I was invited to take part in the Mission College Business Department Advisory Committee for 2008 last Tuesday; it was a very interesting experience. There was a cross section of folks from education and business, both large and small. I was impressed by the diversity of perspectives and everyone’s commitment to assisting the college.
Community colleges in California have a complex mission, offering not only degree and certificate programs for high school graduates who may continue on to a four year college but also offering continuing education classes for mid-career and new career needs. The college offers a rich mix of instructional modes to meet the needs of its students: traditional classrooms, on-line, one day intensive workshops, and teleclasses.
I made two suggestions that I thought the department might consider.
- Survey some of the graduates who had been out for 3-5 years to see where they were and how well Mission College had prepared them for the next step in their careers, whether it was attending a four year college, getting their first real job, getting a promotion, or getting a new job.
- Consider extending the intern program to allow Mission College students to work as virtual interns for out of region companies who may have need of people who can work on the ground in Silicon Valley. In this age of increasingly global projects, on-line teams, virtual admins, it would seem that there might be a virtual intern model that would also work.
Although it only seems like a few years, it’s been a while since I was in a college classroom; it was an interesting experience to be on a campus that is at ground zero geographically in Silicon Valley.
If you have started your company or are in the planning stages, I would encourage you to take a look at the Mission College Business, Management, and Marketing courses. In particular, some of the one day courses might round out your understanding of key issues for your business:
We offer four hour workshops for entrepreneurs to analyze and plan their businesses in a structured fashion, network and compare notes with other entrepreneurs, and get exposed to concepts and methods for business development from a very practical “do it in the next 90 days” perspective. We provide each attendee with an on-line workspace to continue to refine and enhance the plans they draft. But it’s a very specialized instruction model compared to the different objectives that a community college has to satisfy.