CECE: A Vision — Why, How, What

WHY

The Bible tells us we are uniquely created in God’s image to work and do good works.  Gallup tells us if we are engaged at work, we are 4.6x more likely to experience holistic well-being. Unfortunately only 15% of us are satisfied at work and most of us are not engaged emotionally on the job.  Holistic well-being is not a normal experience.

How can this be?  Why the disparity between what is and what could be? 

As Is

  • Lack of Engagement

There aren’t enough good jobs.  When there are good jobs, there is overt and systemic discrimination and structural segregation.   The disparities in wealth and opportunity are enormous.

But at least some frustration is the result of a dualist culture of work, even among Christians.

Is work the result of humankind’s fall into sin or was work meant to be something better?

Is our faith one of confessionalism (separation) or contextualism (conformity)?  Is there not a middle ground — a both…and?

If our faith is one of transformation, is being an “agent of renewal” limited to the time we are “off the clock?”  Is work not redeemable? Is work not a very significant part of life?

  • Lack of Alignment

Gallup also reports that we are 6x more likely to be engaged at work if we are using our strengths.  Thus another, related, contributing factor to work dissatisfaction is the lack of alignment or fit between our gifts and our job.   Without that fit and without our engagement, we are not reaching our potential.  If we are not reaching our potential, we are not creating as much value as we could and without that value there is less capital to invest in creating more jobs.  

We are all connected by systems.  Thus we are all part of the same community.  That community is a reflection of God.  The theological word for that connection is “Trinity.” 

To Be

Both mindset and fit can be addressed in college.  And should be.   A liberal arts education can be a tool to expose students to different types of work and work cultures, perspectives, and thinking.  A Christian liberal arts education can be a tool that exposes students to the idea that work is an opportunity for worshipful transformation of our economic system, including job creation, job design, and the organizational cultures they reflect. 

The idea of preparing students for work aligns with Trinity’s mission.

  • Trinity’s Mission

Trinity’s mission is “to provide a Biblically-informed liberal arts education in the Reformed tradition….In all programs, including the liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional preparation, we strive to offer the highest quality of instruction to prepare students for excellence in further study and careers beyond Trinity.”  

  • CECE’s Mission

Congruent with Trinity’s mission statement, the purpose of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is to:

(1) Complement Trinity Christian College programs by further empowering students to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling via experiential learning, mentoring, and reflection

(2) Become “agents of renewal” in the city and in higher education: to build a strategic beachhead via a disruptive innovation — paid student employment that increases the value of Trinity’s pre-professional education by reducing financial burden and increases quality of professional program education; and to become a self-funding social enterprise

(3) Concentrate the collective wisdom of Trollnation (our secret sauce!) on serving the community.

(4) Resolve paradoxes: the employment/experience paradox:  Students can’t get a good job without good experience and they can’t get good experience without a good job; the scholarship/work and liberal arts/professional program paradox: Students can’t do work without good scholarship and they can’t do good scholarship without doing good work.

(5) Provide the College a strategically important program and the marketplace and students something unique: experiential and integrated project-based learning.

HOW

  • Develop the Student
    • Hand-on Learning via interdisciplinary initiatives and high level experiences  that involve learning from and loving our neighbors on campus and in the city.
    • Coaching and mentoring from faculty and practitioners (Subject Matter Experts); objectively seeking to understand our gifts and how to better use them
    • Prayer and Reflection; subjectively seeking to hear the voice of God and how to make our “general” calling “specific” and “immediate”
  • Create Value
    • What we provide students and our neighbors and alums has value, and what they provide us has value as well.  Some of that value can be measured.
    • We wish to capture what we can of that value so that we can become an economically sustainable organization.
    • Thus we strive to develop the student and serve our constituents well.
  • Apply and Enhance Critical Thinking Skills via Project-Based Learning
    • While some projects can extend over years, we work in 2-3 month chunks of time.
    • Our process is to analyze situations and provide theory and data-supported recommendations to authentic problems/challenges.
    • Our underlying project-based learning philosophy is to learn from and loving their neighbors.

