Going into my first semester as a graduate student, I had the privilege of instructing a college-level entrepreneurship course to high school students who would receive college credit and a one of a kind experience in learning how to utilize entrepreneurship and design thinking to put their ideas into action.
In the fall, I co-instructed the course to students participating in TeenSHARP, a nonprofit with a mission to bridge the educational opportunity gap by getting students of color into top colleges around the country.
Check out our course syllabus here: ENTR156 Ideas to Action Fall Syllabus (2017)
Each Saturday (you read that right), these students would participate in a full day of lectures and mentoring sessions and our class was their final course of the day. To literally “get them out of the building”, we would take field trips to hold class in the Venture Development Center on campus, an environment much more conducive to creative thinking.
This was a course that was nothing like anything they had taken before and I truly believe it opened up a world of possibilities for them; just check out some of their course feedback below:
“In the course the most beneficial part of the lessons was knowing how to ideate. I felt as if the lessons really showed me the importance ideation. Now I use ideation outside of Horn more often, I teach it to my friends, Use it in class projects, and enforce it during class assignments.”
“The most beneficial thing that I learned through the Horn program was the fact that
being an entrepreneur does not necessarily mean you have to make money. It is more
about solving problems that people have, while profiting from it is more of a bonus.”
“Ideas to action has been a wonderful and fun experience for me. I have learned about
the problem solving skills that I need in order to create good solutions to them. One of those skills is identifying the exact root cause of the problem I’m analyzing. One day I do hope to actually create a stable business that is very similar to the one I practiced with throughout the “Ideas to Action” course. I’ve learned about how to properly pitch my ideas to other people and to get their completely honest opinions.”
“The part of the program that was most beneficial to me was learning about the business concept because I think that that was is important in business development and making a startup. I think learning about the process of being an entrepreneur is important in life because it encourages people to experiment with different things and pay more attention to the world and people around them.”
It’s amazing to see that some of the students are even using their projects to participate in the Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs, a global entrepreneurship competition.
This February, I’ll be leading the instruction of the course again, this time teaching to students coming from Design Lab High School, and will be incorporating lessons from another course called ‘Social Entrepreneurship.’
Check back here for updates!