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The Enterprise Program At Michigan Technological University: A Professional Development Curriculum In Action

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Lessons from Entrepreneurship Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1284.1 - 10.1284.14



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Paper Authors

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Michael Moore

author page

Mary Raber

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Enterprise Program at Michigan Technological University: A Professional Development Curriculum in Action

Mary Raber, Michael Moore

Michigan Technological University


In 2000, Michigan Tech introduced The Enterprise Program (, an innovative and integrated learning experience that offers all students on campus, but especially engineering majors, an opportunity to learn through the process of starting and operating their own businesses. Students participate in this program by pursuing either a twelve-credit Enterprise Concentration, or a twenty-credit Enterprise Minor.

The Enterprise curriculum requires students complete a series of project courses that represent their roles/assignments as members of their enterprise. In addition, students take a number of professional development courses that were created specifically for the Enterprise Program and cover topics such as Teaming, Communications, Leadership, Project Management, Ethics, Economics, Entrepreneurship and Finance. Each professional development course is equivalent to one-semester credit or 14 contact hours of instruction, hence, these courses are very concentrated in their subject matter, providing students with the most critical information and instruction in order to enable them to employ their new-found knowledge directly in the operation of the enterprise.

The philosophy behind this approach is that students will better master the subject matter through its immediate application in their enterprise project work and that further development and understanding of the material will come through both student interest and enterprise needs. This paper will discuss teaching methodologies, course curricula, and techniques used in the delivery of these professional development courses, as well as assessment and student feedback. Successes and challenges associated with this unique component of the Enterprise Program will also be discussed.

I. Enterprise Program Background

In the fall of 2000, Michigan Tech University introduced a new and innovative undergraduate educational experience that provides students of all disciplines on campus, but especially engineering majors, an opportunity to start and operate their own “virtual” business. Within engineering programs the philosophy behind the Enterprise Program is to provide a flexible curricular structure that leads to a traditional engineering degree while at the same time enabling students to participate in the operation of a real enterprise over multiple years.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Moore, M., & Raber, M. (2005, June), The Enterprise Program At Michigan Technological University: A Professional Development Curriculum In Action Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14514

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