Volume 27, No. 2: Career Pathways—Gateway to the Future

Student Entrepreneurs in CEO Program Learn 21st-Century Business Skills

Debbie Mills, Director, NCPN

This week I had the opportunity to visit the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program in Monroe County, Illinois. I attended the CEO Trade Show where students debut their new businesses.

CEO is a year-long course designed to utilize partnerships that provide an overview of business development and processes. The local businesses partner with area schools to create project-based experiences for students by providing funding, expertise, meeting space, business tours, and one-on-one mentoring. Students visit area businesses, learn from guest speakers, participate in a class business, write business plans, and start and operate their own businesses. Business concepts learned through the experiential CEO class are critical. Twenty-first-century skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, self-motivation, responsibility, higher-order thinking, communication, and inquiry are at the heart of the students’ development throughout the course.

The business partners take a real interest in the program. Class is always at a business site, and the partners are funding students to visit Silicon Valley in June. Students will visit BoostVC, Barry Schuler (former CEO of AOL/Time Warner), Google’s CapitalG, Disney Family Museum, MultiPlan, Coinbase, SherpaVC, Hyperloop One, Doctors on Demand, Intel Museum, and more.

For more information, contact info@midlandinstitute.com.


Student Owen Mills Bolser at the CEO Trade Show in Columbia, Illinois