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Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Overview of Arizona State University. 

A new American University is an academic enterprise. What does an academic enterprise do? It actualizes the spirit of creative risk-taking through which knowledge is brought to scale to spur social development and economic competitiveness. To remain on the edge of newness, it perpetually reinvents itself to create value. Within a competitive arena, it is an essential player as it drives ecologies of innovation. An enterprise requires bold and daring actions undertaken by stakeholders who are not satisfied with routine and despise inertia. The willingness to accept things as they are destroys an enterprise and stakeholders with an entrepreneurial spirit are necessary for it to succeed. These characteristics of an academic enterprise are evident at Arizona State University.

Arizona State University

As a comprehensive knowledge-based enterprise, a New American University adds value by producing knowledge capital, including goods and services, and, most importantly, human capital. Through learning and discovery, the faculty, staff, and students at ASU improve their own understanding of the world. Using this knowledge, they also generate and implement solutions to modern-day challenges. Armed with the entrepreneurial mindset cultivated at ASU, students launch their own innovative ventures, such as KVZ Sports, which specializes in custom branded products for snow sports; Vantage Realized, a company that aims to be the leading provider of quality-of-life products for people with disabilities; and Blogic, a site matching Technology Company that an ASU alumnus recently sold to Jobing.com.

The Kauffman Campus Initiative, an effort by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to institute cross-campus entrepreneurship at universities, came at an opportune time for ASU. ASU’s president since 2002, Michael Crow, was pushing the university to be an “enterprise” rather than an “agency,” and included “knowledge entrepreneurship” in the design aspirations for ASU as a new American University.

Because faculty and staff are committed to student learning and success at ASU, they embraced the Kauffman Campuses Initiative. They recognize that students must be entrepreneurial to achieve their goals, have an impact and prosper in today’s economy. The words of Janel White Taylor, an assistant professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College, express the sentiments of many at ASU.

Because faculty and staff are committed to student learning and success at ASU, they embraced the Kauffman Campuses Initiative. They recognize that students must be entrepreneurial to achieve their goals, have an impact and prosper in today’s economy. The words of Janel White Taylor, an assistant professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College, express the sentiments of many at ASU.

The approach of ASU’s faculty and the staff was experimental and unique. It was a process of continuous evolution and included the acceptance of failure. However, ASU is now positioned at the forefront of entrepreneurship education in higher education; and the faculty, students, and staff continue their efforts. As awareness of the achievements of ASU’s faculty, students and staff grow, more visitors come to ASU to learn about entrepreneurship. When they experience the infectious energy and enthusiasm at ASU, they often leave inspired and advocates of the New American University model.

Arizona State University success factors

When the Kauffman Campuses Initiative launched at Arizona State University, each program leader had individual plans for their programs. Each approached the task of embedding entrepreneurship into their school, college or department in a different way. For example, some created centers, such as the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, while others focused on integrating entrepreneurship into existing courses, a strategy used by the performing arts venture experience in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Additionally, these plans were flexible and adapted as the initiative moved forward. For this reason, throughout the term of the KCI at ASU, it was challenging to identify best practices.

However, while reflecting back on the Kauffman Campuses Initiative, four overarching success factors began to materialize. These factors form a framework that encompasses many programs at Arizona State University. They were essential to forming a strong network that created cohesion among the many actors and experimental projects. This cohesion provided additional leverage to the individual programs as they were able to access the resources of a broader network and collaborate

The first factor was making entrepreneurship a cultural value. It is the values of an organization that crosses department boundaries. By revising the design aspirations of a New American University to include valuing entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship instantly had a foothold in every college, school, and department at ASU. With this achievement, we had a solid foundation for deepening the unit’s engagement in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Next is communications. At ASU, entrepreneurship and innovation were communicated in a way that helped students understand its relevance to their lives. Entrepreneurship was not sequestered in the business or engineering schools or discussed in ways that excluded students who were not in those programs. Through websites and social media, students could learn about how others at ASU were being entrepreneurial and innovative. Through communications, entrepreneurship was made accessible.

Finally, ASU suffused entrepreneurship throughout the curriculum while creating co-curricular programs that supported students who were ready to act on their knowledge. Students could learn about entrepreneurship inside or outside of the classroom. They could apply their knowledge to create solutions to real-world challenges and then implement their solution, thus enhancing the learning experience.

These success factors may be implemented by other universities, even though each university is unique. They can be adapted to fit any institution that wants to create an entrepreneurial culture and through the innovative actions of its students, faculty, and staff, spur social development and economic competitiveness.

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Shoaib Maqsood
Shoaib Maqsood
Shoaib Maqsood Lives in Sargodha City
https://globalcollegedegrees.com

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