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NKU to Award College Credit to alumni of the Governor’s School For Entrepreneurs

NKU to Award College Credit to Alumni of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs


Oct. 5, 2021 —  The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) has achieved another milestone in 2021. Through a partnership with its host school Northern Kentucky University (NKU), GSE alumni who enroll at NKU and present a GSE certificate of completion will receive three hours of college credit for the NKU equivalent course. NKU has been the host campus for the prestigious three-week summer program since 2019.

By presenting a GSE certificate of completion, students automatically will receive a passing credit for ENTP 394, a 300-level entrepreneurship course. If they major or minor in entrepreneurship at NKU, the course will count toward their degree completion.

This new development comes on the heels of another successful summer program that saw GSE expand its programming opportunities by adding a second summer session for talented Kentucky teen entrepreneurs. The two sessions gave a total of 120 teens, up from 72 in previous years, an opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial spirits in a college residential setting.

“It is exciting to see this partnership between GSE and NKU grow to include college credit for the students’ work during the summer sessions,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “This level of commitment from NKU to the rigorous program speaks volumes about how valuable GSE is for the students who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship as their postsecondary and career choice.”

“The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs continues to flourish even under the difficult issues that it has overcome during the pandemic. GSE is just the beginning for these gifted students as they continue on this exciting path,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, a former educator who also is the secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

During the challenging summer program, young entrepreneurs learn firsthand about the opportunities, benefits and challenges of launching a business concept from the idea phase to pitching it to potential investors. As part of this immersive experience, teens typically tour 15 startups and businesses, network with more than 40 seasoned entrepreneurs and dedicate over 240 hours to developing their business models.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for GSE alumni who choose to call NKU their home for college,” said Tasha Sams, executive director of the GSE. “Encouraging GSE teens to pursue entrepreneurship degrees and opportunities at the collegiate level is already integral to our mission and we are excited that NKU has taken this additional step to ensure the commonwealth’s most promising young entrepreneurs continue to thrive after graduating from GSE. This not only showcases the GSE program impact but also increases the value we can provide to our teens.”

GSE alumni have launched more than 20 new businesses, filed multiple patents and developed new ideas and relationships that sow the seeds for more business formation. Dozens of alumni have chosen to enroll in entrepreneurial programs at Kentucky universities and attribute this decision to the inspiration they received by attending GSE in high school. GSE fosters and empowers the commonwealth’s future business owners and community leaders, giving these teens the support they need to go from high school students to business owners.

“The partnership with GSE is a great example of NKU’s goal of becoming more regionally engaged,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “With nationally recognized programs, especially in entrepreneurship, the Haile College of Business graduates successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Allowing high school alums of the GSE program to get credit for an upper-level college course will be a huge advantage for those students who choose NKU as their college of choice.”

Because of strong partnerships with entities such as the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the Cabinet for Economic Development, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), PNC and numerous public and private supporters like the Marksbury Family Foundation and Nate Morris of The Morris Foundation, GSE is completely free for selected entrepreneurs. Alumni of GSE gain access to more than $5 million in scholarship funding opportunities to attend colleges and universities in Kentucky; high school, and now college, class credit; and a statewide network of entrepreneurial support.

GSE is a relative newcomer on the list of Kentucky’s Governor's Schools, having opened to its first group of students in 2013. GSE brings students from across the state together for a three-week residential immersion program and equips them with the tools needed to unleash their innate entrepreneurial spirits for the betterment of Kentucky. Since 2013, more than 600 student entrepreneurs have gained vital entrepreneurial skills through the program to use as they enter the workplace or continue into higher education.

Applications for the 2022 GSE will open on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. Parents, educators, entrepreneurs and teens who believe grit, a growth mindset and creativity in problem solving tell as much about a young person as good grades and test scores, can learn more about the Governor’s School of Entrepreneurs at

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit