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Community Engagement



Cheyne Thompson (right) helps members of the community with their tax forms as part of VITA
Cheyne Thompson (right) helps members of the community with their tax forms as part of VITA

From working with local businesses on class projects to inspiring younger students in local schools to attend college, College of Business students are highly engaged in their Northern California community and beyond.


Project Outreach

Faculty teaching MBA and undergraduate students have been working with the Center for Economic Development (CED) to find ways to enhance active learning and community engagement. The goal is to systematically increase the number of course projects directly related to various local businesses at both the MBA and undergraduate levels. The CED’s Project Outreach seeks to develop a process that allows businesses in our local service area to submit RFP’s (request for a project) to a website. These projects could be accessed by instructors who would then contact the company to see if the project fits with course objectives.


VITA

Each Spring, the Department of Accounting and Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for Accounting students, partners with the Internal Revenue Service to provide free tax-preparation services to those with lower incomes. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides online training to certify volunteers to provide tax-preparation services to those in the community who need it most. For information about VITA, please contact the BAP President at csuc.bap.president@gmail.com.


Center for Entrepreneurship

The work of the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) does not end when a student graduates. Far from it! As part of the CFE’s continuing commitment to both students and the greater Chico community, the CFE has forged a series of alliances with local groups devoted to encouraging new ventures and small businesses.

Chief among these partnerships is a formal partnership with 3CORE, Inc., a local development bank. The CFE’s Accelerator Fund offers seed money to young entrepreneurs with promising business concepts to help them move past the business concept phase and into a fully-formed and operating business. 3CORE manages a Business Vitality Seed Fund which focuses on fostering effective business models and growth to break through the economic obstacles facing small and emerging companies. Both organizations are working to develop a natural evolution for start-ups from our Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management courses to the CFE’s Accelerator Fund to 3CORE’s Business Vitality Seed Fund to the local private sector. A primary link in this path is the City of Chico’s own business incubator, ChicoStart, which is located on the ground floor of the Chico City Hall.


SAGE

Founded by our Accounting professor Curt DeBerg in 2002, Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) is an international network that links teams of teenagers in 7 states and 21 countries to Chico State students. SAGE’s mission is to help create the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders whose innovations and social enterprises address the major unmet needs of our global community. During the year, teenage SAGE teams must operate either a commercial enterprise (e.g., starting a health food store on campus) or a social enterprise (e.g., recycling computers and cell phones). Our students serve as consultants and mentors to the teens on their projects, thereby giving them an early taste of success that has long-term effects for their lives.


Net Impact 

Net Impact is an international, nonprofit organization mobilizing a new generation of leaders to use their careers to drive transformational change in their workplaces and the world.  The mission of Chico’s chapter of Net Impact is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Net Impact’s model encourages active learning. Students design and implement sustainability projects. The projects include the Free reCycle initially started to assist local fire victims, a bike sharing program, a “Take-the-Stairs” campaign, a career fair of greening projects, Earth Day educational events, and a speaker series with local sustainability leaders such as Sierra Nevada Brewery and Lundberg Family Farms. For its extensive campus and community efforts, our Net Impact chapter has won numerous awards including the coveted "Greenie Award" and the Small Steps Big Rewards competition. For the last three years our chapter has been named one of the top four chapters in the country.