Cheyney University Blog

Developing an Entrepreneurial Way of Thinking

April 22, 2009

From April 17 to April 19, my husband and I participated in the Fourth Annual National Policy Forum on Minority Entrepreneurship Education in Atlanta Georgia. This conference was sponsored by the Opportunity Funding Corporation and hosted by Fayetteville State University. Next year, we hope to return to the conference with an entrepreneurial team of CU students who compete in the student entrepreneurial contest.

What was most important about this conference is that it stressed the need for us to encourage entrepreneurial thinking among young people. This means to foster the creativity and the natural affinities in our young people that could lead to their recognizing and seeking opportunities in enterprises and in the corporate workforce. For HBCUs, the message was simple—we must maintain an entrepreneurial edge, so that we can produce competitive students who will interact successfully in the global marketplace. Additionally, when HBCUs are entrepreneurial, they will contribute to the regional economic development and the overall well being of their communities. At the National Policy Forum on Minority Entrepreneurship Education, I volunteered to support entrepreneurial professional development for faculty and staff at HBCUs.

The Opportunity Funding Corporation, the nonprofit organization which sponsors this national forum, has three goals:

  1. To help Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) develop an entrepreneurial curriculum that prepares students to become entrepreneurs,
  2. To provide dean and faculty development to help infuse entrepreneurship into the curricula, and
  3. To provide a forum for presidents, faculty, and students to interact with entrepreneurs and business executives.

During the conference, students participate in an entrepreneurship competition. Students submit business plans, presentations of their products, and answer questions from judges about funding, projected revenue, and marketing for their products.

All of the 22 teams were impressive. Clark Atlanta University won the competition this year followed by the other top finalists, North Carolina Central University, Winston-Salem State University, Southern University, Delaware State University, and Fayetteville State University.

Students and administrators enjoyed the conference and the opportunity to interface with many top executives of many sponsoring companies including Wal-Mart, Raytheon, UPS, Deloitte, BET, BB&T, HP, Chick-Fil-A, MacDonald’s, Walgreens, Boeing, Georgia-Pacific, Harland-Clark, Sam’s Club, Tiffany & Co, and other companies. This year’s event also included messages for success from keynote entrepreneur and businessman, Mr. Magic Johnson, former US Olympic and NBA champion.

I look forward to working with faculty and staff at Cheyney University to inspire future entrepreneurs. This certainly fits our motto of access, opportunity, and excellence!

Michelle Howard-Vital, Ph.D.


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I agree with Sean - the sooner the students get in contact whith the ideas of Entrepreneuership the sooner the ideas of starting an own carreer as entrepreneur will rise and evolve.
Peter Winter 4:56AM 12/18/11
Regarding goal #3: To provide a forum for presidents, faculty, and students to interact with entrepreneurs and business executives - this one is quite exciting.
Techno Music 3:54PM 02/17/10
I think this is a great way to gain entrepreneurship for the student of CU. Also being able to talk to different buisness men that are already in the buisness world. And us as Cheyney University student will be reconized for something great. And more people across the nation will now know of us and who we are. Instead of them just seeing us on the news for the bad things that happen around campus.
Sean Channel 5:01PM 05/14/09
I think it is always good to think like an Entreprenuer. Reason being that is is always good to be a leader in this country that we live in. I always think being when I am doing something. Instead of think how could you work for a place think about how you could buy the place.
Syheed Goodman 5:00PM 05/07/09
I also think that it is a good idea for Cheyney to enter the competition. I think there are probably many entrepreneurs at the university and it would good for them to display their talents. It is also good because many people have negative thoughts about Cheyney and this could be something that shows Cheyney in a good light.
Charnae Fletcher 5:00PM 05/07/09
I Think this is a good idea for the students here at cheyney to be recognized. it will help give cheney a fresh start for the 2009/2010 acadimic year so we can be looked at in a differant way than what we are now. i think this opportunity wile doors will open up more doors for cheyney students
MameXaali N'Diaye 5:00PM 05/01/09
I agree, this is school has always been looked at as a party school but with this idea things could change. This campus is full of entrepreneurs but nobody knows that but with this it might help them build their business faster and get things on a roll.
Anonymous 4:59PM 05/01/09
I think this is a good thing to do for the student in cheyney.ItS a very good idea to notice the entrepreneurs in cheyney university. I believe it will look good for the university of cheyney. We can finally get a positive look instead of a bad one.
Anonymous 4:59PM 04/30/09
This is a good way to promote our campus as a good campus. as of now peoplep look at our school as the party school or the dirty school. so by doing this entrepreneurs thing it van put our school on the map in a positive way.
Kyree Payne 4:59PM 04/29/09
I agree with the last comment and I would like to see more seminars around the subject here at cheyney. I think it will be benifeiallly for our lives after college.
Anonymous 4:59PM 04/29/09
I think ita an excellent idea for us as Cheyney University to enter the competition next year. It's a very good idea to notice the entrepreneurs of our school. I strongly agree that it certainly fits our motto of access, opportunity, and excellence. I think this will get our institution noticed more. When I say noticed I mean noticed in a postive way.
Anonymous 4:59PM 04/23/09

