To prepare students to think in entrepreneurial ways,
we need to become entrepreneurial thinkers ourselves.
by Janet Bland, Marietta College
Today’s rapid pace of change and growing demand for entrepreneurial thinking can be both inspiring and frustrating to those of us in higher education; after all, we value the measured path to tenure, wear regalia designed in the Middle Ages, and we work happily within a centuries-old tradition of intellectual inquiry and accomplishment. We can be slow to innovate, yet we must prepare students for a twenty-first century in which they will need to innovate—a world in which creative problem solving, rapid experimentation, and an entrepreneurial outlook will be increasingly important in both the world of work and the advancement of knowledge. And to prepare students to think in entrepreneurial ways, we need to become entrepreneurial thinkers ourselves.
The Challenge We Faced
When we set out to update the undergraduate curriculum at Marietta College, we wanted to continue to distinguish ourselves in the highly competitive Ohio higher education recruiting environment, but we knew that we needed to move faster than the usual snail's pace of curricular reform. We didn’t have ten years to spend bringing in new programs that our students need today.
And we decided that if we wanted different outcomes—if we wanted transformational rather than incremental change to our students’ educational experience—we needed to embrace different approaches to curricular design than we have in the past. We also wanted to challenge ourselves to develop new programming separately from our own preconceived ideas about what we were teaching and what had worked before.
The Approach We Took
We embedded entrepreneurial thinking throughout our curriculum by:
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