 WHAT

  • Interdisciplinary Initiatives
    • Community Empowerment Initiatives
      • Internal: Experiences geared toward serving individual students and the Trinity campus community.  Examples:
        • 20/20 — An exercise that encourages people who know our students to share stories of when students were at their best to expose students to their gifts and virtues.
        • Speed Interviewing — An exercise that encourages students to learn about various business functional roles, challenges, and culture by interviewing practitioners.
        • Etiquette Dinner — An activity that helps student learn about professional business behavior.
        • Conversations on Career and Calling — Events involving generations of alums and students reflection on the experiences of a well-known practitioner.
      • External: Experiences geared toward serving Individual Student and the Chicago Community.  Examples:
        • A Servant Called You — A practical tool to help us think about how to learn from and love our neighbors.
        • Community Health Initiative — In partnership with Trinity’s Nursing Department, Business Department, and the Honors Program, a community-focused health education activity involving surveying and serving communities (on campus and off) to better understand health care needs.
        • Fundraising Tournament — In partnership with Trinity’s Student Life Office and faculty from various departments, a community-focused activity involving Trinity students and students from local high schools to raise money (Empowerment Fund) for a person or organization in need.
    • Entrepreneurship Initiatives
      • e-boost Chicago — In partnership with Chicago Semester and E-Club, an intense event seeking to give student entrepreneurs a boost by surrounding them with experienced practitioners
      • A Servant Called You — A framework for helping students think through service learning projects.
      • Idea Lounge — A space for encouraging interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial initiatives (reserved through Trinity Business Department).
      • e-Club — A student organization that beleives there is an entrepreneur in everyone.
  • High Level Work Experiences: START (Select Trinity Advisory Research Team) Scholars
    • START Consulting — Select junior-and senior level students (“Dream Team”) hired to lead a faculty and practitioner-coached professional strategy consulting organization with a triple purpose: develop students, serve clients, and be a resource engine for CECE 
    • START Interns — Select junior and senior-level students participating in high level, employer-paid management-training-oriented internships
    • START Entrepreneurs — Select junior-and-senior level students hired to work on their own startups and mentored by practitioners

Through interdisciplinary initiatives and higher level academic/work project-based learning experiences students can learn both more of God’s creation and how they may both fit into it and honor God through their work in it and be blessed by doing so.

Tony Dykstra Named CECE’s First START Scholar Consultant

 

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is pleased to announce that Tony Dykstra has been named its first START Scholar Consultant.   As the first START Scholar Consultant Tony will be employed to:

  • Create an interdisciplinary team of talented Trinity Christian College students
  • Partner with experienced practitioners
  • Develop client relationships
  • Lead a team of student strategy-oriented consultants
  • Serve for-profit and non-profit organizations

In addition Tony will assist CECE’s director by helping to recruit prospective students and representing CECE at various events.

The Troll Scholars Consultant appointment is for the Fall 2016 semester.   To qualify, candidates must be Trinity students with a successful track record in leadership and consulting, and the heart to make a positive difference guided by Christian values.

Tony is a Junior Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing double major and a member of men’s golf team.  He is co-founder of Trinity’s E-Club (Entrepreneurship Club) and serves as its president.  This summer he worked as in intern in San Diego, CA.  Last year, as E-Club president, he played a significant role in Trinity’s dodgeball tournament which raised money for the Empowerment Fund.  Proceeds were used to purchase a standing wheelchair for Katie Vree, a junior nursing major.

 

 

Why Trinity Business?

Immersed in the City and Grounded in Vocation

Trinity is an academic institution.  But we aren’t in the knowledge business.  We are in the people-development business.  Knowledge acquisition is necessary for holistic learning as is hands-on learning, rigor, and a collaborative, community-oriented environment.

We know that students don’t know and shouldn’t feel pressured to know what is going to be their career or major as first-year students.  What makes us distinct is that we empower students to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling while they are at Trinity and part of the Trinity community.   We do this by offering a solid business core and several specialized majors.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Business

Our Bachelor of Arts in Business program gives students the freedom to enroll in our business core courses and pursue a major or minor in non-business discipline.

Specialized Programs

Accounting

Our Bachelor of Science in Accounting program provides students with the learning experiences to discern if accounting is an appropriate career path for them.   In the process, Trinity’s accounting majors posted the highest average pass rate and highest average score among CPA exam candidates in Illinois.

Entrepreneurial Management

Our Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Management, along with our Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment, offers students the experience of working through the process of starting a for-profit, non-profit, or social enterprise organization and prepares them for managing within especially innovative organizations.

Finance

Our Bachelor of Science in Finance program helps student experience and understand banking and finance, and includes courses in securities, asset allocation, global finance, and tax.  Complemented with internships in downtown Chicago and the surrounding area, students develop the knowledge, skills, and values to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling in this specific and important business field.

Marketing

Our Bachelor of Science in Marketing program focuses on creativity in business and strategic decision making in product and services marketing.  To help discern their gifts and calling for marketing-related work, many of our students enhance their project-based coursework with internships in downtown Chicago, including through our Chicago Summer program.

