June 14, 2017

Purdue entrepreneurship program receives national award for its engagement, innovation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University entrepreneurship program received a national award for its engagement and innovation.

Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, administered by the provost’s office, was selected Tuesday (June 13) as recipient of the Excellence in Curriculum Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award at the Deshpande Symposium Awards.

“Under the leadership of Nathalie Duval-Couetil, Purdue has established itself as a national leader for our work in entrepreneurship with students,” said Frank Dooley, Purdue vice provost for teaching and learning.

Purdue’s program teaches students in all academic majors — through courses and experiential programs — how to turn innovative ideas into technologies, products and services that create value in society. The program started in summer 2005 with one introductory class of 40 students. Today, the program enrolls approximately 1,800 students from a wide variety of majors and colleges enrolled in Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation classes each year.

“It is great to be recognized for being one of the largest cross-campus entrepreneurship programs in the country,” Duval-Couetil said. “Cross-campus entrepreneurship program models are quite popular right now, but Purdue’s program was truly at the leading edge of this movement. There are no rankings for multidisciplinary entrepreneurship education program models, and since we are a lean team we haven’t had the luxury of promoting ourselves as much as we probably should. So, this award is a great way to be recognized.”

The program is located in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

“From the launch, we partnered with colleges and departments to develop and offer a curriculum that made sense across disciplines, thereby, increasing accessibility,” Duval-Couetil said.

Entrepreneurship fundamental courses are taught with a hands-on, project-based approach. Capstone courses meet a wide range of student interests, focusing on venture development, preparing for an entrepreneurial career and consulting on a business development project with an organization in the community.

The program offered one of first learning communities on campus, which continues today; offered a local global entrepreneurship study abroad program in China for nine years; with support of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, developed high-impact professional development opportunities through the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Burton D. Morgan Fellows Program; and created a women and leadership course that is still offered.

“When I go to conferences, I realize that we have really tried it all and are ahead of many schools in terms of programming and evaluating what provides value to the students and the institution,” Duval-Couetil said. “We have thought critically about the content of our courses, learning objectives and students’ career choices, while keeping in mind that we do not have unlimited resources and must provide the highest value to a very diverse group of students. I believe this has played an important role in our success.”

The symposium received a record 33 nominations for five awards. The awards were presented during a reception on Tuesday night as part of the Deshpande Symposium in Lowell, Massachusetts, and administered by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. 

Media contact: Brian Peloza, 765-496-9711, bpeloza@purdue.edu  

Sources: Frank Dooley, dooleyf@purdue.edu 

Nathalie Duval-Couetil, natduval@purdue.edu 

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