WCU and A-B Tech expand opportunities for entrepreneurship students

A new agreement makes it easier for students in Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s new entrepreneurship program to transfer to Western Carolina University and earn a four-year business degree.

WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo and A-B Tech President Betty Young signed an articulation agreement Wednesday, July 23, that enables students who complete A-B Tech’s new entrepreneurship degree to transfer seamlessly to WCU and earn a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship two years later.

“Today’s entrepreneurship students are the business leaders and innovators of tomorrow,” said Bardo. “Partnerships such as this one between A-B Tech and Western give our students more access to the knowledge and experiences that will help them succeed in our increasingly global marketplace.”

Young said the signing of the agreement also serves as an expression of the strong relationship between the two institutions.

“I look forward to building on that relationship in the future as we work together to expand great opportunities that improve the quality of education for our students and the people of Western North Carolina,” said Young.

A-B Tech student Michelle Marcoux said she is thrilled A-B Tech is expanding opportunities for students like her who want to be entrepreneurs.

“This new program will open a world of opportunities for students interested in owning their own business, regardless of academic programs,” said Marcoux, whose business, a loss-prevention consulting company called Preventive Measures, was recently selected for A-B Tech’s student business incubator program.

WCU now has entrepreneurship articulation agreements with two community colleges – A-B Tech and Haywood Community College.

“We are excited to broaden the reach of WCU’s entrepreneurship program and forge stronger partnerships with A-B Tech in ways that will benefit the economic development of this region and the state,” said Louis Buck Jr., the Wesley R. Elingburg Distinguished Professor of Business Innovation and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WCU.

WCU was the first university in the state to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in entrepreneurship. The program prepares students to start and operate new ventures that could be entrepreneurial, innovative or small businesses. Courses are designed to be practical and hands-on and give students a strong foundation in business while cultivating creative thinking skills.

In 2005, the master’s degree program was named a model master’s degree program in entrepreneurship at a competition sponsored by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2007, Fortune Small Business magazine recognized WCU’s online master of entrepreneurship program as one of the five best online entrepreneurship programs in the country.

For more information about A-B Tech’s entrepreneurship program, check out http://www.abtech.edu/bh/entrepreneurship (link no longer active) or call Joseph Fox, business administration chair, at (828) 254-1921 Extension 7664. For more information about entrepreneurship opportunities at WCU, contact Buck at (828) 227-3798 or lbuck@wcu.edu. For more information about admission or transferring to WCU, contact Brooke Roberts, senior assistant director of admission, at (828)227-7317 or broberts@wcu.edu.

WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo shakes hands with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College President Betty Young after they sign an agreement that enables students to transfer seamlessly from A-B Tech's new entrepreneurship program to WCU's bachelor's degree program. They are joined by, from left, Louis Buck Jr., the WCU Wesley R. Elingburg Distinguished Professor of Business Innovation and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; WCU Provost Kyle Carter; Philip R. Leftwich, dean of the division of business and hospitality education at A-B Tech, and Frank Lockwood, director of the master's degree program in entrepreneurship at WCU. (Photo courtesy of A-B Tech Communications Office)

WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo shakes hands with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College President Betty Young after they sign an agreement that enables students to transfer seamlessly from A-B Tech’s new entrepreneurship program to WCU’s bachelor’s degree program. They are joined by, from left, Louis Buck Jr., the WCU Wesley R. Elingburg Distinguished Professor of Business Innovation and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; WCU Provost Kyle Carter; Philip R. Leftwich, dean of the division of business and hospitality education at A-B Tech, and Frank Lockwood, director of the master’s degree program in entrepreneurship at WCU. (Photo courtesy of A-B Tech Communications Office)