across all subjects areas;
  • at the institutional level by encouraging risk-taking among employees, empowering people to work outside their traditional job descriptions, and moving away from resource-allocation toward opportunity-driven models in budgeting;
  • at the community level by partnering with peers, industry, community organizations, and government entities;
  • at the cultural level by establishing a self-sustaining hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.

About Cayuga Community College

Founded in 1953, Cayuga Community College is one of 64 accredited institutions that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) system. A full opportunity College, Cayuga offers open access and an affordable gateway to higher education, with courses and degree programs offered at campuses in Auburn and Fulton and online. Cayuga Community College provides a strong liberal arts foundation for further study and career preparation. The College also addresses identified community needs through targeted training and personal enrichment programs. By sustaining academic excellence within a supportive learning environment, the College, a careful steward of human and fiscal resources, serves as a valuable asset to the development of our local, regional, and global communities.



The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for “entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. For more information about the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, or to join NACCE, visit Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook