For years, lectures and programs on entrepreneurship in American campuses were confined to its business schools—but times have changed and entrepreneurship education is fully in the mainstream. A couple of recent white papers from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation demonstrate how these programs now reach students in disciplines across the curriculum, teaching them how to become innovative problem solvers, whether or not they ever start a business.
The first paper “Entrepreneurship Education Comes of Age on Campus” is a qualitative report on a gathering of educators from 16 institutions with notable entrepreneurship education programs – including some who participated in the Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which encouraged interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education programs – to discuss common practices and challenges.
“We’ve learned that students across a range of disciplines can benefit from entrepreneurial course offerings,” said Wendy Torrance, director of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “Entrepreneurship education teaches students how to identify and solve problems, and it provides the knowledge and skills needed to create new ventures.”
So what can a school do to create a campus culture that fosters effective entrepreneurship education?
The second white paper, “Entrepreneurial Campuses: Action, Impact, and Lessons Learned from the Kauffman Campus Initiative,” assesses the activity and lessons shared by the educators and leaders on Kauffman Campuses and other entrepreneurial schools around the country. The now-concluded program brought entrepreneurship courses and co-curricular activities to students of all academic disciplines—not just those in business school—to help them apply entrepreneurial problem-solving skills, innovative thinking and value creation to their particular fields.
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