The Governor’s Tuition Relief Plan Springs Forth Hope

April 13, 2009

Spring is always such a beautiful time of the year. The season brings hope of new beginnings, and of course, college and university commencements.

This year, I have had the privilege of getting to know more of our students at Cheyney University. I am pleased that the faculty and staff at Cheyney University have helped to develop our graduates into conscientious, responsible, productive, and competitive citizens. As has been demonstrated in over 170 years, the contributions of our graduates to the Commonwealth and nation are more than noteworthy.

I am convinced that we are saving lives at Cheyney University, and we are directing these lives onto positive paths.

Thus, I am very hopeful about Governor Edward G. Rendell's plan to make college tuition more affordable for every Pennsylvania family. I know that many of our students work evenings and weekends to support their college education, and the average yearly income of Cheyney University students is slightly higher than $30,000 because many of our students support themselves. The only way these students can attend college is armed with scholarships, financial aid, loans, and jobs. Yet, these students do not complain; they just need for us to help them find a way.

As I understand the Tuition Relief Plan, many such students would quality for what I consider an investment into their futures and the future of the Commonwealth. Perhaps, more importantly, the thousands of students who are not able to work and use their earning for college expenses would have an opportunity for us to invest in them and an opportunity to become more resourceful and competitive wage earners for the Commonwealth by going to, and completing, college.

Looking at the faces of Cheyney University students, it is easy to see that we are indeed paying for our future by investing in these young people who want to earn a respectable place in our society and contribute to the well being of our nation. If the Tuition Relief Plan would become a reality, I envision that Cheyney University would be able to do its share in developing a competitive workforce in teaching, communications media and fine art, applied science and technology, and other areas crucial for the Commonwealth and for our nation. It is probable that our enrollment would grow from 1,500 students to 2,500 students in the first year, if students could afford to attend. This would translate into a more competitive workforce which in turn attracts more business and industry and a higher quality of life for all.

It is also my understanding that the Tuition Relief Act correlates tuition more closely with family income. However, it is probably impossible for us to know the true value a program such as the Tuition Relief Act could have on future generations of Pennsylvanians. It will feel like Spring to many families!

Michelle R. Howard-Vital, Ph.D.


