This month, the college which specializes in health care training, began enrolling students in its Small Business Administration courses, including introduction courses for entrepreneurship, accounting and finance management.
In recent years, the college had expanded its programs to include massage therapy and physical fitness training — two careers that could lead graduates to owning their own business. The idea of the business administration degree program is to help people who want to hang out their shingle, said Erik Beard, IntelliTec Medical Institute dean of students.
“At least two of our other programs lend themselves to a graduate starting a small business,” he said. “You are very aware of the failure rate of those ventures within the first five years. We’re trying to give them the basics for success in business either as an entrepreneur or an employee with the skills employers are seeking.”
The state and country’s small business scene helped drive the new program, he said. The fraction of employment accounted for by business startups in the U.S. private sector over the 1980-2005 period is about 3 percent per year. This exceeds the 1.8 percent average annual net employment growth.
And, Colorado is fifth for the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S, with 450 new business owners per 100,000 adults. For a school that prides itself on workforce training, those numbers scream need, he said.
“This is a new program for us, but we feel the timing is right to begin training students that will offer local businesses employable graduates,” he said.
IntelliTec college officials reached out to local business leaders for advice about what graduates ought to know, said Todd Matthews, campus director. In the newly developed IntelliTec business program, students will study for 15 months, or 117 credit hours and study marketing, business law, product service planning and sales proposals, among other things.
The college offers 10 programs including dental assistant, health information management and medical assistant. Tuition for the 10 degree programs offered at the college ranges from about $16,000 to about $26,000, including, fees and books.
The college held its first business classes this month and is enrolling students for January, Matthews said.
One year ago, IntelliTec moved into 40,000 square-feet in the Tiffany Square mall, 6805 Corporate Drive, near Interstate 25 and Woodmn Road. The move was motivated by a growing enrollment and plans to offer more programs, including dental hygienist and certified nursing assistant, Matthews said. Student enrollment had doubled to about 315 in the past two years, he said.
With the addition of the business courses and degree program, IntelliTec is responding to community need, Matthews said. The college, which is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education, is always looking to expand in job growth areas.
Beard said IntelliTec is in the job training business and must develop programs that will lead to jobs for their graduates. In 2011, the Kauffman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity listed Colorado as fifth for the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S, with 450 new business owners per 100,000 adults.
“The thing that excites me most is the myriad of things graduates can do — from human resources, to sales or they could start their own business,” Beard said.
U.S. and Colorado small business scene
The fraction of employment accounted for by business startups in the U.S. private sector over the 1980-2005 period is about 3 percent per year. This exceeds the 1.8 percent average annual net employment growth.
Colorado is fifth for the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S, with 450 new business owners per 100,000 adults.
Colorado ranks above the national average in terms of breadth of entrepreneurship among both the self-employed and small businesses.
Small businesses produce almost one half of the private sector GDP; account for about half of the private sector labor force and two-thirds of net new jobs created.
Sources: Kauffman Foundation, in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies, the Business Dynamics Statistics; National Federation of Independent Business; and the 2012 Colorado Innovation Index