Entrepreneurship Is a General Education Course! The Why, How and Transferability of the Concept

Robert S. D'Intino, Linda W. Ross, Kimble A. Byrd, K. Mark Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We describe the development and implementation of an innovative university undergraduate course entitled Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E&I). Our purpose is to explain and justify how the new E&I course adds a fresh dimension to undergraduate general education by emphasizing student integrative learning of opportunity recognition and creativity knowledge and skills within a classroom of students from many academic disciplines and majors. We describe the lengthy and ultimately successful university approval process that we traversed to create the first entrepreneurship course in the United States to be granted university general education (usually consisting of liberal azts and sciences courses) degree graduation requirement status. The E&I course was included as an approved general education social and behavioral science course in 2004. We view the designation of an introductory entrepreneurship course as a general education course as a significant milestone for college and university entrepreneurship education. The core general education curricula of most U.S. colleges and universities have been limited to conventional liberal arts courses and thus exclude professional school courses. We propose that the core concepts of entrepreneurial thinking are consistent with the purpose of university general education and therefore belong in the core undergraduate curriculum model. Our proposals in this azticle are supported by recent studies undertaken by the American Association of University Professors, the Association of American Colleges and Universities and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. These studies address significant gaps in U.S. undergraduate general education and liberal arts core curriculum. Traditional general education courses typically are designed as introductory courses for liberal arts and sciences majors and as such are understandably less likely to assimilate ideas across disciplines and integrate multidisciplinary learning. Our E&I course, by contrast, is inherently multidisciplinary and designed to present and integrate ideas and concepts from divergent academic disciplines and sources as its subject focus. The E&I course adds new capacity to university general education by emphasizing opportunity recognition, creativity knowledge and skills, and integrative learning and thus fills an educational gap defined by educational leaders who seek to reinvigorate general and liberal education and thereby prepare university students for leadership in the 215' Century. We conclude the article with recommendations suggesting faculty at other colleges and universities can utilize our concepts and experience to create their own variation of an E&I course to improve their undergraduate curriculum initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-682
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Issue numbersup1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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