As a mom of two young children, I constantly wonder about their future. Currently, my five-year-old aspires to be a strawberry when he is older. As I silently hope for a career pivot, I vocally encourage him to explore this interest.
Uncharted Learning’s intentional engagement with higher education is designed to do the same: encourage exploration. What does this look like? Relationships and connections with higher ed institutions to provide real exposure to college-level experiences, and also access to college credit as the rigor of INCubatoredu is more widely recognized.
Students invited to participate in college-level events
One way students are exposed to college-level experiences is through startup events hosted on campuses. Miami University in Ohio welcomed INCubatoredu high school entrepreneurship students to team up with college students during the Techstars Startup Weekend. The weekend is a competitive experience where aspiring entrepreneurs, designers, creative thinkers, and engineers come together to produce a viable startup business model.
Illinois Tech’s Kaplan Institute partnered with ACCELeratoredu students to pitch their businesses to attendees to get real-world feedback at Innovation Day. Over 50 students from four Chicago-area school INCubatoredu classes attended including Barrington High School, Naperville North High School, Streamwood High School, and Saint Patrick High School. Students learned about entrepreneurial finance and data visualization through a lecture hosted by professors Nik Rokop and Elizabeth Durango-Cohen. Rokop was 'really inspired by the level of accomplishment of [the ACCELeratoredu] students.'
After the event, Bob Richard, St. Patrick’s INCubatoredu teacher, shared that the event sparked a new idea for one of his students. The student brought the idea back to his team, and they decided to pivot their business. Richard said, “I loved his initiative and ever-questioning mind, all sparked by these important connections.”
Higher Ed rewarding the rigor of INCubatoredu
Several INCubatoredu Member Schools are working with higher ed—local colleges and universities—to streamline pathways to higher learning.
Colleges and universities are taking note of the strong student outcomes the curriculum delivers. As a result, they offer INCubatoredu students significant value in recognizing their advanced learning.
The rigorous INCubatoredu high school entrepreneurship curriculum prepares students with content skills and knowledge, mindset and behaviors that higher education partners increasingly recognize.
College-level credit is being offered to students who have enrolled and completed INCubatoredu classes in some communities.
Here's a list of colleges and universities offering credit or other incentives to INCubatoredu graduates. This list is not exhaustive. Several other higher education partnerships and credit articulation agreements are in progress across the country.
Illinois Tech (IIT) (Chicago, IL)
Illinois Tech will award up to six credit hours to INCubatoredu and ACCELeratoredu students. These students will be halfway through the completion of an entrepreneurship minor.
Harper College (Palatine, IL)
Harper College's High School Partnership program allows high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit and simultaneously satisfy high school graduation requirements. Harper College awards Prior Learning Credit to INCubatoredu graduates from Districts 211, 214, and 220 who successfully demonstrate proficiency of required knowledge and competencies.
McHenry County College (Crystal Lake, IL)
McHenry County College offers College in the High School, Articulated Credit Courses, and Dual Enrollment options for high school students. It awards Dual Credit to INCubatoredu graduates from McHenry County high schools who attend a required half-day business and entrepreneurship conference on the MCC campus.
Miami University (Oxford, OH)
Miami University has one of the country's top five undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. We are fortunate to have them consult on our high school curriculum and to provide our INCubatoredu and ACCELeratoredu graduates the opportunity to submit a portfolio to demonstrate their learning. This portfolio allows the student to be considered to waive a required introductory-level entrepreneurship course, allowing more room in their schedule for advanced entrepreneurship coursework.
National Louis University (Chicago, IL)
National Louis University awards dual credit to INCubatoredu students enrolled in the course in District 214. As a result, D214 graduating students may obtain their undergraduate degree in Business Administration at NLU in as little as three years.
Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale, VA)
Awards dual credit for the 3-credit BUS165 Small Business Management course to INCubatoredu graduates from the Loudon Academy of Engineering and Technology.
Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA)
Kempsville High School students who complete the EBA Incubatoredu course, graduate, enroll at ODU, and pass a faculty evaluation from the Strome College of Business will be granted four hours of credit for introductory business and entrepreneurship classes at ODU. Students would also be able to continue the companies they started at the EBA via assistance from ODU’s Strome Entrepreneurial Center and THE Monarch Way store.
Triton Community College (River Grove, IL)
Triton Community College offers dual credit for their 3-credit entrepreneurship course for INCubatoredu students in Leyden High School District 212.
Connections with higher ed can bring a richness and deeper value to a student's high school learning experience. This exposure can ignite new ideas for 'what's next', and provide a real-world perspective on post-secondary opportunities, not to mention real value (credits) as students step into a collegiate path.