With new coursework and an improved curriculum, the University of Wyoming is relaunching its cross-campus entrepreneurship minor, open to all non-College of Business majors, and its entrepreneurship major for College of Business students starting this fall.
“We see the newly revamped entrepreneurship curriculum as an exciting opportunity to be educating and creating the next generation of future innovative leaders,” says David Sprott, dean of the College of Business. “Our entrepreneurship faculty are passionate, educational professionals with a desire to share their industry insights and skills to help drive the innovation and inspiration within all University of Wyoming students.”
College of Business Rile Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership Patrick Kreiser explains that the new curriculum is very applied in nature, and the students will learn by doing.
“The revamped curriculum is much more entrepreneurship-focused than the previous coursework,” he says. “We put the students first in every decision that we made. We are excited about the opportunities the new coursework will provide for students, and we think the revamped programs will be very popular with students across the entire university.”
Kreiser emphasizes that thinking entrepreneurially benefits all students -- whether they plan to start their own businesses or not.
“Thinking entrepreneurially is a huge benefit, no matter what career you go into,” Kreiser says. “That may be going back to manage the family ranch, bringing innovation and creativity to your work at a corporation, working for a family firm, or opening your own dance or music studio. That’s what makes it relevant to all UW students who are wanting to know more about how to approach their lives and careers entrepreneurially.”
In addition to being application-focused, the new coursework is sequential in nature, building upon previous classes and experiential learning opportunities.
The minor is 15 credits and consists of three required courses (ENTR 2700 “Entrepreneurial Mindset,” 3700 “Innovation, Ideation and Value Proposition,” and 4700 “Business Model Creation and Launch”), plus two electives from a list of approved electives.
The major consists of 21 credits, with five required courses (ENTR 2700, 3700, 4700 and 4750 “Theories of Entrepreneurship,” plus either “Business Ethics” or “Sustainable Business Practices”) along with two upper-level College of Business electives.
The ENTR 2700 and 3700 courses will be offered this fall, with all four new courses offered in the spring of 2020. While each course will have prerequisites after this initial year, to start, only sophomore standing and COM1 are required for ENTR 2700 and 3700 so that current students can complete a major or a minor next year.
There are a number of electives to choose from, and Kreiser expects to work with colleges across campus to add exciting and unique elective options so that their students can take the core entrepreneurship classes for the minor and then tie their elective coursework back to their home colleges.
“This coursework is designed for and intended to benefit all UW students,” Kreiser says.
In addition to this revamped undergraduate major and minor, the team is looking at other potential certificate options and graduate curriculum. The revamped curriculum is part of a host of offerings that will aid entrepreneurial thinking as part of UW’s new Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE).
“The university’s efforts in entrepreneurship have been raised to a new level with the launch of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” UW President Laurie Nichols says. “Its mission is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among UW students, faculty and staff, and across the state, to diversify the economy and drive economic growth.”
The inspiration comes from Wyoming’s wide-open frontiers, which are home to outside thinkers hungry for a challenge. They share a spirit of adventure, restless curiosity and wonder. The world needs more cowboys, and UW’s IIE calls on innovators from throughout the state as it works to instill entrepreneurial thinking to empower the leaders of tomorrow. Adding needed programs and curriculum that draw together all UW colleges, business services and entrepreneurship competitions, the IIE serves as the university’s front door for the state’s entrepreneurs. Follow the IIE at www.uwyo.edu/iie.