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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Charles Eason, Solano Community College

Los Angeles Virtual Enterprise Trade Show

  • Type of Practice: Student Engagement and Career Awareness
  • Type(s) of Users Served: Counselors/Supporting Staff to Student, Faculty/Teachers, First-time Students, Returning Students
  • Sector(s): Small Business
  • Momentum Point(s) & Leading Indicators : MP 6a, MP 7, LI 6, LI 7 (click here for description)
  • Regions Involved:
  • Colleges Involved:

The Challenge

Experiential learning opportunities can be one of the best was to learn about small business and entrepreneurship. The challenge is finding ways to incorporate experiential learning opportunities into the classroom.

The Solution

One successful program is the Virtual Enterprise Program at the K-12 level where juniors and seniors take a year long class where they run a virtual business and compete against other high schools from across the state and nation. The Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy Small Business Sector partnered with Virtual Enterprise International to put on trade shows in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego which drew 1,200 - 1,500 participants at each event.


A recent event in Pasadena, co-sponsored by the California Community Colleges, more than 70 high school teams from the Inland Empire, Los Angeles and Orange Counties gathered to pitch their own business ideas -- with student-led companies that ranged from selling weightless backpacks to converting kinetic energy into something marketable. For Lisa Kiplinger-Kennedy, small business deputy sector navigator for the California Community Colleges' Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy division, participating in the 2017 Los Angeles Trade Show made sense. “Every industry sector has small businesses,” she said.The students are challenged to write a business plan, understanding financing the business and market the business. At the event, these young entrepreneurs were selling their ideas and their products to the “adults” who attended.

The Data

The following is stats for the Los Angeles Virtual Enterprise Trade Show held at the Pasadena Convention Center:

•1200 total attendees
•59 Schools
•72 Firms
•1,050 Students
•45 Volunteers

Supporting Information

Los Angeles VEI Recap

Video of Los Angeles VEI Trade Show

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Common Metrics

Leading Indicators

LI 1 Alignment of skillsets within a program (or set of courses) to a particular occupation and the needs of the labor market
LI 2 Regionalization of stackable certificates aligned with a particular occupation ladder
LI 3 Alignment of a certificate with state-, industry-, nationally-, and/or employer- recognized certification
LI 4 Creation of a credit certificate from non-credit certificate
LI 5 Curriculum articulation along a career or multi-career educational pathway
LI 6 Updating the skills of faculty, teachers, counselors, and/or “supporting staff to student” to reflect labor market needs
LI 7 Integration of small business creation and/or exporting modules into for-credit curriculum in other disciplines

Momentum Points

Middle School Cluster
MP 1Completed an individual career and skills awareness workshop in middle school that included a normed assessment process and was in a Doing What Matters priority or emerging sector
Transition from Middle School to High School
MP 2Completed a bridge program between middle school and high school and revised student career/education plan
MP 3Completed a student orientation and assessment program while in middle school or high school
High School Cluster
MP 4Completed one course in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 5Completed two or more courses in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 6Completed a CTE articulated course
MP 6aSuccessfully completed a CTE dual enrollment course or credit by exam, with receipt of transcripted credits
MP 7Completed a program in high school within a CTE pathway
Transition from High School to College Cluster
MP 8Completed a bridge program between high school and college in a CTE pathway
MP 9Completed college orientation and assessment as a first-time community college student who entered a community college CTE pathway
MP 10Transitioned from a high school CTE pathway to a similar community college CTE pathway
MP 11Transferred from a high school CTE pathway to a similar CSU, UC or private/independent university CTE pathway
MP 12Completed a counselor-approved college education plan, for first-time community college students who enter a CTE pathway
MP 13During high school, participated in an internship, work-based learning, mentoring, or job shadowing program in a CTE pathway
MP 14Percentage of community college students, who participated in a high school CTE pathway, whose first math or English course was below transfer-level
Community College Cluster
MP 15Completed two courses in the same CTE pathway
MP 16Retention rate between Fall and Spring within a CTE pathway
MP 17Completed a non-CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
MP 18Completed a CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
General Education and Transfer Progress Cluster
MP 19Completed a work readiness soft skills training program (either stand-alone or embedded) within a CTE pathway
MP 20Completed college level English and/or math, for students in a CTE pathway
MP 21Completed the CSU-GE or IGETC transfer track/certificate for students in a CTE pathway
MP 22Completed requirements in a CTE pathway, but did not receive a certificate or a degree
MP 23Completed an associate degree in a CTE major
MP 24Completed an associate degree in a major different from student’s college CTE pathway
MP 25Transferred from community college to a four-year university in the same CTE pathway
MP 26Transferred from community college to a four-year university in a major different from their CTE pathway
Community College Transition To Workforce Cluster
MP 27Participated in a college internship or workplace learning program within a CTE pathway
MP 28Attained a job placement in the same or similar field of study as CTE pathway
MP 29Acquired an industry-recognized, third-party credential
Workforce Progress Cluster
MP 30Attained a wage gain in a career in the same or similar CTE pathway
MP 31Attained wages equal to or greater than the median regional wage for that CTE pathway
MP 32Attained wages greater than the regional standard-of-living wage
MP 33Participated in incumbent worker training or contract education in a CTE pathway (for example training for layoff aversion, meeting heightened occupational credentialing requirement, transitioning employees whose occupations are being eliminated, or up-skilling existing employees)
MP 34Exception


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