Walker School Secures Entrepreneurship Grant

Jul. 18, 2013

ST. LOUIS - Entrepreneurship has long been associated with business schools. Now, thanks to a grant awarded to the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology (Walker School), the rest of Webster University will benefit from an entrepreneurial approach. A select group of Webster University faculty members will have a unique opportunity to develop a teaching and learning model to integrate entrepreneurship into other academic disciplines.

The project is funded by a one-year Coleman Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellowship Program Grant that was awarded to Walker School Professors Barrett Baebler and Joseph Roberts earlier this year. Using the $20,000 grant, the professors will meet with faculty in disciplines such as graphic arts, journalism, interactive media design, film/video production, mobile computer apps, and dance to explore how entrepreneurial values and techniques can be introduced to non-business students.

Using this new program as a template, the goal is to eventually teach entrepreneurship in classes at every Webster University campus location in the United States.

“It's really about empowering students to make the most of their educations,” said Julian Schuster, provost and senior vice president and chief operating officer. “By embedding entrepreneurship into our curriculum, we open doors of opportunity for students not usually exposed to business concepts.”

“Webster believes that educating and producing entrepreneurs requires a long-term outlook and approach that begins in the classroom and ends in the real world,” said Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School. “Our entrepreneurship curriculum focuses on the self-employment aspects of entrepreneurship as it relates to small and micro-businesses, instead of on hi-tech corporations.” 

The grant will be used to support the work of up to six fellows - Webster faculty members who teach courses that closely align with entrepreneurial skills - with $5,000 of the grant being used for professional support funds. The fellows will be selected this summer, and they will begin meeting in the fall to strategize on how to develop projects such as new self-employment courses or learning modules for inclusion into existing courses.

The Coleman Fellowship Program is a nationwide program designed to infuse entrepreneurship across non-business disciplines; the arts, science, technology, and communications.  This is the fifth year that the Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows program has awarded grants, with nearly $500,000 in grants distributed to 19 colleges and universities in the United States.

“We are extremely appreciative to the Coleman Fellowship Program for its generous support,” added Akande.

For more information about the Coleman Foundation, visit http://www.colemanfoundation.org/.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.