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Entrepreneurial Proposal

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Major Assignment 3: The Entrepreneurial Opportunity Proposal

by
Lisa J. Moses
EDD 7712 CRN23487
Contextual Issues Affecting Adult and Continuing Education

Nova Southeastern University
November 12, 2011

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The collaborative assignment helped to identify and consider the demographic, economic, political, ethical, and social-cultural changes and emerging challenges occurring in the adult and continuing educational arena. The research identify concern for the motivation of adult learners. Kenner & Weinerman (2010) indicated that adult learners have difficulty integrating into the academic environment because of their different learning needs (Kenner & Weinerman, 2010). According to Bastable (2008), the needs of the learner are often impeded by anxiety, a functioning support system, motivation, risk-taking behavior, frame of mind, and developmental stage, which are all factors of emotional readiness to learn. Another challenge is related to language differences amongst different ethnic and cultural groups. Last, but most important, is the realization that adult learners who had previous negative experiences in school are likely to have doubts about their academic capability (Goto & Martin, 2009). With that premise in mind, the writer proposes the establishment of the Esprit de corps Learning Initiative, a non-profit organization, which offers a complete program targeted to the educational enhancement of the adult learner.
The comprehensive description of proposed program Esprit de corps is defined as a sense of unity and of common interests or responsibilities among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, or enterprise. The Esprit de Corps Learning Initiative (ELI) mission is to empower adult learners with the tools for self-sufficiency. ELI is committed to this goal by providing necessary services that adult learners require under one department including completing college applications, applying for financial assistance, VA disability qualifications, registration, test assessment, internship/mentoring, employment, child care
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assistance, and securing housing in an effort to lessen the anxiety related to this process and to transform the lives of the students. ELI believes in the importance of mentoring. As adults speak of their time on campus, they attest to the importance of belonging to a peer group, those who have shared the same feelings and experienced confusion and lost innocence. Knowing that others have faced the same phenomena and have survived the trials and tribulations, adult learners gain the strength and resolve to complete their education. The feeling of “belongingness” can be manifest in two ways: physically and emotionally. Brookfield’s (1994) research finds adults who belong in such groups, speak of the group as “a second family,” “my partners in crime”, and they provide a safe haven in which adults in critical process can confirm they are not alone, and through which they can make sense of the changes they are experiencing (Brookfield, 1994, p. 6). ELI recognizing that managing a demanding schedule may be further exacerbated by continuing education and cause conflict within the family of the adult learner offers a solution. ELI will offer conflict resolution. Skilled counselors will assess the needs of these adults and of their families and conduct intensive workshops designed to equip these families with the tools and resources necessary to communicate effectively with one another as they transition the educational process. These confidential services are for the purpose of maintaining an emotional stability and a secure a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle for the adult student.
Target population for proposed program Due to the severe economic downturn and the increased numbers of unemployed in the Northeast Florida metropolitan area, many adults are affected financially, as well as discouraged
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personally, and severely lack the vocational training required for employment in other fields. To make matters worse, there has not been a significant decrease in unemployment for the military, retirees, or veterans in the geographical area, so that puts more people at risk for homelessness and keeps those that are trapped in a never ending cycle perpetuated by a system that is ill-equipped to meet the varying needs of this particular population. To that end, ELI intended target population would include: all adults over the age of 30 who are (1) currently employed or unemployed, (2) prior military or retired, (3) disabled and (4) persons who have recently been released from confinement or are currently on probation or on parole, who have a valid proof of identification. Interested parties will complete an interview questionnaire. Once completed, each questionnaire will be screened by intake counselors and an intake appointments scheduled. The one hour interview phrase includes a four step process: (1) application of respondent, (2) interviews with selected respondents, (3) analysis of the information obtained and (4) making respective conclusions. Because respondents are not required to have a GED or high school diploma, counselors will determine the appropriate educational completion that would be in the best interest of the student and timelines on how this objective may be accomplished. Also included is a no cost step-by-step hands-on filing of financial counseling, completing the application process, and course scheduling matrix. Due to the high volume of interested students in ELI, students have six months to finish the screening and start education classes in their respective program or he or she must wait 365 days after the initial screening before reapplying again to the program.
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Financial structure for first year Esprit de Corps Learning Initiative (ELI) is a 501 (c) (4) non-profit community organization. The first year program costs are expected to be $642,300. This proposal is seeking the full amount of $642,300. Future funds for this program initiative will come from government grants, private donations, other foundation resources, and from the ELI fundraising events. The 12- month manpower and operating budget is as follows: for (June 2013 – February 2013) a. Personnel (Salaries/Wages) Facility Director 70,000 Program Manager (IT) 55,000 Counselors 48,000 (2) Adminstrative Assistants 22,000 (4) Secretaries/Receptionists 15,500 (4) Security 12,000 (4) Subtotal Fringe Benefits (23%) $9,500 Total Personnel 419,000 b. Program Expenditures Evaluation 20,000 Books & Training Material 50,000 Computers 80,000

