Get Started in the Small Business Academy

How to Get Started

Complete the admissions process and meet with an academic advisor at the college you plan to attend.


Dallas County residents pay $177 per three-hour class — that is $59 per credit hour, or just $708 for a full-semester load of 12 credit hours.

Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See our tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.

Rising Star Program

If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for this program. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need.

Courses Offered (Curriculum)

Get detailed information about the courses required for:

Accreditation and Affiliations

Find out more about accreditation and affiliations.

Related Programs

Check out related programs in Management and Business Administration.

Other Degree and Certificate Options

See a chart of degree plans by college or visit the credit programs home page.

Faculty Profiles

Faculty members have advanced degrees as well as experience in the business world, so they can relate to the challenges you face at work. Instructors work with you one-on-one, encouraging you and helping you to succeed in school and on the job. See profiles of some of our Small Business Academy faculty.

Transfer Information

Small Business Academy courses are designed for direct entry into the workforce. However, if you are interested in earning a degree at a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Services website for guidance on the transfer process.

Developing Skills for Success

The 14-week course syllabus covers the following lesson plans:

  • Are you an entrepreneur?
  • What is your business?
  • What is a business plan?
  • Personal finances and debt
  • Start-up costs
  • Pricing and credit strategies
  • Financial and legal management
  • Financial statements and balance sheets
  • Financial statements and cash flow
  • Payroll
  • Taxes and the IRS

Our Online Program is Geared Toward Busy Professionals

Our all-online program provides all coursework, class interaction and study via the Internet:

  • eCampus, the district's Web interface used to access Internet-based distance education courses
  • eConnect, the district’s Web interface that allows students to search, register and pay for credit classes, and view final grades and financial aid status. You must have an email address on file with the college to access eConnect.

 Online program features include:

  • An optional live meet-and-greet session before the start of the program
  • Online student introduction for classmates to “meet” each other
  • All lectures, classwork and reading assignments via eCampus
  • Required student login at least three times a week with participation in a threaded discussion of topics with postings to share observations, critical thinking and questions
  • Homework that capitalizes on Internet resources and research
  • A digital drop-box for instructor review of class assignments
  • A class chatroom that acts as a blog
  • Business Plan Pro software to build your business plan
  • Course statistics that track students’ login to lectures and website visits
  • Required email correspondence with the instructor at least once a week

Course Objectives and Exercises

The Small Business Academy’s goal is to give you the fundamental knowledge and hands-on skills necessary to plan, launch and operate your own business, no matter what field. Course objectives include learning how to:

  • Develop a business model and business plan
  • Locate capital for your venture
  • Develop an exit strategy
  • Develop strategic management skills for your organization
  • Lead your organization
  • Handle inevitable adverse events and master downside planning for turnarounds, bailouts, restructurings and reorganizations

Interviewing Experts and Writing a Business Plan

During the semester, each student will also prepare summaries after interviewing the following:

  • An entrepreneur who has started a business within the past five to 10 years and whose sales exceed $500,000 annually;
  • A venture capitalist who has invested in a business within the past five to 10 years whose sales exceed $1 million annually;
  • A business attorney or tax accountant who has assisted entrepreneurs within the past five to 10 years

Each course participant is also required to develop a basic business plan, integrating course materials into a “real life” business idea.

Small Business Development Centers

DCCCD sponsors two Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration:

Both centers offer:

  • Accredited training seminars on relevant topics such as Fundamentals of Importing and Exporting, NAFTA, Global Market Series-Importing, Global Market Series-Exporting and more
  • Analysis of your current international trade strategy at any stage in your company’s life cycle
  • Commissioned market research, including trade statistics, market analysis and business planning
  • Custom educational presentations to community organizations and students

Links to Additional Information

Note: Links to the following websites are provided for your convenience and information and do not constitute our official endorsement.

  • The Business Owner’s Toolkit offers tools, templates, checklists and forms for small business owners.
  • is an online publication that covers a wide variety of entrepreneurial issues, including money, marketing, sales, advertising, franchises, business opportunities, home-based and online businesses, management, human resources and more.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Small Business Academy program that aren’t answered on our website, please feel free to contact us.