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ERIC Number: ED499626
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 33
Abstractor: ERIC
When the Virtual Becomes Real: Student Learning in the Virtual Enterprises Program
Hughes, Katherine L.; Golann, Joanne Wang
Institute on Education and the Economy, Columbia University
Virtual Enterprises International (VE) is a high school program that teaches students about business through task-oriented and hands-on coursework. With the assistance of a coordinator and business mentors, VE students create and oversee a virtual firm, conducting business with other virtual firms nationally and internationally. The program enables students to learn about careers, develop interpersonal and organizational skills, and use technology. In some VE firms, students also study an applied economics curriculum, thereby linking the business enterprise to an academic subject required for high school graduation and increasing the academic content of the VE coursework. Participation in Virtual Enterprises is presumed to benefit students on a range of outcomes, including career preparation, college planning and readiness, and engagement. While the VE Central Office collects its own data on the program, there has been little research conducted externally. Thus, the VE Central Office invited the Institute on Education and the Economy (IEE) at Teachers College, Columbia University, to undertake a one-year, mixed method, multi-site study of the program with a focus on the influence that VE has on students' career and college readiness. The report presented here provides a deep description of the program features and the student and teacher perceptions of VE. It also discusses the relative effectiveness of various aspects of the program, such as technology use, project-based learning, and outside-the-classroom activities. The final section of this report offers recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the New York City VE program. (Contains 14 figures and 9 footnotes.) [Funding for this study was provided by the Merrill Lynch Foundation to The Fund for Public Schools on behalf of the New York City Department of Education.]
Institute on Education and the Economy, Columbia University. Box 174, 439 Thorndike Hall, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Inst. on Education and the Economy.
Identifiers - Location: New York