UNC Pembroke is ramping up its academic programs in entrepreneurship to train the next generation of business leaders.
Two new programs in the School of Business were approved in February by the UNCP’s Faculty Senate and will be available to students next fall. Faculty are now working to develop a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
The programs are being originated at the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship (TFCE), a recent addition to the University supported by Pembroke native and Los Angeles real estate developer Jim Thomas. Dr. Mike Menefee, the Thomas Family Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, is spearheading the effort.
“I expect these programs to be very popular,” Dr. Menefee said from his office at the COMtech business incubator. “We’re doing to do this right and make sure these programs are of the highest quality before we take the next step.”
School of Business Dean Eric Dent said “Entrepreneurship courses and programs are the fastest growing segment of higher education. Many students, including liberal arts majors, realize that understanding the business dynamics of entrepreneurial efforts is important to their futures.”
The certificate program, which is available to all students in good standing regardless of their major, is an add-on to a student’s diploma. UNCP graduates are also eligible. To earn a certificate in entrepreneurship a student must satisfactorily complete five courses, two in his or her major and three entrepreneurship courses offered by the School of Business.
“This program is designed for second and third year students and will typically be completed in 3 – 5 semesters,” Dr. Menefee said. “Anybody who is thinking about starting or running a business or taking over a family business should take this program.”
Dr. Menefee speaks from experience. A similar certificate program he launched at Purdue University went from an enrollment of 47 to more than 1,000 in two years.
“It’s been very successful at several other schools,” he said. “There is a business and entrepreneurial side to every academic discipline from biotechnology to religion.
Requirements for completion of the certificate include two courses in entrepreneurship that focus on innovation and sustainability strategies and a capstone course where students write a business plan.
Eighteen credit hours are requited to complete the minor which is open to all majors. It expands small business training into finance, marketing and law,” Dr. Menefee said.
“This program is designed to help our students start-up and manage a small business,” he said. “Both of these programs provide valuable training for business majors who are focused on degrees in other disciplines.”
An Entrepreneurship Committee was formed in the School of Business that includes Dr. Menefee, Assistant Dean Cammie Oxendine, Dr. Joe Lakatos, Dr. Lydia Gan and TFEC Director Dr. Carmen Calabrese.
“This is an important milestone for the Thomas Center’s two-pronged mission to stimulate business enterprise in our region,” Dr. Calabrese said. “This puts our initiatives into the academic side of the University on solid footing.”
Questions about the program may be referred to Cammie Oxendine at 910.521.6466 or at email@example.com.