In fiscal year 2016-17, on the referral of Kenan Fellow Nancy Cattrell, Apex Friendship High School teacher Dan Jackson worked with KIETS Associate Director Raj Narayan to develop the Applied Synergies Partnership (ASaP) Entrepreneurship Leadership Program focused on enabling entrepreneurial analytical skills in his high school students. In collaboration with Narayan and the NC State TEC Program faculty in the Poole College of Management, Jackson participated as an “educator-in-residence” with the TEC program to distill the T EC program methodology for utilization in his honors entrepreneurship course. Jackson worked closely with Narayan to develop a clinical education program for his high school students similar to the TEC program model. 16 local industry executives including Narayan mentored 16 student teams to help them develop business plans that would be submitted for competition in the NC DECA Career Development Conference.
The students were also hosted by the Kenan Institute to visit NC State University including the Hunt Library, BTEC, and NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic. Moreover, student teams who were finalists for the state DECA competition were also invited to present their business plans at the TEC program in preparation for their competition and some collaborated with NC State STEM faculty in the ASSIST program on their product development. The result of this effort was an experiential entrepreneurial pedagogical model aligned with the NC Standard course of study, which culminated through the DECA state competition.
Of the sixteen teams that participated, eleven competed at the state competition and three teams were invited to the international competition in Anaheim, CA. Moreover, 97% of the students who participated in the program and took the state-mandated end-of-course-assessment met or exceeded the test proficiency levels in contrast to the state average of 73% for all test takers. Kenan Institute support helped some of the students in financial need attend the international competition in Anaheim in April 2017 and Institute support is being leveraged with additional support from the Wake County Public School system.