NEXT Steps Online Training Academy

The NEXT Steps Online Training Academy (NSOTA)

Follow Us!

Table of Contents

The Community On Demand™ Learning Management System

Our Digital eLearning Platform

The NEXT Steps Online Training Academy (NSOTA) is the digital infrastructure that houses the Community On Demand™ Learning Management System.  It’s main goal is to promote, manage and support the online and off-line instruction (in self-paced and guided formats) for all business, curriculum and leadership development activities.

NSOTA uses four instructional models to help learners strengthen their high-demand employability skills across 17 Career & Technical Education STEAM Career Clusters.  These models ensure maximum engagement as learners participate in online courses, leadership development workshops, service-learning projects, special events and crowdfunding campaigns.

Completion of these instructional models reward learners for using their skills to solve real-world challenges, increasing the value of their contributions to society, and sustaining the Community On Demand™ Creative Economy.

Current Trends In
Serious Game Play

The growth rate for serious games in the higher education and tertiary segment is a healthy 15.4%.


The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs

Icons/Fill/Fill Icon 1Created with Sketch.
Online Courses

Offers eight courses to help learners create winning business strategies, build Junior Executive Management (JEM) Teams, develop successful impact solutions, and complete the Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Workbook

Icons/Fill/Fill Icon 2Created with Sketch.
Lesson Plans & Activity Toolkits

Helps educators integrate Community On Demand™ into their existing CTE pathway courses, work-based learning experiences and/or college and career readiness training programs


Provides industry-recognized digital credentials that verify a learners' demonstrated knowledge, skills, capabilities and competencies

Game Set

3 Components


Training Events

Course License

Unlimited Number of Enrolled Students

Custom Programs

Work-Based Learning Experiences


Guided Instruction & Business Support Services


Join our Local Contributor Network

The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Workbook & Online Course Series

Leadership Development For Youth & Young Adults

Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Workbook

The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs is the official textbook for the Community On Demand Card Game Curriculum and provides eight easy lessons to help young innovators assess their STEAM skills, build teams, create career-building opportunities, and launch new business ventures.

The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs guides young innovators through the eight steps required to create a winning business plan. This self-paced 21st Century STEAM education curriculum that uses financial literacy, blockchain technology, entertainment and entrepreneurship to strengthen the employability skills of STEAM educators, lifelong learners, young innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs provides fun, interactive lessons and activity worksheets to teach learners of all ages how to:

  • Create and implement an impact solution
  • Demonstrate the value of their STEAM skills
  • Build a team
  • Promote and brand their achievements AND
  • Develop a business or career-building opportunity that benefits themselves, their families, their team and their community

By completing The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs, learners will be able to:

  • Create a digital portfolio, financial portfolio and business plan
  • Demonstrate their ability to promote, brand and monetize their knowledge, special abilities, interests, STEAM skills and achievements
  • Create sustainable impact solutions that benefit their communities and convert them into career-building opportunities and social enterprises.

Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Online Courses

The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Online Course is a curriculum series that guides young innovators through the Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Workbook.  Courses provide in-depth digital visuals, audio tracks, and activity worksheets give learners a more rewarding game experience throughout the Community On Demand™ Learning Management System.

Starting with an introduction of The STEAM Investigative Process — our 21st Century version of The Scientific Method — each lesson guides learners through the eight steps required to create winning business strategies, build project management teams, and develop successful impact solutions all while strengthening their high-demand employability skills for college and career.

Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Toolkit

NEXT Steps created the Activity Toolkit as an additional set of resources and training materials to help educators document the growth and achievements of their learners.  Activity Toolkits include the Community On Demand Card Game Set (card deck, game board and 3 skills assessment worksheets per learner), and 11 Activity Worksheets for each lesson in the Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Workbook. The Money Guide Activity Toolkit includes the following activity worksheets:

STEAM Investigative Process

STEAM IP Mapping Activity Worksheet; The STEAM Investigative Process

Explore Your Community

Community Mapping Grid; Interview Questions

Define Your Solution

Mission Statement Worksheet

Build Your Team

JEM Team Model & Nominations

Map Your Value

Digital Badge Value Grid; Cash Allocation Chart

Manage Your Assets

Time Is Money Calculator; Spend Your Time; Plan Your Work; Do The Math

Share Your Successes

Program Planning Checklist; Project Planning Checklist

Package Your Skills

STEAM Capability Report; TRENDS DataReport

Lesson Plans

The STEAM Investigative Process

Shows how learners will create a skillset that reflects the employability skills they have, use and need to create an impact solution for their community

Lesson 2. Define Your Solution

Shows how learners will develop a winning mission statement for their impact solution and work-based learning experience.

