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December 13, 2019

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Sustaining YEC's Five Successful Years of Entrepreneurial Learning 

Looking back, the Young Entrepreneurs Consortium (YEC) [1] has exceeded ALL GOALS since its creation five years ago through a Straight A grant from the Ohio Department of Education. YEC's main objective was to increase student achievement by building an education-to-employment model impacting grades 6-14. Students gained exposure to an array of business and technical pathways, work-based learning experiences and problem-based learning in order to prepare them to compete in the 21st century global economy.

Almost 18,000 local students, teachers and countless families have already been impacted by YECs successful strategies. The continuation of the high impact teaching and learning approaches put into place during the grant period will be its true measure of success.

Successful Strategies Over the Five Year Grant
A key instructional approach - Problem-Based Learning (PBL) - encouraged students to conduct research and apply knowledge and skills to solve problems. This student-centered learning promotes creative thinking, teamwork, problem-solving and flexibility - all important life skills for college and job success. The Stark County ESC and its partner districts developed a cadre of PBL trainers who initially trained grant participants and then expanded the training into every school district. SCESC continues to support the trainers. 
Work-Based Learning (WBL) complements academic, technical, and social skills by providing students hands-on and collaborative activities with the workforce. YEC students participated in apprenticeships, internships, camps and classes paving the way for pursuit of personal and professional aspirations.
A step in creating entrepreneurship pathways for students is Building Teacher Capacity so that dual enrollment (College Credit Plus) programs can be taught in home high schools. The YEC grant funded the credentialing of 36 teachers in math, English and business.
Ongoing Entrepreneurial Efforts
Through the Strengthening Stark initiative, there are new opportunities in Greater Stark County that will help develop, encourage and support entrepreneurial thinking. Students teams in 6-8th grade are participating in the Middle School Stark Tank, and a comparable high school program will feature a competition during its Stark Tank: High School Edition this spring.

[1] The Consortium is comprised of 12 school districts, three career and technical centers, four higher education partners, and business/community partners representing a 12-county service area including Carroll, Guernsey, Holmes, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Washington, and Wayne counties. 
About the Partnership Long Header
The Stark Education Partnership - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Stark County, Ohio -  is a catalyst, engaging and collaborating with education, business, civic and community stakeholders to drive sustainable improvement and innovation to provide all students with education and career success.  

Questions or comments? Email or call 330-452-0829. Visit our website at
Stark Education Partnership, 400 Market Avenue North - Suite B, Canton, OH 44702
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