Entrepreneurship courses available to campuses through Digital Learning Co-op

05/17/17

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Three core courses required for students enrolled in the Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) are now available to all Penn State campuses through the Digital Learning Cooperative, an administrative system that assists campuses and colleges in the sharing of online, hybrid and video courses.

Through the use of the cooperative, any campus can now expect regular access to the 9 credits that form the core of the ENTI minor curriculum: MGMT 215: The Entrepreneurial Mindset; ENGR 310: Entrepreneurship Leadership; and MGMT 425: New Venture Creation.

No transfer of funds from campuses will be required for access to these courses, as the regular credit-hour fees for the Digital Learning Cooperative have been waived.

Anne Hoag, ENTI minor director and associate professor of communications, applauded the collective work across units in support of the initiative. “This was a complex and collaborative effort, with the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, Office of Undergraduate Education, Smeal College of Business, and World Campus stepping up to defray expenses and donate services and expertise,” said Hoag. “The result is removal of a major barrier to entrepreneurship education at smaller campuses."

In fall 2017, faculty from Penn State Abington, Berks and University Park will teach the three ENTI core courses online.

Dan Goldberg, a lecturer in business at Penn State Abington and successful business owner, will teach ENGR 310, and knows first-hand the impact this type of education can have. “Our country, which was founded in the Commonwealth, is based on entrepreneurship and innovation. Small business is the backbone of America. Since almost all businesses started off as a small business, it's important for our students to know how to create and build successful enterprises that help Pennsylvania, and the rest of our country, to grow and prosper.”

According to Goldberg, the ENTI minor has been quite successful at Abington, as the campus ranks second in ENTI enrollment next to University Park. One of the students it counts among its successes is Dylan Weisman, a 2016 graduate in business management and marketing with a minor in the ENTI New Ventures cluster.

“The ENTI minor had a profound effect on me,” said Weisman, currently an MBA student at Penn State Great Valley. “You learn a lot of macro concepts in business and marketing classes, and ENTI allowed me to take all those concepts and apply them to a small business.”

Weisman, who described himself as a serial-entrepreneur, is using his entrepreneurial skills to run an event and entertainment business, Flare Event Group, that he founded in 2011. He credits his ENTI professors for making the minor’s classes stand-out amongst others. “The professors are all business owners and have real-world experience to back their knowledge. That makes a huge difference.”

For Weisman, completing the minor paid immediate dividends, and he hopes to use what he’s learned by giving back to the entrepreneurship community at Abington. “The whole reason I’m getting my MBA is so I can come back to Abington to be an adjunct professor in the ENTI minor,” said Weisman.

Sadan Kulturel-Konak, professor of management information systems at Penn State Berks who will teach MGMT 425 online, is excited for the expansion of what she called “a transformative process that teaches creative problem-solving” and “encourages students to use their skills, abilities, and knowledge in their fields of study to make a positive change.” 

Kulturel-Konak believes access to entrepreneurship education is especially important for the campuses that currently do not offer the ENTI minor. “This access will also help to achieve the successful outcomes through the Invent Penn State initiative, the University’s economic development effort. In addition, training our graduates in entrepreneurship will unleash their creativity and generate the human capital to promote economic growth across Pennsylvania," she said.

Brad Leve, associate director of the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship at University Park, will teach MGMT 215 and is excited to share his love of entrepreneurship education with the campuses through online courses. “We look forward to having such a broad reach, and, thus, a major impact, in the state of Pennsylvania. The online format opens the door to bring together a diverse set of students, opening up the opportunity for them to learn from each other,” he said.

Beginning in 2013 with 13 students enrolled throughout the Abington, Berks and University Park campuses, the minor currently enrolls 378 students. The ENTI minor continues to grow, and is launching this fall at Penn State Beaver and at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

In addition to the minor’s three core courses, students take an additional 9 to 10 credits in a specific area of concentration, called a cluster. Current clusters include food and bio-innovation (College of Agricultural Sciences), new media (College of Communications), new ventures (Smeal College of Business), social entrepreneurship (College of Engineering), technology (College of Engineering), digital innovation (College of Information Sciences and Technology), hospitality management (College of Health and Human Development), and the arts (College of Arts and Architecture). More clusters are expected to be added in the future.

“Undergraduate Education is proud to be a part of this collaboration that will build upon President Barron’s Invent Penn State initiative and continue the development of an entrepreneurial culture across our campuses,” said Rob Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education. “The availability of these courses through the Digital Learning Cooperative is an important step in ensuring all of our students have access to this important field of education. We look forward to continuing the growth of the ENTI minor and seeing the successes of its students.” 

Faculty and administrators interested in reserving course seats in MGMT 215, ENGR 310, and MGMT 425 through the cooperative or launching the ENTI minor at their campus should contact Hoag at ENTI@psu.edu or 814-865-7084 for more information.

The Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at undergrad.psu.edu.

 

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“We look forward to having such a broad reach, and, thus, a major impact, in the state of Pennsylvania. The online format opens the door to bring together a diverse set of students, opening up the opportunity for them to learn from each other.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Anne Hoag
ENTI minor director and associate professor of communications
enti@psu.edu

 
 

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