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Virtual Enterprise International - A CPA Program Course


In California, this course has program status as a Social Science (g) elective as a California Partnership Academies (CPA) a-g course. CPA teachers wishing to add any CPA program status course to their school's official a-g course list must participate in a half-day course-specific training offered through CDE.A Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business that is set up and run by students to prepare them for working in a real business environment. With the guidance of a teacher ("consultant") and real-world business partners, the students determine the nature of their business, its products and services, its management and structure, and engage in the daily operations of running a business. Emphasis is placed on using current business software, communications, and the Internet for business transactions.
Curriculum Link: Author: Lessons have been contributed and updated by Virtual Enterprise teachers and CDE sponsored workgroups.

Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives

Virtual Enterprise Program's goal is to prepare students for the world of work. The guiding curriculum objectives that should be used by each program are outlined in their website. Since the Virtual Enterprise Programs vary significantly, school site teachers and administrators must tailor their desired program outcomes according to their uniqueness. The career preparation standards that are addressed by all Virtual Enterprise Programs are: Communication Skills, Employment Literacy, Interpersonal Skills, Personal Skills, and Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills.

Description of Activities

Using a student-centered approach that emphasizes project-based collaborative learning, VEI replicates the functions and demands of real businesses in both structure and practice. With the guidance of a teacher-facilitator and a business partner, VEI students establish and manage a virtual company, conducting business with other “firms” domestically and internationally. Students are involved in all aspects of running the business, including human resources, accounting, product development, production, distribution, marketing, and sales.

Students are assigned to work in different departments, typically Administration, Accounting/Finance, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources and IT. The class selects a CEO and managers who oversee each department. Working in teams to make decisions about how to complete their departmental tasks in support of company goals and objectives, students learn from both their successes and mistakes.

The VEI approach emphasizes learning in four key areas:
1. Ownership: Students take responsibility for their own learning
2. Experiential: Students’ learning is authentic and realistic
3. Cooperative: Students learn with and from others and understand the dynamics of working as part of a team.
4. Reflective: Students experience the consequences of their decisions and apply that learning to future challenges
Participation in Trade Fairs with other virtual enterprise students is a highlight of the class. At Trade Fairs, students set up a real trade fair booth to market their product or service to attendees. In addition, there are numerous competitions including best marketing plan, best newsletter, best response to human resource scenarios, best salesmanship, etc. It is an incredible learning experience for participants.

California VE students have the opportunity to attend trade fairs in Bakersfield, Long Beach, San Francisco, New York and other states, and possibly even Hong Kong.

In addition to Trade Fairs, there are student events where professors and business professionals train students in various areas of business. Those students attending will then train their colleagues back in the office.

Culminating Activity and/or Assessment

All key Virtual Enterprise employees will be able to participate in writing a complete Annual Report, including the following components: Cover Page, Table of Contents, Chairman of the Board Letter, Executive Summary, Market Analysis, Marketing and Sales Activities, Sales and Marketing Report, Previous Year(s) Summary of Financial Figures, Management Discussion and Analysis, CPA Opinion Letter, Financial Statements, Subsidiaries (including brands and addresses), List of Directors and Officers and Stock Price (if applicable) within a specified time limit. Emphasis is placed on the Finance and Accounting Department (s), for playing a key role in preparing the current year's financial statements.

This report will be presented in the annual "stakeholders" meeting at the end of the school year, or when the company closes its books.

Instructional Materials Needed

Books & Supplementary Instructional materials
Simulation Fees
Student Training: registration, transportation, substitute
Trade Fairs: registration, transportation, lodging, meals, substitute
Job Shadows: substitutes, transportation
Supplies: Printer, Envelopes, Stamps, Sales displays/sign holders, Name tags holders & inserts, Address labels, INK!, Binders, Pens, markers, tri-fold presentation boards, Folders
Web site hosting & copy costs

Instructional Materials Provided

Lessons, online curriculum, online accounting units & exams, email accounts, online banking, online shopping mall, pre- and post-assessment instruments, standards-based curriculum that includes CTE Standards matched with English and math standards included in CAHSEE, rubrics, etc. and ongoing teacher support.

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Additional criteria

Cost: Yearly Simulation Fee: $750 for first company per site, $400 for each additional company per site.

Curriculum type: Course

Academic subject areas: History/Social Sciences; English; Career-Technical Education; Career Exploration

States' Career Clusters: Marketing; Finance; Business Management & Administration

California Industry sector(s): Marketing Sales and Service; Information and Communication Technologies; Business and Finance

Duration: 36 weeks

Grade Targets: 11, 12

Level of Expertise for CTE: Capstone/Advanced

Targeted Support Materials: Administrator support, Community Involvement, Industry Involvement, Math Support, Literacy Support, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Standards Addressed: Detailed documentation of alignment with Common Core, NGSS, C3 or CTE Standards provided

Professional Development Requirements/Recommendations: 2 day training event on how to develop a successful California Virtual Enterprise program at your school site. $300 registration fee. • in-depth instructional strategy • simulation model • assistance in navigating the California Virtual Enterprise supported web site to familiarize teachers and students with the vast resources available.

Online curriculum

Keywords: •Business Communications; Economics and Financial Concepts; Employability Skills; Information Technologies; Leadership Development; Accounting Procedures; Financial Analysis; Financial and Managerial Accounting; Economics; Legal Environment; Management Principles; Computer Science and Technology; Administrative Support; Communication and Interpersonal Skills; Global Marketing; Marketing Strategies; Promotion; Selling Concepts; Financial Services; Merchandising; Entrepreneurship

Source: the California Network of the US Network of Virtual Enterprises, International

Organization/Publisher: California Partnership Academy (CPA)

Usage Restrictions: Lessons and resources are available on the VIrtual Enterprise website for free. However, there is a $750 simulation fee to allow students to use the online banking system, online shopping mall, and email system.

Curriculum Link:

Related Website(s):,

Reviewer Comments

DELETE - link no longer valid - unable to locate it.

CPA teachers wishing to add any CPA program status a-g course to their school's official a-g course list must participate in a half-day course-specific training offered through CDE. For more information, contact Patricia Clark,Director of Teaching and Learning at CCASN, for more information:

This year-long curriculum addresses Common Core State Standards with the use of ELA, Math and Technologythroughout.

Virtual Enterprise is a recognized CTSO at the national level; however, it is not recognizedas a CTSO inCalifornia.

This is a veryinteractive course that needs community and/or parent support to help the teacher provide the many and varied experiences available for students. It requires funds for travel and to produce marketing products. Teachers are advised to staty connected to the network of support in the VE community.
This uniquely interdependent virtual business community thrives in over 500 U.S. secondary and post-secondary institutions. It empowers and motivates participants to develop a range of academic and business skills that prepares them for success in employment, education and the community.

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