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M State instructor selected for HP entrepreneur training program

Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s Bryan Christensen is one of six instructors nationwide who have been chosen to incorporate the HP LIFE entrepreneur education global training program into their community college coursework for Fall 2013.

Christensen teaches sales and marketing on M State’s Detroit Lakes campus and is the director of the college’s Business & Entrepreneurial Services Center, which supports entrepreneurism in the region.

HP LIFE (which stands for Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs) is a free online training program that teaches IT and business skills to students, entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Christensen said he is integrating HP LIFE’s e-learning into several of his courses – Introduction to Social Media, Principles of Marketing and Customer Service – as graded assignments and as a basis for discussion of current business issues.

Bryan Christensen

Christensen, who describes himself as a former video game enthusiast, said students say the HP LIFE training is “like a game,” with interactive learning and instant feedback.

 “In my classroom, the online component keeps the students engaged,” Christensen said. “Many of my students are drawn to HP LIFE because it is similar to a video game that requires skill, quests, achievement, problem-solving and self-awareness.”

Besides Christensen, HP’s National Faculty Ambassadors for HP LIFE are instructors at community colleges in Massachusetts, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Arizona. Their selection was based on their experience and commitment to enriching the lives of community college students.

The six received HP LIFE training in Massachusetts in August, and they will be featured panelists at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship national convention in North Carolina in mid-October.

HP Life has more than 50,000 users worldwide for its Massive Open Online Course (commonly called a MOOC). M State is a member of NACCE, which was one of HP’s partners in exploring the role of technology and on-line learning in entrepreneurship education and developing HP LIFE.

As a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, M State serves more than

9,000 students in credit courses each year in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs at its four campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena, and through eCampus. By partnering with communities, the college also provides custom training services and other responsive training programs.