Lesson 4. Map Your Value

Shows how learners will develop and manage resources to implement their impact solution and complete their enhanced work-based learning experience.

Lesson 6. Share Your Success

Shows how learners will apply high-demand STEAM skills in marketing, advertising, sales, marketing research, merchandising and/or public relations.

Lesson 1. Explore Your Community

Shows how learners will identify the socio-economic conditions that define the health of their community's ecosystem

Lesson 3. Build Your Team

Shows how learners will demonstrate the leadership qualities, values and behaviors needed to complete their enhanced work-based learning experience

Lesson 5. Manage Your Assets

Shows how learners will demonstrate how effective time management is used to complete their impact solution and enhanced work-based learning experience

Lesson 7. Package Your Skills

Shows how learners will identify the primary factors that will lead to the success of their impact solution and enhanced work-based learning experience

Group License

Our online courses provide group leaders, educators and school administrators with access to our Group Management Dashboard so they can:
  • Manage access to courses and reporting with its group.
  • Manage students collectively instead of individually
  • Gives teachers and organization reps access to reporting for their students
  • Configure, buy, manage and report on their groups using a powerful front-end interface for reviewing, grading and approving quiz essay questions and assignments
  • Add and invite users, send password reset emails, and even easily mass email all students in the group.
  • Use up to five (5) reports to view progress and quiz results by user, group, or course (…even drill down into the specific answers each user chose on quizzes)
  • Enroll users in their group by adding them directly, by uploading a .csv file, or by distributing enrollment keys so that users can self-register.
  • Manage learner progress and download learner certificates
  • Allow groups to build and buy their own curricula, add seats and courses at a later time

Help Us Build The Community On Demand™ Creative Economy

Join a group of people who care about the future and want to advance our groundbreaking advocacy, service and development to revolutionze STEAM education.

Do Better. Think BIGGER!

Knowledge Is Power

Those who know how, will always have a job.

Those who know why, will always be their boss.

Those who know what to do, determine the outcome.

Our Value-Added Skills Self-Assessments

Performance Measures for Personal & Professional Growth

Skidmore College states that value-added assessments attempt to measure student growth over time — from the time that a student enters a program until the student graduates.  The most common method is pre- and post-testing.

Community On Demand™ uses its card game,  skills self-assessment worksheet and game board along with the Money Guide courses and activity toolkits to help learners establish a firm benchmark on how to measure their personal and professional growth.  Our game-based learning tools are especially helpful for measuring a learner’s knowledge and skillset and provides an easy way to score and statistically analyze the results.

Five Achievement Domains

Success within Community On Demand™ is measured through values assigned to each skill within five achievement domains. Our achievement domains represent the 63 high-demand employability skills and 6 socio-economic conditions that fuel the digital learning ecosystem of the Community On Demand™ Creative Economy. The five color-coded achievement domains help learners quickly  determine their readiness for college and career by a visual mapping process that defines, measures, builds and names their high-demand employability skills.

$10.00 CV

Career Awareness & Exploration
(5 Skills)
Helps learners identify their current level of preparedness for college and career

$20.00 CV

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
(12 Skills)
Teaches economic & business development skills

$30.00 CV

Workforce Readiness & Personal Branding
(17 Skills)
Teaches project management and job readiness skills

$40.00 CV

Career Awareness & Exploration
(18 Skills)
Introduces STEAM career clusters, pathways and career-building opportunities

$50.00 CV

Leadership, Teamwork & Problem-Solving
(11 Skills)
Rewards development and implementation of creative solutions and effective leadership

Skills Self-Assessment Tools

Success within Community On Demand™ is also measured through values assigned to each skill within our five achievement domains. Each skill carries a potential value (PV) based on the achievement domain it belongs to.  Once used, the potential value is converted into a contribution value (CV) and is attributed to the wealth of the Community On Demand™ Creative Economy.

