Tech Transfer eNews Blog

At Drexel U, students enjoy the country’s first stand-alone entrepreneurship school

By David Schwartz
Published: February 4th, 2015

With centers and programs for entrepreneurship steadily popping up on college campuses across the U.S., it’s worth noting that Drexel University was ahead of the game when it launched the country’s first stand-alone school of entrepreneurship in 2013.

The Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship made Drexel the first university in the U.S. to offer degrees in entrepreneurship. More specifically, students can earn a B.A. in entrepreneurship and innovation, with a minor in social entrepreneurship, energy innovations or health innovations.

“When people say entrepreneurship can’t be taught, we say it can,” says Joseph Master, the school’s director of communications. “And we’re doing it already.”

According to Chuck Sacco, entrepreneur in residence and director of external relations, there are three main components of the program: the Close school itself; its start-up incubator the Baiada Institute; and the university’s tech transfer arm Drexel Ventures.

There is a reason the Close school stands by itself and not with Drexel’s business school: while the business school is designed to teach the process of entrepreneurship, the Close school makes a distinction between the entrepreneur as a person and entrepreneurship as a process. “We couple teaching the process of entrepreneurship with the individual, the entrepreneur,” says Sacco.

The Close school curriculum addresses both practical and overarching issues related to launching a start-up, with course titles such as “Ready, set fail,” “Building entrepreneurial teams,” and “Women and minority entrepreneurship.”

“‘Launch it!’ was my favorite class,” says Christopher Gray, Close student and co-founder of the scholarship matchmaking app Scholly. “It serves as almost this mini accelerator where you come in with your idea, receive $2,000 to get things started, and over the course of 10 weeks see whether your idea is viable. It’s a great example of experiential learning.”

Students all across campus are encouraged to apply to the Close school, not just those who are already involved in entrepreneurship. “We have a great relationship with the business school, but engineers have great ideas too — so do artists, so do writers, so do scientists” says Master. “We teach entrepreneurship as a habit of mind, an attitude, an approach to not just your career and your academics, but to your life, to your passions.” Master says the school will introduce a Masters of Science degree in entrepreneurship by 2016.

Source: Tech Republic

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