University of Georgia
Creating an online business entrepreneurship course for the Executive Education program
The University of Georgia is one of the premier educational institutions in the country, with traditional business programs and business-related ancillary programs, along with partnerships with the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). Tarkenton worked in collaboration with the University and the Terry College of Business to develop a new online course that blended traditional academic lectures and seminars with experiential lessons delivered by entrepreneurs and business practitioners.
- Alex Johnston, Program Graduate
While the University of Georgia has its own traditional education programs, leaders at the University and the Terry College of Business wanted to create an entrepreneurship program that would be accessible to anyone, not based on educational prerequisites. They also wanted a practical, experiential, and actionable curriculum that would make the biggest impact possible on current and would-be business owners, ranging from traditional students to early retirees.
Tarkenton’s content and strategy teams worked directly with University leaders, including the President of the University and tenured business professors, along with private business owners and operators, to identify the academic and skill gaps most prevalent in small businesses. The decided goal was to create an online course with the same rigor found in traditional education programs, but made available to non-traditional students to complete the course before or even while running their business, named the Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship; an acknowledgement of our founder’s business successes and contributions to the betterment of small business America
The Tarkenton content team partnered with professors at the Terry College of Business to create all the content for the new course, including video lectures, quizzes, transcripts, lesson plans, and exercises. We filmed and produced all of the lessons, using a combination of University professors and qualified business practitioners as presenters, all connecting to our goal of creating a course that offered the most up-to-date, practical guidance on complex business topics. The Tarkenton development team then developed a custom Learning Management System (LMS) to host the entire course.
Tarkenton also led the marketing strategy and execution for the new certificate program, including:
- Marketing website: tarkenton.org
- Marketing video
- Direct mail to new business startups
- Email marketing to University alumni
- Google and Social advertising
- Trade publication advertisements
- Speaking engagements
- Coordinated media tour that included television, radio, print, and online publications
Tarkenton successfully created, launched, and supported the first ever, fully-accessible, entrepreneurship training program in the long, and prestigious history of the University of Georgia. The success of the program motivated the Terry College of Business to reach out for assistance and use a modified version of the Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship program as the basis of its curriculum for an online course in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the University looked for effective virtual education options early in the pandemic, the Tarkenton-built LMS and course proved to be an effective alternative for traditional students.