How large are class sizes?
Based on our experience teaching these styles of courses, a teacher can manage up to 6 groups in a class session and still provide an excellent experience for all students. With our site-driven instructional model, schools have complete freedom when it comes to class size and can adhere to their school’s standards and norms. We always recommend smaller class sizes to provide an intimate and effective experience for students.
What are class sessions like?
Students are empowered to run their own classes. Everything students do in these courses is done in groups. Students will not only master content and technical standards, but they will also become experts at leadership, teamwork, and accountability in a virtual and physical classroom setting. Students complete all work in class, and students often stay after class voluntarily based on our experience.
What skills do students need coming in?
The program is designed to offer students with no business background the chance to gain skills and experience in team-based environments. Thus, no experience is necessary.
How much homework will there be?
In general, there is no homework associated with these courses. What we have found through experience is when students are completely engaged during class sessions, they accomplish far more together than if they are sent home to work on assignments independently. During some aspects of the courses, there may be some work students choose to do independently, such as designing marketing materials and websites.
How many class sessions per week are there?
This is entirely up to the school. With the site-driven model, schools are given the opportunity to follow any instructional schedule they choose. These courses can be completed with as little as 36 instructional hours per semester and can be expanded to go up to 90. There difference is the depth of immersion into the projects, and the detail at which students complete and refine their work.
What is the focus of this program?
The focus of this program is to train students how to start and lead entrepreneurial projects and gain the skills to help them bootstrap their own companies without having to rely on expensive outside consultants or partners.
What kind of skills will students learn?
In the core courses, leadership and teamwork are at the forefront. Content skills include marketing, finance, accounting, product design, planning and scheduling, presentation and pitch skills, MS office skills, idea generation and refinement, and sales. In auxiliary courses, students will learn a variety of graphic design, video production, and IT network design skills.
What will students be able to do upon completing courses in this program?
Upon completing the courses in this program, students will have the skills and experience needed to envision, design, and launch their own startups or nonprofits. They will have the practical skills that are not normally taught in school and will have learned from industry experts and mentors along the way that will give them an advantage that cannot be rivaled anywhere else.
What grade levels qualify and are the taught separately?
Student in high school course can all work together in course. From our experience age and maturity gaps are not as relevant in business courses as they are in core subjects. Some of our best students have been freshmen and sophomores who were working with juniors in seniors in groups.
Are instructors credentialed with real business start-up experience?
We do hire credentialed teachers who have real startup experience for our all-inclusive teaching instructional model. For the site driven, our mentors do not have teaching credentials in most cases because we find the best people for the job and allow your teachers to collaborate with experienced business professionals to provide the best experience possible for the students. This allows teachers at your school with limited entrepreneurial experience to put together an exemplary course for all students.
What is the mentorship program you offer?
Our mentorship model is second to none. On one level, we have partnered with prestigious university and business programs to provide your students with mentors who have more content knowledge and experience, while still maintaining a close age gap to ensure quality connections. On the next level, we hire Content Specialists who are alongside students and teacher every step of the way to guarantee the best experience possible for students by providing real-world business skills and knowledge. We also provide guest speakers and industry-leading experts to give students insight from the real world that cannot be matched anywhere else.
Is Virtual Startup Academy an accredited program?
We are in the process of becoming a WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited school. This is strenuous process and we expect to complete all the requirements during Spring 2022 semester.
Are Virtual Startup Academy courses UC A-G and NCAA approved?
For courses to be UC “G” approved, we must be an accredited school with a federal school code. Again, we expect this to happen Spring 2022. For schools utilizing our site-based instructional model, they may apply for “G” status with the University of California before we get accredited. We will also provide the material for those applications upon request.
Is content based on state standards?
Yes, all units and lessons are built upon California CTE standards, and aligned with ELA and Math standards wherever possible. Each project has a list of standards that are covered as a part of completing the course material.
Are grades electronically accessible to students and administrators?
Currently our grading system does not synchronize with any existing grading platforms. Progress and report card grades will be delivered to schools in an excel spreadsheet. If schools are deploying the site-based instructional model, your existing grading platform can be used.
What virtual platform is used for class sessions?
We use Microsoft Teams and the online MS Office suite to complete all class functions, including collaborative learning, live class sessions, and assignment submission. We may also use Zoom to connect with mentors in our network.
Unlike other academic areas of study, which focus on developing skills needed to advance in a career, entrepreneurship students are taught how to grow as an individual, how to lead other people, how to imagine the way the world could be, not how it currently is. Our entrepreneurship students see the value in human capital, learn how to harness the beauty in bringing people together, and expect that their actions will lead to making the world a better place. No other subject area teaches this.
How does entrepreneurship improve my school?
Every school has various pathways that students follow in their educational journey. From science to math to computers, all these programs do a great job at preparing students. Introducing entrepreneurial education into your school is going to connect all these different disciplines, allowing students and teachers to design cross-curricular projects that allow students to combine everything they’ve learned and apply it to solve complex, diverse problems. No other field of study allows for this kind of learning.
What is your teacher training program like?
Our comprehensive teacher training for schools looking to use their own educators to teach these classes is three-fold. First, we work with Microsoft’s training team to provide a comprehensive look into the online MS Office and Teams functionality. Next, we do conduct a multi-day Project Based Learning training seminar that’s focused on connecting the virtual world of MS Teams to the physical classroom. Finally, we have our content specialists run your teachers through a complete overview of each course they will be teaching, focusing on the skills learned in the professional world and how your teachers can implement them in the classroom.