The Chicago-based Coleman Foundation has awarded Lawrence Technological University a two-year, $150,000 grant to increase student participation in entrepreneurial education that is already occurring on campus.
The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grant-making organization that funds educational institutions that offer entrepreneurship training and support. This is the largest grant it has awarded to LTU.
LTU’s College of Engineering has an entrepreneurial education program for engineering students supported by a grant from the Kern Family Foundation. LTU is an active member of the Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network (KEEN).
The Coleman grant will make LTU’s entrepreneurial education program available to students pursuing degrees through LTU’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Architecture and Design, and Management.
“We want more students to be aware of the resources that exist on campus to help them advance an idea for a business,” said Senior Lecturer Karen Evans, who is co-director of the existing Coleman Fellows program. “We want students to get help going to the next step with a business idea they developed in class.”
The Coleman Foundation grant will increase the reach of LTU’s Entrepreneurial Collaboratory, a resource for entrepreneurs established in 2012 in the College of Engineering with the support of the Kern Family Foundation. Business consultant and LTU alumnus Tex Criqui leads a team from Tech Highway that counsels students on how to take a product from conception to market.
“We want to see increasing numbers of students realizing the possibility of self-employment through business ownership in their discipline, now or in the future,” Evans said. “This type of education also equips students to work in any business in their field. They’ll have greater appreciation of how their skill set can advance business goals when working for a large company.”
The grant will also be used to increase student participation in the college courses that have been developed by Coleman Faculty Fellows. This is the fourth year that three LTU faculty members have been named Coleman Fellows charged with creating learning opportunities in non-business disciplines that will fulfill the foundation’s mission to foster self-employment education and awareness.
The new grant will lay the groundwork for a Coleman curriculum based on the courses developed by the Coleman Fellows.
The grant also includes coordination of the Lawrence Tech programs with Coleman Fellows at other universities and the development of an assessment mechanism to gauge student learning.
“We want to share strategic best practices and assessment tools and develop heightened communications and collaboration using social media,” Evans said. “We are confident that greater visibility for these programs will lead to additional support from other funding sources in the future.”
For more information on the Coleman Foundation fellowship grant program at Lawrence Tech, contact Howard Davis, director of corporate and foundation relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (248) 204-2316
“This grant from the Coleman Foundation will increase the impact of entrepreneurial education at Lawrence Tech and give our existing programs much greater visibility. We anticipate that more support will be forthcoming as a result,” Davis said.