STEAM Career Clusters Knowledge Areas (Service Goals)

Competency Measures 

Community On Demand™ measures over 27 competencies that determine the employability and market value of a learner’s skillset. Community On Demand™ learning tools help learners demonstrate “cross-cutting” competencies common to most occupations within an industry. When a learner gains one or more of these competencies, they will be rewarded with a Digital Badge & Skillcoin Rewards  micro-credential that reflects their basic understanding (comprehension, awareness, or analysis) of a skill.

Micro-Certifications & STEAM Capability Reports

Industry-Recognized Credentials

NSOTA issues industry-recognized digital badges, micro-certifications and STEAM Capability Reports verify when a learner has demonstrated competencies of a specific skill.  

This is done by submitting digital content (Proof Of Work Portfolios) that proves how they completed one or more of the service goals affiliated with each skill or a lesson within the Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs Activity Workbook or Online Course.

Let Us Help Develop Your
Community On Demand™ Implementation Plan

Our Train-The-Trainer Professional Development Workshops provide step-by-step instructions on how to use our learning tools and materials so you can seamlessly integrate Community On Demand™ into your new or existing curriculum and training programs


Professional Development


Skills Self-Assessment Worksheets


Career Mapping Visualization Tools


Work-based learning experiences


Critical thinking, problem solving and leadership


Virtual engagement with STEAM Industry Professionals


Verification of skills development through applied learning

Our Veteran-Led Professional Development & Youth Leadership Training Sessions

STEAM Skills Self-Assessments for CTE Course Standard #1 (Part 1)

Demonstrates how Community On Demand™ visualizes the career mapping conversation and conducts skills self-assessments to track/measure employability

Capacity Building, Community Engagement & Business Development (Part 3)

Demonstrates how to use our signature Community Involvement Growth Strategy (CIGS) Model™ to address, reduce and/or eliminate socio-economic conditions that may be negatively impacting the local community

Enhanced Work-Based Learning & Career Development (Part 2)

Demonstrates how The Money Guide for Young Entrepreneurs™ uses enhances work-based learning experiences to strengthen leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills for college & career readiness

Junior Executive Management Team Leadership Workshops

Professional development training for youth and young adults to help them organize their people, places and things as they complete their STEAM Investigative Process.

Our Signature Training Models

The Community Involvement Growth Strategy (CIGS) Model™

The Community Involvement Growth Strategy (CIGS) Model™ is an organizational development and communications system created by Dana Jewel Harris that helps learners, business owners and  community stakeholders design capacity-building projects for purpose-built communities.

This easy-to-replicate project management system uses an internal organizational development structure to build leadership, people management, and event coordination skills. Through CIGS, learners are able to form a project management team, develop impact solutions, map out immediate and constant income streams, conduct real time exploration of high-wage service trades, protect their creative properties, create new business and career-building opportunities, and track their achievements. This combination of deliverables help learners have fun demonstrating to business and industry how they use their soft skills to solve real-world problems.

Leadership Training & Development

The CIGS Model governs the development and operational structure of Junior Executive Management Teams that operate Pop Shops and teaches them how to:

  • defined the roles of six team management positions;
  • organize growth development sessions with mentors;
  • set financial goals,
  • collect dues and membership fees;
  • document, plan and execute special events, projects and promotions;
  • update their organizational profiles, contribution values and leaderboard status;
  • pitch and present the results of current, past and future impact solutions through networking opportunities.

Business Development

The CIGS Model teaches people how to project and manage growth by placing focus on the expansion of Community On Demand™ game play policies & procedures.  Players learn how to develop and implement effective people management strategies for their JEM Teams and community networks by ensuring they have the right people, in the right places with the right skills, at the right time.

Special Events Management

Special Event management has always been the best way for NEXT Steps to teach learners how to apply soft skills and collaboration.  The CIGS Model teaches JEM Team how to create, manage and promote special events (i.e,. business forums, health fairs, trade shows, expositions, music, business and esports competitions, workshops and concerts, etc.) as well as showcase the products, services and innovative ideas of our members, vendors, sponsors investors, and volunteers.