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Office Supplies 8,500 Printing 3,500 Duplicating 1,500 Postage 1,000 Telephone, Internet, Fax 30,000 Space Rental n/a Equipment Rental 22,000 Repairs & Maintenance 6,000 Video Camera 800 Subtotal Program Expenditures 223,300 Total Expenses (A+B) 642,300 All financial operations in accordance with ELI will be carried out in compliance with the Florida State Statues and the funding provider will be forwarded a written summary of the account on a quarterly basis as well as upon request. The writer will be accountable for the program funds and will present the fund provider with a weekly report about the destination of every transaction for the program needs. In addition, a monitoring committee consisting of independent financial experts will control the financial activity of the program and report to the fund provider either upon request or by end of calendar year.

Marketing and Recruiting Strategies ELI believes this program is ideally suited to meet the needs of adult learners throughout Florida for a variety of reasons. Adult learners over age 24 currently comprise about 44 percent
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of U.S. postsecondary students (Kahiz, 2007). These individuals make up a group of students who differ significantly from traditional college students. An adult learner possesses any of the following criteria: may be married or divorced, have dependents, may hold a GED, is a veteran, or is twenty-five years old or older. Adult learners have a vast array of experiences. First, adults learners are people with years of experience, a wealth of information, have established values, morals, beliefs and opinions. These learners vary widely among ages, abilities, job experiences, cultural backgrounds, and personal goals; and range in educational backgrounds from no formal schooling through many years of schooling (Zemke 1984) and (Tuijnman, 1995). In addition, adult learners have well-developed personal identities. Secondly, adults relate new knowledge and information to previously learned information and experiences. Adult learners want to be able to relate content and theory to specific contexts in their own personal lives. These contexts are often in the form of a problem issue or concern in their worksite. Third, adults have pride and have a deep need to be self-directing. Adult learners desire to have some degree of influence over their learning and exhibit evidence of a greater or lesser degree of self-directedness depending upon their maturity level and familiarity with the content. Last, adults tend to have a problem-centered orientation to learning. Adults have differing degrees of self-efficacy and awareness of their own learning styles. They may feel embarrassed about returning to school or to join classes with younger students. They hold negative impressions of their own abilities or negative impressions of schools and teachers. A Quarterly Summary of Challenges to Student Learning (2001), non-traditional students exhibit a wider range of differences, which are more pronounced. These differences include multiple demands and responsibilities in terms of time,
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energy, emotions and roles. Adult learners have greater self-determination and acceptance of responsibility. Finally, these students have a greater need to cope with transitions and with existential issues of competence, emotions, autonomy, identity, relationships, purpose and integrity. With that premise in mind, recruitment for adult learners with minimum age of 30 will start in June 2013 via newspaper, billboard, and mass mailing. Marketing of ELI will target employment agencies, local judicial courthouse, city libraries, military recruiting services, unemployment and social security agencies, and local colleges, career and vocational technical educational organizations.
Proposed processes for implementation and evaluating of ELI program
The virtual organizational structure design of ELI involves a staff of eight to manage the office operations while the majority of the other tasks required will be outsourced to various independent specialists. Information technology (IT) services will provide the communication via email, voice-over- INTERNET- protocol, chatting and remote conferencing. On site classes will be offered 24-hours daily.

