English Majors Can Do More Than Teach. U-M Liberal Arts Students Push For Entrepreneurial Classes

4/1/11

Rebecca Weisz was looking forward to studying entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.

A freshman in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), she was hoping to apply what she learned from her communication studies to running the custom-made accessories business she launched earlier in the school year.

To her dismay, Weisz learned U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship is housed in the College of Engineering.

Today, Weisz is one of hundreds of students in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) who have joined 1,000 Voices, a campaign to lobby the university for more entrepreneurial classes.

The student organization MPowered Entrepreneurship has so far collected more than 300 signatures on its online petition.

“I bet there are a lot of students like me who feel that the business school, as great as it is, is a lot of numbers and not a lot of creativity,” Weisz says. “I’d much rather get a communications degree and if LSA had classes in entrepreneurship it would be a good way to be both creative and business minded.”

MPowered president Ankit Mehta hopes officials will open classes in the business or engineering schools to LSA students and to establish a center in LSA similar to the Center for Entrepreneurship. 1,000 Voices, though, wants students of all majors to think like an entrepreneur, even if they’re not planning on starting a business, he says.

“The main thing that we’re trying to push for is this entrepreneurial mindset, which is doing what you’re passionate about and applying what you’ve learned in school to your life and making a positive impact, says Mehta, a LSA student himself. “It’s about being proactive.”

Although entrepreneurial classes are usually found in business schools, colleges across the country are starting to embrace a cross-campus approach to teaching innovation, says Cathy Ashmore, … Next Page »

Jillian Berman is an intern for Xconomy Detroit. Follow @

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