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I always liked Michelle and I thought she was a great President. I am so happy I made the right choice for this for my University. medical alert
Greg 3:48AM 10/13/11
This post is very informative. I’ve learned a lot from this. Thanks for sharing this information to us. I’ll add this site to my list so that I will be updated for the upcoming posts. Shakeology Review
Mike 7:16AM 10/15/10
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
dayana 5:07PM 05/01/09
I am shocked as to how this blog really caught my attention. I've never had many, being the only child, but I do have friends who struggle to pay tuition and working multiple jobs so that they would be able to stay in school. Im glad that you understand these struggles and hope that one day it would become affordable for students to stay in school.
Keinaya Vaughn 5:07PM 05/01/09
This topic brings a lot of interest. This plan is needed in our college system because every parents goal is to get their child to further their education. By making more college tuition you can increase the number of students in university and can most importantly increase minorities in college. In the end, Hopefully this can be the first step of many to proving more jobs and improving the economy.
Mackenzie Weathington 5:07PM 05/01/09
This is perfect for students who have to work two or three jobs to get through college. It can save money, help parents and not only students. I do wonder whats goin to happen to the out of state students and why its only happening to PA families. Im not saying im upset about it but it does make you wonder, What about the out of state students?
Anonymous 5:07PM 05/01/09
I hope that this program does become a reality! Even though I personally do not have a problem with tuition, i would like 2 get rid of these stafford loans, so i can come out debt free! I do have a off campus job because i was not considered for work study, but sometimes thats a hassle because getting back in forth everyday on the bus, plus paying out of pocket to events here on campus, that should be free to students; i.e. Homecoming and spring fling events; makes it a lot harder for me to live here on my own, being that i live near ohio, which is about 7hrs from here. I do hope that this program is passed so maybe living here on my own could be less of a burden
Jordan Wilkins 5:06PM 04/30/09
I can see myself involved with this plan considering not having the chance to do work study. This sort of helps people like me who pay out of pocket for school.
Dante McCall 5:06PM 04/30/09
This was a interesting blog. I hope this plan helps Cheyney out alot. in addition to that i will be here to experience the new plan. Marquis Bourne
marquis Bourne PSU!! 5:06PM 04/30/09
I think the decision past by president Obama will help future generations of students. I am exciteded about this oppuritiny.
Anonymous 5:05PM 04/30/09
i agree with the blog above with the statment.'This blog addresses the issues and talks about what is actually on the minds of college students today. It puts a smile on my face to read about a program that can provide financial assistance that will make tuition more affordable for students who are pennsylvania residents'. i also believe that its people that really want to help to future of young collge students
Anonymous 5:06PM 04/29/09
I found this blog to be very interesting. Both eye catching and holding my attention. This blog addresses the issues and talks about what is actually on the minds of college students today. It puts a smile on my face to read about a program that can provide financial assistance that will make tuition more affordable for students who are pennsylvania residents. Ultimately, serving as a pathway for those who really need it. ALthough I am not a pennslyvania resident and pay out of state tuition. I still agree with this blog. On that note, I will like to add that there should be more opportunities as mentioned in the blog for students who pay out of state tuition.
Sinead Covington 5:05PM 04/23/09
this is an excellent blog.I found it most important that she understand how the students have to support themself by having jobs after a long day of class to support their tuitions. this lets me know that she care about the students at cheyney.I am hopeful about her plan for our tuition becoming more affordable for all students.
weedor paywala 5:05PM 04/21/09
I think this will be very benifical to the many students at cheyney. This will reduce many of the problems that we may have.i am very hopeful about our tuition becoming more affordable for all is true that "many of cheyney students support themselves",. this will help out greatly
Anonymous 5:04PM 04/21/09
I thought it was very thoughtful of her to write about her understandings of the issues students have in paying tuition. The fact that our school's president supports the tuition relief plan will make the students of Cheyney University feel good because the their leader, of sorts, is on their side. B. Elmore
Brittany elmore 5:04PM 04/21/09
I think this is a great way for students to easily speak upon their solutions or problems directly to the presidents blog. This will be very useful in the years to come.
brad engle 5:04PM 04/21/09
Ikeam Richardson, Thus, I am very hopeful about our tuition becoming more affordable for all students. Some errors have occured within the univeritys fiancial aid system. Most students have been overcharged or have been charged twice for unesseccary things. As you said "many of cheyney students suppodt themselves", but we all have outstanding balances. As i understand there is action being taook to relief everyones stress from fiancial disaster, our money and future is in cheyneys hands.
Ikeam Richardson 5:04PM 04/21/09
I feel the president is correct about the lives of Cheyney University students and our struggle to pay tuition. She mentioned in the blog that Governor Edward G. Rendell’s plans to make college tuition more affordable for Pennsylvania family; I feel that’s excellent for them but what about out- of -state students? I’m from New Jersey and tuition is about 20,000 for me. I live in a housing development with six females and by the grace of God, my scholarship program pays for my tuition. But Before I was accepted into the program, it was very hard financially, but I got through it because of my drive and dedication. But I still worry about the out- of- state students who have the same passion as me, and their not supported with funds. Where do they stand?
scye royster 5:03PM 04/20/09
Thanks! This is a fantastic way for many of the "older" alumni to stay in touch with what is happening at Cheyney and provide additional support I especially liked the President's Blog. Marty Martha C. Young '58
Martha C. Young 5:03PM 04/17/09
This is a very intersting blog. what I found it the most important is that you still understand how the students have to support theirself by having an evening night job after a long day of class to support their tuitions.
Reggie Buckner 5:03PM 04/16/09



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