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$65,000 Benedum Grant Will Empower Entrepreneurs

West Liberty University received a $65,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation recently to fund an entrepreneurship program.

“We are very grateful to the Benedum Foundation for funding the first cohort. This certificate brings together educators and entrepreneurship in a way that will benefit West Virginia students and build our future,” said Dr. Carrie White, associate professor of business and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Carrie White teaches class in the Gary E. West College of Business.

Dr. Carrie White teaches class in the Gary E. West College of Business.

WLU’s Center for Entrepreneurship partnered with the College of Education to develop the new graduate certificate program.

The Graduate Entrepreneurship Certificate Program is projected to begin this summer and run from May-August, 2013, pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The 15 credit-hour certification will be completed entirely online.

The 15 hours of masters level courses also are part of the Master of Arts in Education degree in the College of Education. Any student wishing to complete the master’s degree may use these credits towards that degree.

The certification is tailored to the interests and schedules of West Virginia K-12 teachers who aim to introduce entrepreneurship studies into their classes. For the first cohort of 10 graduate students, tuition and fees will be paid for through a grant from the Benedum Foundation.

In consideration of this grant, West Liberty University Center for Entrepreneurship, will measure the outcomes of entrepreneurship education in the classroom. In the fall semester of 2013, undergraduate students and a faculty member from West Liberty University will visit participating teachers’ classrooms in an effort to observe and evaluate the incorporation of entrepreneurship education into the lessons.

The entrepreneurship program at WLU is part of the Gary E. West College of Business. It operates with a vision of developing job creators instead of job seekers and is designed to provide students across educational disciplines the practical classroom and experiential-based entrepreneurship instruction necessary to pursue a career as an entrepreneur, or to work more creatively within a larger business.

Michael and Sarah Benedum named the Foundation in memory of their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at age 20. In creating the Foundation in 1944, the Benedums expressed the wish that grantmaking be focused in West Virginia and Pittsburgh, their native and adopted homes. The Foundation has authorized grants totaling over $380,000,000.

For more information, please contact White at 304-336-8159, or [email protected]