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The Next Step for Cooperative Education

November 18, 2015

Abstract: At the early stages of startups development they need to change. They must change and adapt to the market. As the young entrepreneurs learn more about their business, their market, and their customers they need to incorporate that knowledge into their business plan. The business plan at that stage of development in the author’s opinion is a dynamic document that keeps evolving until it reaches a state of maturity. And even then there is a level of adaptation takes place based on the changes in the market, technology and other external factors like policies and regulations. On the other hand most of our funding and startups help programs assume all applicants to be at the final state of maturity (there are few programs target the early stages of development) which put young startups at a great disadvantage and they are automatically disqualified in being part of these programs. The author believes that this requirement is just a filtering process to make sure that funds are allocated to mature ideas where there is a higher probability of success. This model is working to a degree, but the question is how many good ideas are disregarded due to the lack of support or the environment to foster them. Many young startups especially in the IT field fail to continue beyond their first year due to the lack of support regardless of the idea. Young entrepreneurs will have to go back to the job search engines to start new career and abandon their ideas no matter how good they are. In this article the author will suggest a model on how post-secondary educational institutes can build that support in their programs and help new entrepreneurs reach the level of maturity to be qualified for other programs. The author will demonstrate that with an experiment conducted by the department of Accounting and Computer Education at Red River College. The author proposes the utilization of the co-op and project terms offered by many programs to help entrepreneurs’ idea cross the gap between the moment of the inception of that idea and the point when they are qualified for other programs.

Date of Publication: October 2015

Author: Haider Al-Saidi

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The Entrepreneur-In-Residence

November 3, 2015

The idea of Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) is not new, it’s been around for quite some time. It may not be a real position in a firm or educational institute. Matter of fact, there are few variations to the function of this “position” depending on the firm or the institute. Here, I will focus on our implementation which is still in the experimental phase, never the less it produced so far an excellent results. The Accounting and Computer Education (ACE) department at Red River College (RRC) requires that students do an industry project as part of their education. The projects are typically provided by industry partners (usually well established organizations). They are real projects with specific outcomes. The students and faculty work on the projects and deliver the results by the end of the term. This year ACE wanted to open the door to young organizations in their early stages of development. An entrepreneur with a sound idea can qualify to be the Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) who will work directly with faculty and students to further develop the idea and change it to a real product. The investment to create this “position” is just a desk and safe environment where the Students, Faculty, and the EIR can brainstorm to transform the idea into something that is of benefit for everyone. The results were phenomenal, we can judge by the response of the students who took just a bare idea and in a short time transformed it into a product that can be displayed and demonstrated to the world. The interaction between the EIR and students was something of great interest, first this direct interaction taught the students how to be innovators themselves. Second, the EIR demonstrated first hand to the students how to pursue the path of being independent and how exciting to have a dream. There are other accomplishments achieved beside the academic goals that must be achieved as part of the students development in this term.

The overall experience was wonderful, we can say that in a short period of time with the help of an EIR we created more entrepreneurs with more ideas.

Date of Publication: October 2015

Author: Haider Al-Saidi

Spirit, Soul, and Dialectical Thinking in Adult Learning

July 26, 2015

Abstract: A discussion about spirit and soul in an adult learning scenario should start examining the definition and purpose of adult learning. The approach to this term involves many learning theories such as: behaviorism, humanism, constructivism, and critical theory. In addition, many types of adult learning like: instrumental, communicative, and emancipatory learning (Nesbit, Brigham, Taber, & Gibb, 2013, pp. 95-100). Per instance, if we just consider UNESCO’s focus: “… educational processes, whatever the content…whereby people regarded as adults by the society to which they belong: develop their abilities, enrich their knowledge…turn them in a new…development” (Spencer & Lange, 2014, p. 8). It will be difficult to find the role of the spirit and the soul in such consideration.

Date of Publication: July 2015

Author: Miguel Guzman, Department of Accounting and Computer Education

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Educational Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game for Teaching Youth Finance

April 1, 2012

Abstract: It has been stated that people need to improve their knowledge of finances and make better choices with their money. Many programs have been created to teach basic finances. These programs target people of all ages from adults all the way down to kindergarten students. The vast majority of opinions on teaching finances state that education begins with children – the younger the better. The goal of this research project is to create a fun to play (massively) multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) capable of teaching younger students how to better manage their personal finances. The game will be designed as an educational title with an attempt to balance both the entertainment and educational components. It will be a combination of a game and a simulation. Students will live out a virtual life in a generated game world making financial decisions for their character in an attempt to develop enough wealth to allow that character to retire.

Date of Publication: April 2012

Author: David Jones, Department of Accounting and Computer Education

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Applied Degrees in Canadian Colleges

October 19, 2002

Abstract: Bridging the last and new millennia, an issue which Canadian colleges have been debating is the changing roles of post-secondary institutions. The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (PCEIP) 1999, indicates that Canada, in 1995, had the highest postsecondary rate of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries at 48% vs. the mean of 23%. University graduation rates faired among the top countries but Canada’s college graduation rates were the highest (p.5). This respected international standing will not be easy to maintain. In this global context, colleges are exploring whether to seek approval to become degree-granting institutions. The myriad of factors involved in such discussion run from the impact on stakeholders, to redefining the role of colleges, to whether community colleges should evolve into polytechnics or university colleges (Auld, 2002), to speak nothing of articulation and certification dilemmas. This is a topic of considerable scope. To generate a focal point for an initial discussion, this paper will consider applied degrees and the benefits and challenges these would present stakeholders. It is predicted that the benefits, on the whole, will outweigh and accommodate for the disadvantages.

Date of Publication: October 2002

Author: Steve Lawrence, Department of Accounting and Computer Education

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