WCNY’s Education Center offers programs for learners of all ages, including Enterprise America, an exciting hands-on co-curricular program for middle-school students. The first of its kind in New York state, the program involves a minimum of three weeks of classroom instruction, with teachers using curriculum aligned to state and 21st century learning standards provided by WCNY. Following the completion of classroom study, students embark on the Enterprise America experience, spending a day in WCNY’s Enterprise America city, which they are responsible for operating.
Once in the city, students will apply the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and financial and civic literacy skills they have learned to run the city’s 14 businesses and City Hall. The students become business entrepreneurs and employees, consumers and citizens. They enact laws, elect a mayor and judge and decide whether or not to purchase employee medical insurance. The business owners visit the Enterprise America credit union to apply for loans to launch their “start-ups” while other students manufacture goods, such as pens, and offer services, including website design. Some students will become accountants, preparing invoices and paying bills; others will calculate energy usage in the city’s businesses and explore alternative energy sources, write stories and take photos for the city’s newspaper, and prepare orders and deliver supplies throughout the city. All the student employees will complete wellness surveys, cast votes on a real voting machine and oversee personal and business financial spending.
Students eat their lunches and purchase, with Enterprise America dollars they have earned, healthy snacks on their breaks in the Enterprise America café. They may shop in the city’s retail businesses, contribute a portion of their salaries to charity and experience the dangers of texting while driving in simulators in the automotive center. It’s a business-to-business economy, where each student-run company strives to generate enough revenue to pay off its business loan. Students are involved and engaged. They communicate, collaborate and problem solve. In Enterprise America’s real-world, hands-on learning environment, students do the work, make the decisions and learn what careers may demand of them when they enter the workplace. By putting into practice the skills that 21st century businesses expect employees to possess, students realize the importance of staying in school for long-term success. Following the Enterprise America experience, students return to their classrooms where teachers utilize post-experience curriculum to have students write about their job performance, analyze their business operations and calculate and chart survey data. Pre and post program components aid in student assessment.
Enrollment and scheduling will be handled through our partner, OCM BOCES. Assistance through the BOCES Science Center (or cross-contract) is available to schools wanting to participate in Enterprise America. Charter schools, private and parochial schools and schools unable to participate in their local BOCES, may still enroll through our BOCES partner and could be eligible for scholarship aid, based on need and other factors. Schools enrolling in Enterprise America prior to March 15 will receive a special “early adopter” bonus of a short, professionally produced video on a noteworthy aspect of their school or school district that will air on WCNY and be available for posting on their school website. So don’t delay, enroll today!
To access the Enterprise America program curriculum, please click on the link below.
Charter schools, private and parochial schools and schools unable to participate in their local BOCES, may still enroll through our BOCES partner and could be eligible for scholarship aid, based on need and other factors.
Early registration opportunity
Schools enrolling in Enterprise America before March 15 will receive a special “early adopter” bonus of a short, professionally produced video on a noteworthy aspect of their school or school district to air on WCNY and be available for posting on their school website.
WCNY invites educators to its Enterprise America city with guided tours and information sessions April 24 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and May 22 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at WCNY, located at 415 W. Fayette St. in Syracuse.
Attendees will learn about public broadcasting’s first hands-on experiential learning program where middle school students take part in a real-life immersive learning experience.
Come see how your students can work as employees, elected officials and business owners to operate the city by working in business teams, paying off bills and following city laws.
R.S.V.P. to WCNY at www.wcny.org/education/rsvp by April 23 for the April 24 open house, and by May 21 for the May 22 open house.
For questions, please call Jessica Straub at (315) 453-2424.
Sponsored by WCNY and partner OCM BOCES.
For information contact WCNY at (315)453-2424 or fill out the contact form below and a WCNY education staff member will respond promptly to your inquiries as well as keep you up to date on Enterprise America open houses and other events.