Innovation, Business Creation: Hallmarks of San Diego's New Catholic University

July 19, 2004 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
SAN DIEGO New Catholic University (NCU) plans to open the doors to its North County, San Diego-based campus in Fall 2005, welcoming its first students with a hands-on curriculum unique for its emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship and ethical leadership.

The university, which filed for state approval in July, will offer degree programs in technology, business and mass media communications. In all academic disciplines, NCU hopes to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and encourage leadership and innovation, guided by the spiritual, moral and social teachings of Jesus Christ.

The university's Senior Business Plan, a two-year business planning and implementation exercise, will require all students, regardless of major, to actively participate in the conception, development and creation of a viable business enterprise before their graduation. Faculty members will serve as mentors, sharing their personal experience and offering their unique guidance to NCU students.

By establishing one of the country's first "on-campus business incubators,' NCU will help its students commercialize their Senior Business Plans and transform them into thriving companies under ethical management. The university's ultimate goal, NCU president Derry Connolly said, is for at least 50 percent of each graduating class to continue with their business plans after graduation.

"In the years ahead, we hope some very innovative and successful businesses will be able to trace their roots back to NCU and to the program we've developed here,' Connolly said.

The Senior Business Plan will give students a chance to experience first-hand the business principles taught in the classroom. Participation in the program begins in the student's third year, when the junior class divides into teams of four to six students, representing the university's technology, mass media and business degree programs.

Each team will be responsible for launching a new business, documenting its progress and, prior to graduation, presenting its work to an audience of students, faculty, parents and business professionals.

According to NCU co-founder and dean of technology Ed Snow, the Senior Business Plan will be "the highlight of the student's academic experience and a defining hallmark of the college.'

"Experience really is the best teacher, but the traditional internship only prepares a student for entry-level work,' Snow said. "Our Senior Business Plan trains students to dream big and to do great things, to create their own companies and become industry leaders shortly after leaving our campus.'

NCU will prepare its freshman and sophomore students for their future participation in the Senior Business Plan through the classroom instruction of basic market principles and the use of degree-relevant case studies, carefully selected to illustrate the concepts of innovation and business creation.

Wes Fach, a co-founder, predicts that NCU will quickly become the "Catholic university of choice' for America's young leaders and would-be entrepreneurs. Fach expects the university to attract a distinguished faculty, composed of business-savvy entrepreneurs with years of industry experience.

NCU was founded in 2003 by a group of lay Catholics, including three North County businessmen, an attorney and an academic. NCU will hold an inaugural gala for supporters and volunteers on Sept. 25. The black-tie optional event, which includes dinner and entertainment, will be held at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Connolly hopes to attract at least 500 supporters to the gala, which will lay the groundwork for the university's opening.

For more information on New Catholic University, visit the university's website at To purchase tickets for the university's inaugural gala, call (858) 672-9080.