National Institute on Cooperative Education
The National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE) is an exciting educational opportunity where student work in teams to gain knowledge on cooperative business principles, develop valuable leadership skills, get to know their peers from across the U.S. and have a lot of fun. It is the largest youth conference in the country that is dedicated to educating its attendees about the cooperative form of business.
In the student-run cooperative component of the conference, each team forms its own cooperative, electing a general manager and buying items at wholesale from the cooperative distribution warehouse to resell to its members or market to nonmembers (participant from other teams and/or leaders and chaperones). Attendees also participate in a case study competition where each team summarizes two cooperative cases, stating the problems, developing alternatives to solve them, choosing a course of action and laying out an implementation plan for that action. In the business simulation activity, students act as if they are the management team for their co-op, competing for market share and net worth by making decisions about pricing, inventory, personnel, advertising and borrowing. And each state also nominates one male and one female candidate to be selected Outstanding Youth Scholars based on written applications focusing on exhibited leadership skills and cooperative knowledge and interviews before a panel of judges.
The Kentucky Council of Cooperatives provides over $15,000 in financial support of our students and adult leaders who attend the NICE Conference. They also provide scholarships to the two youth scholars selected by Kentucky to participate in the NICE Outstanding Youth Scholar competition.