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Lawrence Tech wins $150,000 grant for engineering entrepreneurial education

Release Date: July 12, 2011

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Lawrence Technological University has been awarded a $150,000 grant to continue its efforts to improve entrepreneurial education for undergraduate engineering students in conjunction with five other universities.

Boston University, Gonzaga University, Kettering University, St. Louis University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Lawrence Tech will receive a total of $2.4 million in grants over three years from the Kern Family Foundation based in Waukesha, Wis.

The six universities are all members of the Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network (KEEN), and in 2010 they formed the Dynamic Compass Network (DCN) to share innovative approaches to entrepreneurial education in curricular innovation, faculty excellence, a practitioners community, peer collaboration, continuous improvement, and experiential learning.

“This is a great opportunity to work with five other outstanding universities on providing an entrepreneurial outlook to our undergraduate engineering students,” said Associate Professor Donald Carpenter, Lawrence Tech’s DCN project director. “We look forward to developing new ways to enhance the educational experience here at Lawrence Tech.”

Lawrence Tech has taken the lead with a pilot project that provides benchmarks for the network. The other five universities will now become active participants, and future funding for each university will depend on the success of all six.

Each college must clearly demonstrate that DCN provides “a unique benefit to all of their students over and above what they could do for their students individually,” according to KEEN Program Director Timothy Kriewall.

In 2009, Lawrence Tech was awarded a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to further integrate the entrepreneurial mindset in the education of undergraduate engineering students.

The six DCN universities will build on Lawrence Tech’s experiences and develop innovative programming  through synergistic interaction. The Kern Family Foundation will promote this interaction through conferences, workshops, publications and a website.

Kriewall emphasized that getting the universities to work collaboratively was a major goal for the Kern Family Foundation. “It will be increasingly difficult for schools to receive larger grants if they are not able to demonstrate alliances with other schools in the network,” Kriewall said.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey, Traverse City and Toronto. Lawrence Tech also partners with universities in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.