Changing careers is the new normal. A pandemic, increased communication via online interaction and working from home have prompted many to become entrepreneurs, breaking away from the once routine 9 to 5 jobs and seeking more creative ventures through which to satisfy their work-life balance.
In September, Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) will offer an Entrepreneurship program designed to provide insight into an entrepreneur's role in leading a start-up company and how to successfully expand a small business. Students will discover how to develop and refine the skills necessary to compete in today's global environment. To learn from real-life experiences, students will connect with the local business community. The only community college in the South Jersey region to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Entrepreneurship degree, RCSJ also makes available a “build your own" Entrepreneurship Certificate of Achievement, combining required courses with elective choices to improve personal areas in need of training.
Available fully online and on campus, RCSJ's Entrepreneurship program is strategically linked to the Chambers of Commerce and Workforce Development Boards in Cumberland and Gloucester Counties. The College's Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee provides continued guidance to maintain, market and upgrade the program, and includes representatives from the insurance, banking, hospitality, computer graphic arts, non-profit and technology industries. Moreover, input and guidance are supplied by the small businesses that are members of the chambers of commerce.
“The Entrepreneurship program at RCSJ is unique in that it was forged by our business community," stated Dr. Patricia Claghorn, dean of Business Studies. “We are extremely fortunate to have employer partners who have embedded reality into the program, which will ultimately prepare these students to become successful business owners."
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, New Jersey small businesses employed 1.9 million people or 49.5% of the private workforce in 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes that roughly 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, with 45% not making it beyond the five-year mark. By educating future entrepreneurs on how to effectively communicate, sell, learn and strategize, graduates of RCSJ's entrepreneurship program become innovators — a source for original ideas — helping to accelerate economic growth in the community by creating fresh products and services while opening doors for other businesses just starting out.
For students planning to transfer to a four-year university, the College's associate degree provides a well-rounded academic foundation. RCSJ's curriculum is constructed to provide a strong background in entrepreneurship, accounting, business management, marketing and business ethics, which can be applied to most entrepreneurship baccalaureate programs. Courses include oral and written communications, financial and managerial accounting concepts such as balance sheets, income statements, profit analysis and information examination, and mentorship opportunities needed to lead new or existing businesses at the local or national levels. For graduates of the Entrepreneurship program who do not wish to pursue a four-year degree, students gain the foundational skills and knowledge to start a new venture or earn an entry-level position in an existing enterprise.
“The RCSJ Entrepreneurship program is a great opportunity for students to acquire the necessary skills to be business leaders," stated Death of the Fox Brewing Company President Chuck Garrity. “The unique mix of academic and real-world perspectives, with a focus on innovative thinking and practical small business fundamentals, provides the core tools for an entrepreneur to launch a new business."
For more information about RCSJ's new Entrepreneurship program, visit RCSJ.edu/Business.