Florida Department of Education Taps Pioneering Nonprofit to Boost Entrepreneurial Skills, Mindset for High School Students

$1 million investment in entrepreneurship education will equip students with tools to navigate uncertainty, prepare for an increasingly dynamic future of work.

BARRINGTON, Ill., Sept. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Uncharted Learning, a national nonprofit committed to helping students develop resilience and problem solving skills through entrepreneurship today announced its collaboration with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the Florida Association of Career and Technical Education (FACTE) as part of the state's effort to give more students access to high-quality courses that develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets. Through the program, FLDOE is investing $1 million in entrepreneurial education, including grants to K-12 school districts and secondary schools that want to offer entrepreneurship programs.

Uncharted Learning has been selected as one of two organizations that will share best practices for developing entrepreneurship education and training programs in K-12 schools and tips for completing the grant applications. Beginning Sept. 29, FLDOE and FACTE will host a series of webinars for school districts and Florida College System institutions interested in submitting grant applications.

"Entrepreneurship provides a framework for students to develop skills like critical thinking and problem solving during a time of profound uncertainty," said Margarita Geleske, chief evangelist for Uncharted Learning. "Our work in Collier County demonstrates the incredible potential that entrepreneurship programs hold to equip students to thrive in an increasingly challenging school year, while building skills that will propel them beyond academics."

Entrepreneurship education plays a key role in Collier County Public Schools where all middle schools and high schools are using Uncharted Learning's entrepreneurship program. "Entrepreneurship is an engagement that is putting education into real practice," stated Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools.

During the webinars, which will be held September 29 through October 29, school and district leaders will have the opportunity to learn about a range of issues designed to support their development of high quality, rigorous entrepreneurship programs, including:

  • Creating a sustainable career and technical education entrepreneurship program;
  • Implementing entrepreneurship programs of medium, medium to high, and high impact; and
  • Creating a 6-12-post secondary pathway design for ongoing entrepreneurship opportunities.

A full schedule and registration information can be found here.

The initiative responds to rising demand among school districts for support in the development of entrepreneurship programs, such as Uncharted Learning's year-long INCubatoredu program, which pairs real entrepreneurs and business experts with teams of student entrepreneurs. Through the program, each team creates and develops a product or service — something that solves a problem they have identified — then pitches their ideas to potential investors. Sometimes, students finish the program ready to launch a product or startup. Others learn a valuable lesson about both business and life: You don't always get it right the first time. INCubatoredu and other entrepreneurship programs teach students how to learn from their mistakes and bounce back with renewed energy and focus.

"The process not only gives students a sense of purpose, but also promotes critical thinking, adaptability, and ability to navigate uncertainty — skills that are in high demand in the workforce," said Geleske. "The skills students need to be successful in an uncertain future are exactly those that entrepreneurship programs promote: flexibility, resourcefulness, and the ability to collaborate effectively."

About Uncharted Learning
Uncharted Learning is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to kick start students for life by equipping them with real-world skills. The company helps inspire them to discover their passions, strengthen their capabilities and create their own futures. Its programs offer authentic, rigorous entrepreneurship experiences to students in 250 schools across the United States and Australia. Since 2013, Uncharted Learning's year-long INCubatoredu program has prepared students to succeed in a changing global economy.

About the Florida Department of Education
The Florida Department of Education serves approximately 2.8 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 202,000 instructional staff, 46,000 college professors and administrators and 338,000 full-time staff throughout the state. The department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, apprenticeships, job-specific skills and career development.

About the Florida Association of Career and Technical Education
The Florida Association of Career and Technical Education (FACTE) helps career and technical educators prepare students to participate in a world class workforce. Formed in 1926, FACTE strives to create a better understanding of career and technical education and encourage technical and professional growth among all educators.

PR Newswire announcement can be seen here.

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