Western Carolina University

WCU DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAM                                                                                                   

Western Carolina University student Allen McCullough has unwittingly become an entrepreneur. Thanks to WCU's relationship with educational partners in Henderson, Burke and Catawba counties, McCullough and other budding business owners can earn a degree to help put those entrepreneurial skills to work.

With a full-time job and a young daughter, McCullough, who assisted his wife in her efforts to launch a small pottery business operated from their home in Saluda, was looking for a way to add a four-year business degree to his credentials.

 “It was hard to discern how I could ever get my bachelor's degree in business administration, given my work and family responsibilities,” said McCullough. “Then, I learned about Western Carolina University 's distance education program at Blue Ridge Community College. I always knew Blue Ridge was a great community college, but I was amazed to learn that I could actually attend Western classes to finish my bachelor's degree on the Blue Ridge campus without having to leave my work and family. The idea of attending class and doing follow-up work on the Internet works well with my life.”

Through a partnership with BRCC, the Hickory Metro Higher Education Center and Western Piedmont Community College, Western will offer the bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in entrepreneurship beginning in the fall of 2006.

“Entrepreneurship graduates are being courted by major corporations who need to become more entrepreneurial, flexible and dynamic,” said Roger Lirely, who directs WCU's distance education undergraduate program in entrepreneurship. “They are also a perfect fit with smaller companies that constitute 90 percent of the firms in the nation and are poised and prepared to start their own businesses.”  

WCU is offering pre-requisite accounting courses online this summer for those who have not taken them. McCullough just completed the accounting courses though Web-based study. “I already feel I can support my wife's pottery business in moving to the next level because I have learned how to manage and keep track of the money her business is generating,” he said. “Over the years, many novel ideas have come to my mind that I thought could turn into a small business opportunity, but I had trouble knowing how to begin. I look forward to learning how to launch a successful small business with the help of what I learn through Western's distance education program.” 

Prospective students who wish to enroll in the program should have an associate degree or have completed 30 hours of the community college 44-hour general education core. Students who have attended other colleges and completed course work in the liberal studies area or business foundations also may apply.

For more information about the Western Carolina University business degree program in entrepreneurship, contact Marcia Caserio, Western's regional director of education outreach, at (828) 693-8375 or via e-mail at mcaserio@wcu.edu .

Maintained by the WCU Office of Public Relations
Last modified: Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University