Next year, the Augustana business administration department will begin marketing to students across academic disciplines. Department faculty recently announced the addition of a new entrepreneurship minor, to be first offered this Fall.
According to professor Shelly Gardner, the minor was conceived specifically for non-business majors with aspirations to eventually start an enterprise in their own field of study.
“We continuously try to improve our curriculum at Augustana, and we have noticed more students from other majors taking business courses,” Gardner said. “It seems that many of our students want to be entrepreneurs in their field, so we crafted a minor to help them be successful in that endeavor.”
Such endeavors could include everything from an art major who wants to open their own studio to a philosophy student with designs on a coffee shop. Gardner added that the minor is tailored to students who may “want to be their own boss.”
“They can be artists, physicians, scientists, musicians, photographers, counselors, historians–the list is endless,” Gardner said.
Business department chair Marcia Entwistle believes that the entrepreneurship minor will especially benefit students studying the sciences, giving them a greater career versatility.
“Many students start in one scientific field and end up moving to a private lab or simply want to start their lab, which would require entrepreneurial skills,” Entwistle said.
The business administration department currently offers an entrepreneurship emphasis for majors who anticipate having careers as small-business owners or non-profit organization administrators.
Credit requirements for both the entrepreneurship emphasis and the minor are similar. However, for non-business students pursuing the minor, the department has designed a new accounting course to introduce the basics of reading financial statements.
Another new introductory course, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” may also provide a brief initiation to entrepreneurship for business majors who are not pursuing it as an emphasis.
“The business degree really doesn’t elaborate on entrepreneurship, so overall I think it’s great addition,” junior business administration and communications major Emma Konold said.
According to Gardner, the new courses could help students “explore their dream” and work out its basic logistics.
At present, no students are officially slated to pursue the entrepreneurship minor. But, business faculty expect it to grow in popularity as word travels.
“We expect to see a lot of interest,” Entwistle said.
Junior philosophy major Olivia Hopewell wonders how the minor will affect those students accustomed to somwhat different learning styles.
“Perhaps in the Humanities we lack rigidity, and it would be good to experience that,” Hopewell said. “I don’t know, though. I’d have to take a business class and see what I would learn.”
Ultimately, Entwistle hopes the congregation of students from across campus will be positive for all involved.
“We’re very excited and anxious to welcome non-business students to our business classes,” Entwistle said. “I think the experience will be enriching for everybody.”