A New Minor Builds the Entrepreneurial Mindset


Students in all academic majors across the University have an opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial side by pursuing the newly created intercollege minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. And the College of Agricultural Sciences is a major player in the program.

After taking three core courses worth a total of nine credits — Entrepreneurial Mindset, Entrepreneurial Leadership, and New Venture Creation—students may choose to specialize in one of five areas of emphasis, or clusters. The Food and Bio-Innovation cluster is led by the college’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation initiative.

"This new minor is a great mechanism to bring students’ ideas to life," said Mark Gagnon, Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar and the college’s entrepreneurship coordinator.

"The minor is student-centric and an excellent opportunity for students to take their interests in agriculture, food, and natural resources and start new businesses," he said.

Enrolling in the minor builds credentials, qualifications, and skills that not only will help students succeed with their own ventures, but also are sought after by employers, Gagnon noted.

Meanwhile, donors with a long history of supporting entrepreneurship education at Penn State have established a new scholarship endowment to help students from the College of Agricultural Sciences with demonstrated need who are enrolled in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor.

With a $50,000 gift, alumnus Earl Harbaugh and his wife, Kay, of The Villages, Fla., created the Harbaugh Family Trustee Scholarship, the first Penn State Trustee Matching Scholarship to support students enrolled in the minor.

"The College of Agricultural Sciences is on the leading edge of entrepreneurship at the University," Earl Harbaugh said. "We established this new trustee scholarship to encourage others to support students and their entrepreneurship and innovation efforts."