College students help make future Nashville charter schools ‘next generation’

Nashville’s mayor wants to launch a number of visionary new college prep charter schools over the next few years, and a charter management organization called Valor Collegiate Academies is helping lead this education reform movement.

Now Valor Collegiate Academies and the city of Nashville are turning to the students in the Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute for creative ideas on how to innovate within these charter high schools to maximize preparation for college and the world beyond.

One of the challenges for the multiple Accelerator teams is to reach out to high school and college students to gather information on how to fulfill the eight elements that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Next Generation Learning Challenge has identified as essential for college-ready students:

  1. Student-centered
  2. High expectations
  3. Self-pacing and mastery-based credit
  4. Blended instruction
  5. Student ownership
  6. Financial sustainability
  7. Scalable
  8. Integrated innovation

The Accelerator Summer Business Institute is an intense month-long business boot camp run by the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. In the program, college students and recent graduates from across the country are immersed in a competitive business environment, working to create the winning solution to real challenges from top local and national companies. The students hone essential skills in marketing, sales, finance, real estate, research and corporate strategy, while participating companies receive the brainpower, creativity and proposals from several teams of highly motivated millennials.

The program launches on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management’s Averbuch Auditorium. The Accelerator teams will give their final presentations on Friday, June 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in Averbuch Auditorium. Please contact Amy Wolf if you’d like to attend.

Other Accelerator projects include:

  • Vanderbilt Football—Vanderbilt football is nationally ranked and on a highly successful streak. Vanderbilt athletics wants to broaden interest in ticket sales by targeting a more diverse fan base that will support the program for years to come. The Accelerator students are challenged with conceiving a creative array of plans to reach more diverse prospective ticket-buyers.
  • Surgical Care Affiliates—SCA operates 150 surgical facilities in 32 states. They also create online tools to help surgery centers work more efficiently. The Accelerator teams are challenged with testing a new mobile app to help surgery centers track inventory and find ways to use this data to improve patient care.
  • Nissan North America—Nissan North America Inc. coordinates operations for automotive styling, engineering and consumer and corporate financing for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Its goal is to consistently improve its product and raise customer satisfaction. Accelerator teams are challenged with creating innovative ways Nissan can optimize social media to improve the customer experience.

More information about Accelerator is available online. To follow the progress of the Accelerator students and their projects, visit the Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute page on Facebook.