Proposed Timeline – Opening March 2014
Task Area of Responsibility Completion
Hire staff Board members and Director June 2013
Provide staff training Director August 2013
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Complete personnel files Admin Assistant Oct 2013
Develop media library Secretary Nov 2013 Critique sheet
Identify Program Participants Director/ Program Manager Jan 2014
Promulgate Marketing All staff Jan 2014
Coordinate Open House Director/Program Manager/local media Feb 2014
Integrate Emergency Director/All Staff/ Fire Department Feb 2014 Services
Ribbon Cutting All Staff/City Officials/Media Blitz March 2014
Staff Meeting – Day One Discuss Lessons Learned March 2014
Evaluation of the program effectiveness will be carried out according to the following criteria: a) Responses of the program participants; b) Results of observations of further relations of program participants; c) Results of the additional research carried out among the same respondents in six months of start of ELI program These criteria will show the first results of the ELI program and the opinions of the participants once after their first experience, at end of the last group class, and the long-term results displayed by participants at the end of their particular course. According to the results obtained, the effectiveness of the ELI program will be evaluated as either high or low and the directions for further work in this field will be outlined.

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Every three-month interval, the Program Manager will measure each participant’s progress towards meeting two objectives identified by their counselor during the initial screening. The training will be evaluated for effectiveness at the staff meetings and director meetings. The director will assist with staff supervision and will coordinate the evaluation process during a weekend retreat at the six-month point. The Board of Directors of ELI will assess monthly review statements as well as give careful consideration to all written and oral reports from site director. The agency will conduct a major internal evaluation annually. If ELI faces difficulties during the grant period, the director and program manager will meet to determine the causality and develop a course of action to remedy shortcomings.
Conclusion
The writer believes that eliminating the frustration, before, during, and after the process for adult learners during the educational process is only half of the equation. The other half involves the personal interaction between student and teacher. In any continuing education program, good practice should include encouragement of contact between adult students and faculty. Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of classes is the most important factor in student motivation and involvement because it shows concern and helps students get through rough times and keep on working. Next , an outstanding program should develop reciprocity and cooperation among students. Learning should be more of a team concept. Working with others often increases involvement in learning and sharing one's own ideas. Also, responding to others' reactions sharpens thinking and deepens understanding. Third, encouragement of active learning
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needs be incorporated. Students must reflect on what they are learning, talk about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. (Chickering and Gamson , 1987) Facilitators must offer prompt feedback. Students need appropriate feedback on performance to benefit from courses. Facilitators need to emphasize time on task. Learning to use one's time well is critical for students and professionals alike. How an institution defines time expectations for students, faculty, administrators, and other professional staff can establish the basis of high performance for all. Facilitators should communicate clear expectations. Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when teachers and institutions hold high expectations for themselves and make extra efforts. Finally, ELI respects diverse talents and ways of learning. People bring different talents and styles of learning to college. All students desire the opportunity to show their talents and excel at learning. ELI will offer a roadmap with ways that work for them.

References
A Quarterly Summary of Challenges to Student Learning. Retrieved on November 3, 2011, from http://www5.semo.edu/stulifestudies/apr01.pdf.

Brookfield, S. (1994). Tales from the Darkside. A Phenomemography of Adult Critical Reflection. Interactional Journals of Life-Long Education 13 (3).

Chickering, A., & Gamson Z. (1987). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. The American Association for Higher Education Bulletin. Retrieved on November 4, 2011, from http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/7princip.htm.

Goto, S. T., & Martin, C. (2009). Psychology of success: Overcoming barriers to pursuing further education. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 57, 10-21. doi: 110.1080/07377360902810744
Kazis, Richard. (2007) Adult Learners in Higher Education Barriers to Success and Strategies to Improve Results. Retrieved on November 11, 2011, from http://www.jff.org/KnowledgeCenter/Adult+Learners+in+Higher+Education:+Barriers+to+Success+and+Strategies+to+Improve+Results.html

Kenner, C., & Weinerman, J. (2011). Adult learning theory: Applications to non-traditional students. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 41(2), 87-96. Retrieved from the ProQuest Education Journals database.
Martin, L, & Rogers, E. (Eds.) (2004) Adult education in an urban context: Problems, practices, and –programming for inner-city communities. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, No. 101, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tuijnman, A. (ed). (1995). Adult Learning: an Overview. International Encyclopedia of Adult Education and Training. Oxford: Pergamon Press/Elsevier Science.

Zemke, S. (1984). 30 Things We Know For Sure About Adult Learning. Innovation Abstracts 6 (8).

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