MCLA Adds New Minor in Entrepreneurship

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NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts recently approved a new minor in entrepreneurship within the Department of Business Administration and Economics. Although many of the classes required for this new minor already are offered at the college, new courses will be added when the program is officially offered in January 2018.

According to Dr. Thomas Whalen, associate professor of business, the entrepreneurship minor may be added to most – if not all – of the majors MCLA offers.

"I cannot think of a single major that cannot be brought into some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor," Whalen said. "For example, someone in education might develop a tutoring center. A chemist, biologist or a physicist might start up a testing lab to develop a new product. One area where you see a lot of innovation is in computer science. They are constantly coming up with new apps and new devices.

"Our thought is that every discipline in the liberal arts can be coupled with an entrepreneurship minor to make that degree more effective," he said.
The minor is closely tied to MCLA's design thinking curriculum. Design thinking, a new process for problem-solving that uses methods from traditional science and the humanities, will be part of the new "Principles of Entrepreneurship" course, according to Zachary Feury, project coordinator of the Feigenbaum Leads Initiative at MCLA.

Whalen anticipates that many of those who enroll in the entrepreneurship minor will compete in MCLA’s annual "Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge," which first was held in April, thanks to a gift to support entrepreneurship education from Jack and Susy Wadsworth. At this inaugural competition, students competed for a $10,000 prize, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities to assist them in pushing their idea closer to realization.

Courses for this new minor include "Introduction to Leadership," "Principles of Entrepreneurship," "Marketing," "Accounting for Entrepreneurs," "Small Business Entrepreneurship" and a "Entrepreneurial Studies Seminar" capstone course.

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