The Agricultural Technologies With Open Outdoor Designs (ATWOOD) Model™

The Atwood Model™ is a land trust initiative for a hybrid L3C venture between The NEXT Steps Small Business Incubator & Youth Entrepreneur Program.  It consists of independent, small, sustainable and social-justice oriented entrepreneurs that own and secure access to land, facilities, and infrastructure. It serves as the foundation for Program Related Investment in the Holistic Food System of the Community On Demand™ Creative Ecomomy.

How It Started

ATWOOD is based on the the new business development process growers take to produce products and services each growing season.   That process made the farm the perfect learning environment for using the ATWOOD Model™ as a youth-driven business strategy.

In 2009, Dana Jewel Harris acquired a 4.5 acre abandoned urban farm on Atwood Street (Atlanta, GA) with the idea of converting it into an outdoor classroom.  She used her CIGS Model™ as a template to create The Agricultural Technologies With Open Outdoor Designs (ATWOOD) Model™ so she could equip children with the skills and language they needed to:

  • survive a natural disaster
  • increase their knowledge about where food comes from and how it is
  • understand the science behind food production and the impact of food
    consumption, and
  • explore the many wonderful and exciting career opportunities that exist
    within the farm to table cycle.

 Ms. Harris went on to create the Herb & Farm Summer Internships, SWOOM Farmer’s Market, The Community, Science & Innovation (CSI) Unit: Science Behind Our Food Young Chef Cooking Series, Community Connections Volunteer Program (with Hands On Atlanta) and the Junior Executive Management (JEM) Team Training Program. Through them, she was able to introduce over 300 careers within the agriculture, food and natural resources industry to more than 1,500+ students, volunteers, educators, community leaders and guests each year.

“My programs taught youth how to form project management teams, serve in leadership positions to manage the 14 activity areas of the ATWOOD urban farm, and manage our farmer’s markets.” 

Her Atwood community garden models also inspired youth to replicate her efforts as some designed and installed their own backyard/school
gardens and outdoor classrooms.  Others were able to use their experiences to enter into college or get jobs.

The STEAM Investigative Process™

Inspired by the “Captain America: Civil War” Avengers movie, Ms. Harris created The STEAM Investigative Process as a 21st Century STEAM-based community engagement learning tool to highlight socio-economic conditions and problem areas within communities.  She wanted to demonstrate how learners, business owners and community stakeholders could develop land use strategies that increased accountability in managing the costs and resources required to sustain and/or rebuild their communities from collateral damage, supernatural phenomena or negative socio-economic conditions (i.e. flooding, economic downturn, disruption of social services, blight/neglect, poverty, high crime, vandalism, food insecurities, natural resource contamination, etc.) 

The STEAM Investigative Process provides supplemental instruction in math, science, engineering, and technology through creative measures that employ active engagement in experimental research, community service projects, urban agriculture and youth entrepreneurism.  With a focus on social entrepreneurism, eco- and agritourism, learners, business owners and community stakeholders are taught how to use The STEAM Investigative Process to:

  • Conduct STEAM-based investigative research and development activities to specifically identify measurable project goals, outcomes and outputs
  • utilize the Community Involvement Growth Strategy (CIGS) Organizational Model to bring learners, business owners and community stakeholders together for the purpose of collaboratively identifying and reducing environmental health risks (i.e. promoting clean air, global climate change, clean and safe water, land preservation and restoration, healthy communities and ecosystems, compliance and environmental stewardship, etc.)
  • Coordinate special events, training sessions, educational workshops and demonstrations to describe the environmental problems and the nature of pollution that may be creating health and/or environmental impacts related to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns
  • Engage in community service activities that support urban agriculture, environmental and other STEAM-based industries 
  • Create work plans to directly address the community’s needs
  • Create new inventions and technologies through the introduction of STEAM careers
  • Adopt sustainable practices for community development to improve their and their family’s quality of life;
  • Develop and launch new business ventures to demonstrate how to use green industry ideas and technologies to address, reduce and/or eliminate socio-economic conditions that are negatively impacting their communit

Current Trends In
Serious Game Play

The growth rate for serious games in the higher education and tertiary segment is a healthy 15.4%.

Do Better. Think BIGGER!