Michelson IP Community College Pilot

The Michelson Intellectual Property Initiative, “Michelson IP” is rolling into community colleges nationwide! In partnership with The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), Michelson 20MM has announced an innovative pilot program to provide Intellectual Property (IP) education in select community colleges. Starting this fall, seven community colleges will take part in the Michelson IP Community College Pilot Program in an effort to provide IP education for existing business, entrepreneur, and design courses. Here’s what you need to know:

The Curriculum

The IP curriculum is based on Michelson 20MM’s, The Intangible Advantage: Understanding Intellectual Property in the New Economy. The free textbook, video series, and course provide a basic understanding of copyright, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets for entrepreneurs at the undergraduate level.

Santa Monica College (SMC) was selected to lead the development of a course cartridge comprised of 38 digital course modules and a master syllabus to be used by all participating colleges.

The course cartridge is supported by various learning management systems (LMSs), including Canvas. The cartridge was developed with faculty in mind, allowing easy integration into existing courses without having to develop any content from scratch.

Spearheading the development at SMC is Sal Veas, Chairman of the Santa Monica College Business Department:

“The modular format gave me the flexibility to easily adopt the appropriate level of depth for each area of IP, whether it was for business law or my introduction to business class,” Veas explained.

Meet the Faculty and Colleges

Santa Monica College 

Selected as the lead college, Santa Monica College developed the IP master syllabus and modular content for the program. Nathan Khalil, Adjunct Professor, and Dana Nasser have already begun using the content during summer courses and have lead development of a stand-alone IP course available soon.

Butte College

Teresa Givens, Graphic Design Instructor, will lead the course at Butte. Givens currently teaches Graphic Design, Typography and Intro to Computer Graphics.

College of Marin

Nancy Willet, Business Instructor, will lead the course at Marin. Willet teaches Business Law, Entrepreneurship, and Intro to Business.

Glendale Community College

Rafael Cardona, Adjunct Instructor of Business Administration, will lead the course at Glendale. Cardona teaches Marketing, Intro to Business, International Business, Money and Banking, Import & Export to Latin America and Advertising.

Lorain County Community College

Lee S. Kolczun, Executive-in-Residence Entrepreneurship, will lead the course at Lorain. Kolczun currently teaches Business Law, Labor Law, Legal Environments of Business and Entrepreneurship.

Santa Rosa Junior College

Donald Laird, Computer Studies Department Chair will lead the curriculum at Santa Rosa. Laird teaches Adobe Photoshop, Social Media, 3D Printing, Drone Imaging.

CUNY Queensborough Community College

Christine Mooney, Associate Professor, and Leslie Francis, Assistant Professor, will lead the curriculum at Queensborough. Mooney and Francis currently teaches Business Law.

The Importance

It is important for college students to learn how IP plays a role in our society.  IP represents 80 percent of the market value of all publicly traded companies in the United States and comprises 45 percent of the country’s total GDP.

In other words, every business has a database of contacts, a logo, a name, and a website, therefore, every business has IP. We live in a digital economy where all these intangible assets are important to a business and imperative for entrepreneurs to understand.

“Community colleges are the launch pad for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Gary K. Michelson, founder of Michelson 20MM. “Nearly half of all college graduates start at a community college. It is therefore critical that we provide intellectual property education at community colleges.”

The goal of the Michelson IP Community College Pilot Program is to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. By scaling the program beyond its pilot year, Michelson 20MM seeks to continue to integrate IP educational content into for-credit courses. For more information on how to get involved, contact Mike Lisek at mike@20mm.org.


NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. NACCE has two main goals: 1. Empower the college to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset, and 2. Grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.

For more information, visit https://www.nacce.com.