The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers presented UNCG with the 2016 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award this October. The award recognizes the Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program for its experiential learning component, focus on community engagement, and collaboration with the Integrative Community Studies/Beyond Academics Program (ICS) Program for intellectually and/or developmentally disabled adults.
The Campus Entrepreneurs class is just one of over 46 courses offered as part of UNCG’s Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program. The program is housed in the Bryan School and directed by Dr. Dianne Welsh, and provides students in a variety of majors the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills.
“What sets this program apart is that it combines all students from across the university in an entrepreneurial learning environment and teaches students first-hand to respect, honor, and accept differences in individual learning styles and the contributions that each of us has the ability to make,” said Welsh.
Students in the Campus Entrepreneurs and Feasibility Analysis classes this semester will complete consulting projects with ArkBarks, a local organization that teaches developmentally disabled adults job skills while employing them as bakers to manufacture dog treats. Teams will help the organization develop an improved inventory system, conduct a product feasibility analysis, and develop marketing and social media plan.
The collaborative program benefits all students, as those involved gain experience working with a diverse work team. Additionally, it allows students in the Beyond Academics Program to explore entrepreneurial skills in the hopes of opening doors for both solo pursuits or family businesses and internships.
“Like their peers in other programs of study, ICS students are taking advantage of their time in college to discover interests and strengths that lead to meaningful career paths, of which entrepreneurship is an important one,” said Lalenja Harrington, Program Director for the Beyond Academics Program. “The Campus Entrepreneurs class provides students with the opportunity to learn about business development experientially and for learning to be assessed in a variety of universally designed ways, which is ultimately beneficial for all students. We have great appreciation for that pedagogical commitment and are excited that the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship finds value in that as well!”