Francis Tuttle Danforth Campus to focus on entrepreneurship

Published: Monday, November 2, 2020 By: The Journal Record Staff Source: The Journal Record

When Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s new Danforth Campus opens in August it will focus on creativity, innovation and the development of ideas to promote entrepreneurs.

Construction at 3841 E. Danforth Rd. in Edmond is on schedule for students to begin classes there when the next school year starts.

“We purposefully incorporated design elements and dedicated spaces to create an educational facility to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in Oklahoma and elevate a new economy,” Michelle Keylon, superintendent of Francis Tuttle Technology Center, said. “We want to create an environment that facilitates creative thinking and problem solving on a broad scale.”

The 155,000-square-foot facility will host numerous Francis Tuttle programs, including the Engineering, Biosciences and Medicine, and Computer Science Academies for high school students; Pre-Nursing; Cosmetology; Automotive Service Technology; and Interactive Media.

The Francis Tuttle small business incubator, Launch Pad FT, will relocate there from the current Business Innovation Center, and it will be joined by Workforce and Economic Development and the new small business Pre-Accelerator.

But all of that will fall under the theme of entrepreneurship, which will be spearheaded by the new Entrepreneurship Academy. Education for entrepreneurship students will include the project of building a business concept, thus learning the creative and problem-solving processes of being a prospective small-business owner.

These concepts were included to provide students with the skills and knowledge for college and the jobs of the future. Or, they may grow into next thriving small businesses in the Oklahoma City metro and provide the local economy with a boost.

“They, the students, get so much rigorous, hands-on learning,” Khaaliq Salim, director of the Danforth Campus, said. “How do I learn to be a business owner? You build a business,” You think, collaborate, present and get with other mentors in the industry and ask them questions; you work on your problems and your product, and you perfect it.”

The Danforth Campus will be open to the entire community, allowing current and future business owners to converse, create and open opportunities to improve the local economy.

“Entrepreneurship unleashes human potential,” Associate Superintendent Jaared Scott said. “It’s a very rigorous endeavor, and I’ve seen the growth of individuals who go through that process. It is the next step of skill acquisition that can be applied to a real-world scenario.”

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