Priorities:La Salle University Student Priorities

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La Salle University is located in an innovation and entrepreneurial hotbed. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the most dense university regions in the United States. As a lasallian school, we understand the values of innovation and entrepreneurship. As students, we believe that the values of innovation and entrepreneurship should flow consistently, regardless of your major. La Salle believes that in today’s competitive economic environment, people with entrepreneurial spirits will not only succeed in their chosen careers but also will drive business creation, growth, and job opportunities for the larger business community.

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Calling All Students 

For the past few weeks, innovation fellow candidates interviewed multiple students to learn more about ways to increase innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. Using students perspectives as our guide, we have created strategies and tactics that we think will improve innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. Like any strategic plan, it requires careful planning and monitoring. In order for successful implementation of our strategies, we want students, faculty, and staff to continue building on the idea of innovation and entrepreneurship. If we work together, our vision will turn into reality and we will see a campus that supports innovation and entrepreneurship by incorporating our lasallian mission.

Strategy 1: Establishing Innovation & Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum

Step 1: Adding More Innovational & Entrepreneurial Courses into the Current Curriculum 

Students from the School of Business, Arts & Sciences and Nursing should be exposed to more courses that integrate the concept of innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation applies not only to business students but to all. The real challenge is trying to merge the students academic focus into the concept of innovation and entrepreneurship. Students working towards a degree in business or science understand the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The plan of attack to tackle this issue is currently being investigated in the form of creating more courses that are interdisciplinary in their nature. A current example of this type of course being implemented at La Salle would be Life Science Innovation. This class is open to students of all majors, and currently contains students from The School of Business, The School of Arts and Sciences, as well as The School of Nursing.

Step 2: Courses on Design Thinking 

This course should be required by all students and provide an experience that encourages collaboration and design thinking concepts. Students will find benefit in the course, regardless of his or her major.

Step 3: Seeking Faculty & Administration Support (Strategic Planning) 

As students who seek the drive to push for innovation entrepreneurship on campus, we understand the need for support from faculty and administrators. As future fellows, we understand that in order for successful implementation of our tactics, administrators need to see our vision. Therefore, we will soon embark on a unique strategic five year plan that we as fellows will propose to faculty and administrators. This plan will not only include our vision in regards to innovation & entrepreneurship on campus, but also tactics that we think will harness a culture of sustainable creativity.

Step 4: Creating an Innovation and Entrepreneurial Scholars Program

Our goal is to create a co-curricular program that will hopefully have curricular aspects in the long run, but this program will be focused on inciting an interdisciplinary learning and understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Innovation and Entrepreneurial (I&E) Scholars Program will be open to students across all disciplines and backgrounds and teach them how innovation and entrepreneurship can not only be applied to their majors and interests, but also connect them to other students, fields of study, and perspectives. This program will have a year long learning process, and year long hands on project, and an opportunity for continued growth in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Strategy 2: Establishing Long-Term Relationship Between Engineering Programs at Neighboring Universities through the University Innovation Fellows at each University.

Tactic 1: Promoting Connections Between Universities 

Reaching out to neighboring universities with Engineering programs to attend events such as Open Minds, Hackathons, and Innovation Challenges to establish connections with La Salle University to assist the school in expanding our Innovation and Entrepreneurship environment.

Tactic 2: Creating Networking Groups 

For like minded people, these networking groups would allow for people to exchange those ideas, and also gives that person a chance to see who else had the same idea or something similar and then if things lead from one to another, those students can form a group on campus and have the help of that certain professor (with some familiarity with engineering) who has more information on going about that idea help and push for that idea to come alive.

Tactic 3: Refining the Ideas through Communication 

With whatever idea you have, having connections to faculty and other students after the creation of your idea is what makes your connection between engineering and business stronger.Having an open mind with who you know can allow your idea to grow and your innovative mind to expand as well.

Strategy 3: Enhancing the Visuals of what Innovation & Entrepreneurialism Are 

Tactic 1: Creating Organizations that Promote Innovative Thinking 

Creating student organizations that not only teach and inspire innovation but give students the chance to take the wheel with projects that will give them hands-on experience dealing with real life problems and allow them to solve them.  (This includes: creating small business ideas and taking the steps to create them, and identifying problems within the world and creating think tanks to attempt to solve them)

Tactic 2: Competitions that Provide Incentives for Creative Idea Making; Organizations that Promote Innovative Thinking 

Challenges built to have students compete with each other for prizes based on varying concepts from which they will develop ideas and attempt to create them and promote them. La Salle University currently holds an Open Minds Competition annually, as well as regular Innovation Challenges. The main focus would be to increase participation among the students in all majors and acquire additional faculty participation as well as an increased amount of monetary support.

Tactic 3: Changing Curriculum and Course Material  

Changing some of the course material in class to help promote innovation is key. To accomplish this, faculty that are interested in Innovation and Entrepreneurship needs to be exposed to the concept of Design Thinking so they can implement course material that will utilize this method of problem-solving. In addition, faculty should encourage students to use the Makers Space that was built in the library, and should anticipate using the Innovation Lab in the new Buisness School building. Through the use of these spaces, students will organically acquire a desire to continue using skills such as Design Thinking in the future, in turn making the student body more interested and curious in innovation.

Related Links

La Salle University

La Salle Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2018: 

Kathiana Cajuste

Roger Malerba

Spring 2017:

Luis Almonte

Nicholas Dingler

Isaac Prentice

Spring 2016:

Terry Li

Joanna Szyszkiewicz

Spring 2015:

Kenneth Brewer

Trans Lualhati

Onesimus Morrison