Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-4513

Date: 9-21-05

For immediate release.


Haywood Community College's Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) curriculum recently drew the interest of two instructors from Selandia College in Denmark. Svend-Erik Ertner and Jorgen Christiansen came to HCC to learn how instructors teach entrepreneurship. Both instructors are interested in creating a similar entrepreneurial training model for use in Denmark.

While visiting HCC, Ertner and Christiansen met with HCC Interim President, Dr. Donald Stanton; REAL facilitators Patricia Smith and Joseph Fox; and HCC Small Business Center Director, Sharron Donnahoe. They also received a tour of HCC's Professional Crafts, Cosmetology, and Horticulture Technology Programs. The two instructors also visited a REAL course, facilitated by Mrs. Brenda Cogdill, at Tuscola High School. Both Danish instructors were delighted to observe high school students using a creative REAL activity to create a new product usage for an everyday item, the spoon.

The REAL curriculum explores the key issues necessary to successfully start and operate a profitable business using entrepreneurial skills. REAL classes are taught by community college instructors certified through REAL Enterprises as facilitators. REAL courses use cooperative learning teams, with an end result of completion of a business plan by each student. Textbooks are not used and students participate in a number of experiential learning activities for each element of the business plan.

HCC has used the REAL Program since the late 1980s in curriculum classes, as well as through HCC's Small Business Center. REAL graduates have opened a number of businesses throughout Haywood County.

The success of the program has been the focus of several international groups who have traveled to Western North Carolina to observe the training in action. HCC has hosted two delegations from Namibia, as well as a group from Norway. Additionally, HCC REAL facilitator, Joseph Fox, has met with a delegation from Russia interested in implementing REAL entrepreneurship.

For more information on HCC's REAL curriculum, contact Joseph Fox at 564-5109.