Handbook of University-wide Entrepreneurship Education
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Handbook of University-wide Entrepreneurship Education

Edited by G. Page West III, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Kelly G. Shaver

This Handbook explores the current state of university-wide entrepreneurship education programs and provides a comprehensive reference guide for the planning and implementation of an entrepreneurship curriculum beyond the business school environment. A variety of authors spanning five countries and multiple disciplines discuss the opportunities and universal challenges in extending entrepreneurship education to the sciences, performing arts, social sciences, humanities, and liberal arts environments. The Handbook is designed to assist educators in developing new programs and pedagogical approaches based upon the previous experiences of others who have forged this exciting new path.
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Chapter 5: Entrepreneurship as a Liberal Art

Jerry Gustafson


Jerry Gustafson* Introduction In spite of an explosion of programs in colleges and universities, entrepreneurship education still lacks wide acceptance across the breadth of academe. Although things have improved, the subject is still regarded with skepticism in many quarters. Perhaps hostility remains particularly in the small, classic liberal arts college. Objections there to entrepreneurship go beyond the complaints frequent in the business schools about the putative lack of disciplinary standing, rigor, or careful research. In the liberal arts context, entrepreneurship is often taken as vocational, materialistic, self-interested, and of questionable ethics. On such grounds, many think it beyond the pale of liberal education. Yet entrepreneurship education is of essential intrinsic value. It is also a powerful encouragement to the engagement in learning that so heightens the quality of the entire educational experience. As one attempts to craft a thoroughgoing apology for inclusion of entrepreneurship in the liberal arts one is struck further by its promotion of the achievement of self-agency so coveted by the arts for its graduates. The rationale for entrepreneurship as a vital complement to traditional curricular fare is strong enough that an advocate senses, perhaps with surprise, the possession of the high ground. An initial polite tapping on the curricular door gives rise eventually to a more full-throated offense. Readers might logically expect the case for inclusion to be addressed directly to those skeptical academics in accepted fields who hold the keys to entry. Those persons need to be won with earnest respect and reason. This outline...

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