UNI NEWS SERVICES - The University of Northern Iowa announced a change to the name of its marketing department to reflect long-held entrepreneurial values that in recent years have surged in popularity for current and prospective students.
The new name, the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, was approved by the Board of Regents at a June 4 meeting and both reflects and legitimizes the department’s commitment to teaching the mindset, values and strategies of entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurship classes have long been part of the department's curriculum,” said Leslie Wilson, dean of UNI’s College of Business Administration (UNIBusiness). “Combined with growing interest in entrepreneurship, we seek to further elevate the great work of our entrepreneurship curriculum and we believe the name change does that.”
UNIBusiness Department of Marketing has offered a certificate in entrepreneurship for the last 20 years and added a minor starting in the 2014-15 academic year. The courses became so popular among students that UNIBusiness started offering the courses every semester, instead of once a year.
“More and more students are asking what we are doing with entrepreneurship,” said Laurie Watje, associate director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. “Students are finding the value of having some entrepreneurial background. It gives them that entrepreneurial mindset, and that’s what employers are looking for - someone to be innovative, creative and make projects happen and execute on ideas.”
Entrepreneurship courses at UNI provide students a combination of classroom and real-world business experience. Coursework focuses on the financial aspect of a startup, business model canvases and business plans, growth strategy planning and more. The students are also partnered with local businesses to assist the owner in identifying possible growth opportunities within their businesses.
Both the entrepreneurship minor and certificate are offered to all UNI students. Almost 200 students were enrolled in the courses in fall 2019.