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Business education gets a boost with $396,000
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College’s International Business Education Initiative has been funded by the U.S Department of Education to the tune of $172,646 for two years, according to the college’s Grants Office. The grant funding brings the total dollar amount for the project to $396,325, with $223,679 of the total coming from matching funds from PCC and its partners.
The college, along with federal and local trade-assistance agencies, businesses and associations, will use the funds to broaden the global-business knowledge of students, faculty, entrepreneurs and Oregon-based business enterprises.
The college’s partners include the Export Council, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Oregon Small Business Development Center Network, Pacific Northwest International Trade Association, District Export Council of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Portland Business Alliance, U.S. Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.
“We are pleased to be able to increase the number of students who will receive exposure to international perspectives,” said Cheryl Scott, dean of the Business and Humanities Division. “We will be achieving this by creating a global business module for the Introduction to Business course, which is the first class that most business students take. In addition, we will be able to develop all of PCC’s current international business courses as online offerings, which will benefit many of our students who are unable to come to campus to take these courses.” The initiative plans to:
• Create online access to four existing PCC international business courses, providing greater access for students and business community.
• Host a series of International Business Speaker Forums at various PCC campuses to give the community a chance to learn from speakers with international business experience.
• Bring Fulbright Occasional Scholars from various Asian countries to the college to provide perspectives on international business issues.
• Assist PCC Business Administration faculty in integrating international business components into coursework and provide for travel to Asian countries critical to Oregon’s export trade. During these tours, faculty will meet in seminars and other settings with local academics and business people to gain first-hand knowledge of international business practices.
• Provide a package of services for small businesses and business professionals, including targeted outreach services, a series of international trade seminars, business counseling services, networking opportunities with trade-assistance professionals (locally and overseas), and preparatory training for the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional program. These efforts will be accomplished in part through enhancement of PCC’s Portland Small Business Development Center and the existing Oregon BizCenter Web site (www.bizcenter.org).
“Business today is truly global,” said Tom Lowles, director of PCC’s Small Business Development Center. “We are excited to be a part of this grant as it allows us to enhance our training programs and international trade consulting services for those conducting business in the global marketplace. This grant will also allow us to expand our outreach to businesses throughout Oregon.”
The Business Administration department at the college will administer the project, offer online courses, coordinate the lecture series, and develop business modules for introductory classes. The Office of International Education will organize the faculty tours to selected countries, assisting with development of itinerary. The Small Business Development Center will develop online content focusing on training for certification, counseling to participating businesses and give referrals to other participating agencies for export assistance. The Curriculum and Support department will provide professional development funds and training for the four international business education courses that will be offered online.
“The Department of Education grant significantly extends our ability to bring the global business perspective to our students and the Oregon business community,” said Phil Seder, Portland Community College academic coordinator for the grant. “This is a real win for the entire community and demonstrates PCC’s continuing leadership in developing the State and local workforce.”