Educators Become Students, So Students Can Become Entrepreneurs

At Lycoming College, one of the 50 oldest colleges in the United States, Marshall Welch was tasked with developing a new entrepreneurship program from the ground up.

A former corporate turnaround specialist who previously worked with financially distressed companies and was new to teaching entrepreneurship, Welch was building the foundation of Lycoming’s entrepreneurship curriculum when he attended last year’s session of the Babson Fellows Program for Entrepreneurship Educators.

“There’s so much information in the digital age, I really wanted to find out best practices,” he said.

Just months after completing the weeklong program, and days after leading Lycoming’s entrepreneurship minor through its first full academic year, Welch considers the early results of the program a success and traced the progress back to the education he received at Babson.

“The resources provided by the Babson faculty and fellow participants have really made a difference,” Welch said, referencing the College’s network, as well as experiential learning and cocurricular concepts.

Applications for this year’s Babson Fellows Program are due August 5. Faculty from around the world interested in or currently teaching entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply.
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In the five-day program, which is part of the Babson Academy for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurial Learning, fellows are paired with a faculty member to develop a deeper understanding of the College’s entrepreneurship curriculum. The experience also includes touring Boston’s innovation district, discussing research or teaching interests in individual meetings with Babson professors, and attending on-campus entrepreneurship events.

During the session, Welch was able to learn about Babson’s Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® approach and identify essential entrepreneurship courses to include in the Lycoming curriculum.

After just one year, Welch’s program is considered one of the top minors on campus. Lycoming is also in the process of opening an innovation lab for cocurricular activities.

“Learning from those that have been doing it for so long . . . it was a great experience, a real turnkey approach to the program,” he said. 

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