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.
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.
Enterprise America offers an exciting one-day program for homeschool students that combines instruction with hands-on learning for middle school students in grades 5-8. At the core of the program, students participate in an authentic, real-world experience in a simulated city. The program also provides a great way for students to meet other homeschoolers from across Central New York.
A minimum of 40 students are needed to reserve a date, with maximum of 75. We suggest parents of homeschoolers work through the homeschool groups in their area (e.g. Loving Education at Home) to organize a group of students to meet the enrollment requirements.
The Wal-Mart Foundation’s State Giving Program has awarded grant money to WCNY to assist schools in Onondaga County that seek funding for tuition and transportation associated with participation in the Enterprise America program. These funds provide financial support to under-served students for the opportunity to experience this highly engaging, hands-on learning program.
Onondaga County Enterprise America Scholarship Form
The Shineman Foundation Program has awarded grant money to WCNY to assist schools in Oswego County that seek funding for tuition and transportation associated with participation in the Enterprise America program. These funds provide financial support to middle school students for the opportunity to experience this highly engaging, hands-on learning program.
Oswego County Enterprise America Scholarship Form
As part of the Enterprise America experience, middle school students work as staff members in Enterprise America’s Web News business to create an online newspaper. Breaking news articles, stories, editorials and advertisements are written and edited, with interviews from Enterprise America citizens.
March 17, 2015
Ed Smith Web News
March 9, 2015
Phoenix Middle School
Phoenix Middle School Web News
March 6, 2015
Clary Middle School
Clary Middle School Web News
March 5, 2015
Clary Middle School
Clary Middle School Web News
January 22, 2015
HW Smith Web News
January 20, 2015
Lincoln Middle School
Lincoln Web News
December 19, 2014
Marathon Central Schools
Marathon Web News
October 29, 2014
Dillon Middle School
Dillon Web News
May 15, 2014
Solvay Middle School
Solvay Web News
June 10, 2014
June 19, 2004
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.
Enterprise America Volunteer Opportunities