the spirit of entrepreneurship be taught? Can it be learned? According
to Jerman Rose, who is director of the Center for Entrepreneurial
Studies and external programs for the College of Business and Economics,
the answer to these questions is an emphatic "YES!"
But, Rose goes well beyond simply asserting that individuals can
learn how to engage in entrepreneurial activities, he has developed
an entrepreneurship curriculum specific to WSU staff and faculty.
Learning outcomes of this curriculum include developing the ability
to evaluate opportunities, understanding the concept of risk management,
and starting up a new entrepreneurial activity.
beta-tested his curriculum with a group of WSU Extension educators
in Yakima in early January of this year. Anxious to put his materials
before an interested audience prior to his departure to Vietnam
for a six-month teaching fellowship as a Fullbright Scholar, Rose
spent a day with the WSU Learning Center coordinators and a handful
of other Extension educators from around the state. Reflecting on
this workshop, Terrie Jones, WSU Learning Center Coordinator in
Cowlitz County stated, "The training by Jerman Rose was extraordinarily
timely and poignantly relevant to the challenges we face. Jerman
provided the global overview of needs assessments and discussed
several methods by which potential programs can be assessed. Dr.
Rose provided a framework for program assessment that will be applied
to every program that I consider in the future."
training session had both theoretical and practical strands. The
capstone experience of the day was a focused brainstorming session
where ideas were then evaluated using the Opportunity Assessment
Checklist that is part of the handbook developed by Rose.
identified a number of potentially profitable programs and in a
spirited open exchange, narrowed the list down to developing health
and elder care educational programs for aging baby-boomers and creating
a community based digital archiving service run by 4-H teens. Robert
Force, WSU Learning Center Coordinator in Jefferson County, reports
that, "Since taking Jerman Rose's entrepreneurial workshop at the
last Learning Center meeting, I have been able to revitalize a revenue
stream I thought had long since dried up."
appreciated the feedback he received from participants and was energized
by the enthusiasm and variety of ideas generated by the extension
participants. Based on the success of this initial offering, Rose
is willing to offer this training program to more extension groups
when he returns from Vietnam this summer.
current economic environment has caused institutions to reassess
traditional ways of doing business. With budget cuts and reduced
staffing, efforts are turning toward developing self-sustaining
programs that meet community educational needs, are consistent with
the mission of WSU, and generate revenue. Extension Administration
has empanelled a "15% Upsizing Committee" and charged that group
with identifying ways to grow our overall Extension budget. Gifts,
grants, contracts, fees, and entrepreneurial activities are all
part of the vision this committee has put forth. To that end, Rose's
curriculum is relevant and timely for Extension.
According to Rose, his curriculum is "30 years in the making." It
draws not only upon his years of teaching, but also his experience
as the owner of several small businesses. He has indicated that
upon his return to campus this summer, he is very interested in
working with additional extension groups to deliver this training.
His handbook, Harnessing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, is available
through the WSU Extension Administration Office by calling Noele
Extension Program Leader