Fall 2016 Projects

In the Fall 2016 Semester Trinity Business is excited to work with Providence Bank & Trust, Providence Life Services, Palos Area Chamber of Commerce, and Chicago Semester as well as startups foreverU, Glacier Peak, Referral Plus, and  ESS Universal Ltd among others.

Why do we do work?  We engage in projects to empower students to discern, develop, and deploy (D,D,D) their gifts and calling.   This work includes Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment-sponsored Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Trinity Business Coursework as well as Troll Scholars Consulting, Internship, and Entrepreneurship experiences.

Here we go!

Tom Iwema Named CECE’s Second START Scholar Entrepreneur

 

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is proud to announce that Tom Iwema, founder of IKG Property Mainenance, has been named our second START Scholar Entrepreneur.   As a START Scholar Entrepreneur Tom will be afforded time to work on his startup, IKG.  In addition he will assist CECE’s director by mentoring other entrepreneurial students and representing CECE at various events.

The START Scholar Entrepreneur appointment is for the Fall 2016 semester.   To qualify, candidates must be Trinity students with a successful track record in leadership, a start-up beyond the Customer Validation stage, and the heart to make a positive difference.

Last academic year Tom was a member of the Future Founders Fellowship Program.   His businesses specialize maintenance and restoration, including mold remediation, floor care, painting, and snow removal.

CECE will be making its home on Trinity’s campus, in the former Molenhouse Student Center.

4.6 and 6.0

 

Just 3% of college graduates have the types of experiences in college that strongly relate to great jobs and great lives afterward (Gallup).

A very strong predictor of a great life is whether one is (emotionally) engaged at work; people engaged at work are 4.6x more likely to thrive in all areas of well-being.

 

Strong predictors of being engaged at work are whether one attended a college that prepared students for life outside of college and was passionate about the long-term success of its students. Other strong predictors of being engaged at work are whether one had an encouraging mentor, a professor who made her/him excited about learning, and a professor who cared about her/him as a person.  In addition, strong predictors of being engaged at work are whether the student had an internship or job that allowed her/him to apply what they learned, whether the student worked on a project that lasted more than a semester, and whether the student was active in extracurricular activities.

 

Another Gallup study found that people who use their strengths at work are 6.0x more likely to be engaged on the job.

Translation: a strong predictor of whether a person is engaged at work and experiences well-being is whether they attended a college that was passionate about empowering students to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling.

 

Ryan Hesslau Named CECE’s First START Scholar Entrepreneur

 

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is proud to announce that Ryan Hesslau, founder of foreverU, has been named its first START Scholar Entrepreneur.   As a START Scholar Entrepreneur Ryan will be afforded time to work on his startup, foreverU.  In addition he will assist CECE’s director by mentoring other entrepreneurial students and representing CECE at various events.

The START Scholar Entrepreneur appointment is for the Fall 2016 semester.   To qualify, candidates must be Trinity students with a successful track record in leadership, a start-up beyond the Customer Validation stage, and the heart to make a positive difference guided by Christian values.

Last academic year Ryan was a member of the Future Founders Fellowship Program.   His start-up seeks “to revolutionize and enhance the understanding of bullying.”  In this capacity, he made a guest appearance on the Steve Harvey Show.

CECE will be making its home on Trinity’s campus, in the former Molenhouse Student Center.

 

A Beginning For CECE

Why

We were created to work and do good works according to the gifts and opportunities God give us.  This is a life calling.

We seem called, therefore, to empower people to Discern, Develop, and Deploy their Gifts and Calling.

How

We are looking for people who want to help us complement Trinity’s academic and co-curricular programs (such as Business, Chicago Semester, Nursing, Student Life) and empower students through experiential learning and mentoring.

What

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment is developing a ladder for students toward fulfilling, transforming work — good work according to the gifts and opportunities God gives them.  The steps in this ladder include:

  • Interdisciplinary Initiatives; for example:
    • Community Heath
    • Fundraising
    • Story Writing
  • Student Clubs and their Leaders; for example:
    • E-Club (Entrepreneurship Club)
    • NSO (Nursing Student Organization
    • Honors
  • START Scholars:
    • Consultants
      • Social Media
      • Marketing
    • Interns
    • Entrepreneurs

Please contact Steve VanderVeen to learn more.

6601 W. College Drive, Groot Hall 270
Palos Heights, IL 60463
Email: steve.vanderveen@trnty.edu