The most basic step for starting a college is to have a proper plan and lots of commitment on part of the owners. To start with, they need to focus on getting a start-up capital. The money can be taken as a loan or procured from members of the immediate community, along with corporations and foundations that specialize in such domains. This fund can be used for doing the initial planning.
At the initial stages, the entrepreneurs need to identify sources from where they can get philanthropic financial assistance in form of implementation and development grants. This money will help fund the operational expenses in the first couple of years. Normally, the amounts tend to differ for colleges on the basis of their operational scope.
They can also recruit professionals for starting fundraising campaigns that can help generate money for scholarships and new educational programs. This money can be also used to create endowment funds. It has often been seen that several major companies are willing to invest in endowment funds.
In order to properly initiate a college, it is also essential to determine a person who is capable of executing the planning process properly. The entrepreneur can collaborate with the regional Chamber of Commerce for these purposes as well.
Starting a college – the importance of research
The entrepreneur needs to conduct proper research and find out community statistics that will help him or her identify the educational requirements of the same. There are various areas that can be focused on for this purpose:
Starting a college – increasing the awareness of the shareholders
The entrepreneurs are required to procure letters from community leaders and elected officials like the heads of various chambers of commerce. This will help in the promotion of the worth of postsecondary education and the programs being offered at the college as tools for getting more students to opt for higher education.
Starting a college – getting help from famous personalities
While opening a college, the owners need to get in touch with a couple of celebrities or visionaries who are held in high regard in the concerned community and who are ready to lend their support to the college as an institution that can help raise the knowledge and skill levels in the immediate community.
Starting a college – setting up a community planning team
The owners of a college need to determine the amount of interest in a community before planning any program that they think will benefit the same. For this purpose they are required to get in touch with the local leaders and important members of organizations from different domain like:
Under normal circumstances the planning teams of colleges are made up of the following individuals:
- Business leaders
- School superintendents
- Local school board members
- PTO representatives
- Public servants
- Local clergy members
- Local foundation and community representatives
Setting up a college – consultation with experts
In addition to the above mentioned areas, the owners need to consult professionals with substantial experience in establishing colleges and similar educational set-ups. They can collaborate on areas such as community assessment and program design to make the institution as best as possible.
The entrepreneurs also need to make sure that their college strategies and initiatives are in tune with the characteristics of the immediate community and its various requirements.
Setting up a college – getting proper information
The owners of a prospective college need to visit an established college that is working on the same lines as itself. Such initiatives are necessary for getting proper technical help and identifying the requirement for training in specific areas.
They also need to use the existing guides for planning the center as well as the different programs. The entrepreneurs also need to get professional assistance on issues related to technology, data management, research, and evaluation.
Starting a college – governance
An important step in starting a college is setting up its administrative machinery. The whole process starts with getting together a board of directors and then earmarking their responsibilities. The various rules regarding budget and governance also need to be mentioned clearly. The owners also need to prioritize the budget as part of this entire procedure.
Starting a college – social marketing
In order to start a college successfully the entrepreneur needs to organize public meetings with important political and business leaders and well known families in the particular area. They can also stage meetings with local school teachers to make sure people are aware of the benefits of college education in case it is an underdeveloped area.
Starting a college – the review process
The owners of a school need to conduct reviews after every 6 months to gauge their achievements and assess their progress in that period. This review will be helpful in providing a proper map for the year ahead.
After a year of starting operations, the college owners should perform some strategic planning. This will be beneficial in the following areas:
- Clarification of objectives and goals
- Determining extra areas of private and public support
- Deciding on program expansion
- Assess successful indicators of program efficiency
Last Updated on 27 March 2012