Hiram College Couples Entrepreneurship Program with Liberal Arts

Since 2006, Hiram College in Northeast Ohio has been offering an integrative college entrepreneurship program which has helped many students to find success. That program is housed in the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship.

Hiram’s got sauce! At least it appears that way, as a great deal of the student success stories involve sauce: Italian cooking sauce, Ghanaian hot sauce, and applesauce. Of course, the point is not so much the products students have been able to produce and market, but that they were able to take their business ideas and implement them successfully. That is what Hiram’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship is all about.

Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship

On the center’s About Us page, the vision for the program is to help students “to explore and develop their ideas beyond the classroom and see themselves as entrepreneurs.” Headed by faculty members Kay F. Molkentin and David J. Kukurza, the program focuses on exploring personal passion and then developing skills and knowledge to convert that passion into valuable and profitable services and products for the community.

The Program

How does it accomplish this? By partnering with numerous business incubators such as the Shaker Launch House in Cleveland, Hiram’s Integrated Entrepreneurship program allows students to immerse themselves in applying what they learn to very real business ventures. This immersion process yields very real results as well, since a number of students earn money through their business ventures as they study.

The program structure consists of three classes: two run over the course of the normal semester, while the third one is a three-week immersion course at the Shaker Launch House where students implement the knowledge they gain. A number of other classes exist that integrate entrepreneurship into a variety of other disciplines.

Hiram: A Liberal Arts College

As a college, Hiram places a great deal of emphasis on a liberal arts education. The purpose for this is to help round out students’ skills and abilities to prepare them for life as a whole, not just the workplace. Of course, they point out that a liberal arts education can foster skills that are highly sought out by employers, such as listening, analytical, and leadership skills.

The college’s philosophy seems to have paid off for a number of students, and their entrepreneurship minor is the second most popular minor on campus. Also, since over 80% of the faculty holds a PhD or other terminal degree in their field, there is plenty of expertise for students to draw from. For students with business ideas, it certainly has a great deal to offer.