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Innovation and Social Enterprise Courses


Students must complete a total of 24 credits.

Required Courses (12 credits):

ISE 305 - Introduction to Social Enterprise, Credits: 4
ISE 306 - Innovation: Understanding how to Innovate, Credits: 4
ISE 425 - Internship, Credits: 4

ONE of the following (4 credits):

ISE 308 - Foundations of Non-Profit Organizations, Credits: 4
ECB 374 - Small Business Management, Credits: 4

Optional electives:

ISE307 - Social Venture Challenge, Credits: 2 or 3
ISE291 - Rwanda Seminar, Credits: 4


Students completing the ISE minor must take two electives (8 credits) that are applicable to the minor. Only ONE of these electives can be within the student's chosen major.

The electives for such a minor can be drawn from all over campus, particularly drawing on existing (or new) courses that have a bias toward:

  • Global issues
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Female entrepreneurship
  • Particular courses (education, healthcare, disaster relief, urban issues, poverty, etc.)

Examples of past electives completed:

Course Descriptions

ISE 305 Introduction to Social Enterprise (Fall Semester, 4 credits)
An introduction to the purpose and practicalities of entrepreneurial activity, the creative process that establishes new organizations (non-profit, business, hybrid, etc.). This course offers practical guidance for students from any major interesting in starting (or managing) an organization. Students learn the mindset and behaviors of successful entrepreneurs, and develop skills such as:  turning an idea into a new venture; assessing market opportunity; understanding customer/beneficiary needs; creating a clear value proposition; developing a viable and sustainable business model; confidently pitching new venture concepts. These topics will be brought to life by case studies, discussion and group exercises that offer students the opportunity to use entrepreneurial thinking and enterprising power to animate their own personal convictions. This class will serve as inspiration and training ground for those curious to know if they can develop the creativity and determination necessary to start an organization.

ISE 306 Innovation – Understanding How to Innovate (Spring Semester, 4 credits) 
An introduction to innovation, what it is and how to do it. This course offers practical guidance for students from any major interested in better understanding how innovation works, how products and services are built (invention), shared (marketing), and used to impact our world. Innovative thinking will be brought to life by human-centered design prescriptions, case studies, discussion, and group exercises that offer students the opportunity to develop their own innovative thinking and creative power for addressing real-world challenges. This class will serve as inspiration and training ground for those curious to know if they can develop the insight, creativity and determination necessary to innovate.
ISE307 Social Venture Challenge (Quad 3 class, students moving on to finals will continue into Quad 4, 2 or 3 credits)
Students have the option to take Social Venture Challenge for credit. As a two+ credit course, this is an opportunity to receive academic credit for the hard work put into launching a venture. All students taking the class for credit will compete in the Semi-Finals and receive 2 credits, regardless if they move on to finals. Students whose teams who move on to compete in the Finals will receive an extra credit (3 credits total). Students are graded based on participation and idea validation, not on the quality of their idea or whether their team launches the venture. Through a series of workshops, meetings, mentor opportunities and hard work, this is also a class where students compete to win part of an annual $10,000 prize. This class will serve as training ground for those curious to know if they can develop the creativity and determination necessary to launch their own venture.
ISE 308 Foundations of Non-Profit Organizations (Spring Semester, 4 credits)
Non-profit organizations (NPOs) deliver important services that daily serve the practical and spiritual needs of millions of people. The resourcing of these organizations is an important and often poorly understood activity. Resources – especially funding, people and partnerships – are the power behind the delivery of effective solutions that create positive change. This course delivers a practical introduction to the knowledge, skills and confidence needed in resourcing an NPO.  You will learn about revenue streams and how they work; best practices associated with NPO management; how NPOs develop a revenue footprint; and how effectiveness is evaluated. You will practice handling objections, asking for gifts in person and via technology. You will develop listening skills, powerful questions and resilience in the process of fundraising and friend-raising.  The class also focuses on the practical "ins and outs" of starting a non-profit organization (Organizational management, strategic planning, marketing, working with employees, filing for 501c3 status, board development, etc.) and finances (budgets, accounting, financial statements, 990, etc.)  

ECB 374 - Small Business Management (Spring Semester, 4 credits)
Considers marketing and management aspects of small business; startup issues including financing, budgeting, marketing, advertising, pricing and staffing. Social entrepreneurship and Christian business principles explored. Students prepare a business proposal. 

Prerequisite(s): ECB 118, ECB 277 or permission of instructor.

ISE 425 - Internship (Fall, Spring or Summer, 4 credits)
ISE students are required to take an internship applicable to the Innovation and Social Enterprise minor. Students can find an internship on their own and submit it for credit approval, work with the Career and Connection Institute, or the ISE faculty to find an internship in an industry or role that pertains to their entrepreneurial aspirations. Students must register the internship before starting work. Internships cannot be retroactively be taken for credit. Internship placements can be found on Handshake or see examples of past startup internship placements here.

ISE291 - Rwanda Seminar (offered every other year)

Immerse yourself in the development initiatives transforming one of the most hopeful countries in Africa. This three-week seminar introduces students to the needs of the poor and the diverse models (non-profit, government and business) that have emerged to address those needs. Class sessions are dedicated to deepening our understanding of Rwanda since the tragic genocide of 1994. Speakers and host organizations share lessons from the development frontier in this beautiful ‘land of a thousand hills’.