Any LACs which encourage and support Social Entrepreneurship?

<p>S is committed to social entrepreneurship. He needs a school that truly supports and encourages this in its students through organizations, speakers, maybe some funding. Are some LACs known to do this more than others? </p>

<p>I assumed that most LACs would, of course, encourage it. </p>

<p>In the mail today, S received a card from Kenyon, highlighting entrepreneurship. On one side was a picture of a one hundred dollar bill, with Benjamin Franklin wearing a Kenyon hat and shirt. The other side says that it's not all about the Benjamin Franklins, but what leads up to it. Kenyon programs "offer you the tools to make your fortune." A Kenyon education can help you "gain those abilities and the Benjamins will come."</p>

<p>Totally turned my kid off. We know there is a difference between commercial entrepreneurship and what my son is interested in. But, we both found the emphasis on making tons of money a bit strange.</p>

<p>S threw the card on the table and said, "If that is the school's philosophy, I'm not interested."</p>

<p>Yikes. We're visiting Ohio next week!</p>

<p>My D is also interested in social entrepreneurship....not a LAC but Babson, Tulane, and Northeastern U. have undergrad programs.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Grinnell is pretty huge on this.</p>

<p>Haverford is also huge on this. </p>

<p>It's a major emphasis of its Center for Peace & Global Citizenship. The also just announced a major new microfinance initiative: Haverford</a> Adds Microfinance Position, Curriculum - Haverford College News</p>

<p>My guess is that someone in admissions at Kenyon has overreacted to the prevailing criticism that liberal arts graduates are unemployable. :)</p>

<p>I live in a developing country and interact a lot with social entrepreneurs who work for governmental agencies, NGOs and the consulting firms that connect them to each other. The one factor that these people seem to have in common, other than a high energy level and an overarching urge to do good, are their excellent and diverse educations. There’s no consistent thread to their undergraduate experiences. Large, small; State, private; elite, populist – they’re all churning out world-savers. </p>

<p>Social entrepreneurship has become, lately, the provenance of the political left so the conventional wisdom is the farther left a college leans the more opportunities. I’ve found, though, that that is not necessarily true. In the first place, ALL selective liberal arts colleges lean left, because the professors who set the agenda mostly all lean left. Some, like Swarthmore, Reed, Wesleyan, Oberlin are on the farside of activism; some like Williams, Kenyon, Bowdoin, Hamilton are more toward the middle, and less in your face. Some have a religious affiliation reflecting the original social entrepreneurs (not just Evangelical Christian but also Jewish and Catholic). Where I live the Islamic organizations are the supreme social entrepreneurs and social safety net.</p>

<p>But, to be sure, there is a strong current of social responsibility running through all of the academically rigorous LACs. Opportunities to engage abound, both during the school year and after graduation. Williams and Amherst, for example, may send a lot of kids to Wall Street, but at the same time the Peace Corps and Teach for America are primary post graduate employers. The overwhelming focus of Internships, holiday projects, visiting professors and speakers is altruism. The contradiction is that some of the biggest donors are those who have made a few Ben Franklins themselves. But the point is that once you get into the network, whether it’s big business or social entrepreneurship, doors open, and that’s what selective LACs do best.</p>

<p>What I think you have to be careful of in choosing a school is that you don’t get into a situation in which everyone agrees on every issue – social, economic, political, religious. It’s actually a good thing to hear the other side and in some environments this is verboten. This, to me, is the antithesis of the objective of higher education. That’s why in my observation the graduates of the more balanced institutions – either because they are larger or more middle-ish – adjust better to real world challenges and are ultimately more successful in making real change.</p>

<p>^^OTOH, you can be SO middle-of -the-road as to be completely incoherent:
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>^^And therein lies the problem. My son is looking for a school with a clear personality and vision. A "school with a soul" is how he puts it. To an 18 year old, though, that likely means being surrounded by kids just like himself. He doesn't want Bard because it's too extreme and limiting, but how far to the right will he go? </p>

<p>momrath, thank you for sharing your experiences. I have had a handful of discussions with S, explaining the need to be surrounded by many voices, not only his own. He does understand the importance of this. </p>

<p>We'll see. Tomorrow, we are visiting Dickinson. Next week, we are visiting Denison, Kenyon, College of Wooster and Oberlin. Very different schools. I am curious if he immediately finds a place at one of those.</p>

<p>So far, he has loved Swarthmore and Haverford from the moment he stepped on campus. Surprise, surprise. :)</p>

<p>Grinnell and Wesleyan are tentatively on his list. Thanks for the heads up about their commitment to social entrepreneurship.</p>

<p>Rhodes was ranked the #1 most service-minded college by Newsweek.</p>

<p>Just an update (I'm the OP). We ended up at Dickinson today for "Discover Dickinson Day". We had never before toured a school on a day like this. I was very unsure if S would like Dickinson, as it has a more preppy, Greek vibe. But he liked it a lot! He said he could himself there. Not his top choice, but a match. Finally! </p>

<p>The admissions staff and students went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Instead of going to the Financial Aid discussion, we ended up talking to the tour guides for over an hour. The four of them were involved in Greek life. But, they said it was more of an afterthought, because of their involvement in other things. One called herself a nerd after discussing her senior thesis in depth - she said her favorite spot on campus was the library. S asked about the activism on campus. They said it was quite strong and interestingly enough, the President of College Democrats is best friends and roommates with the President of College Republicans. </p>

<p>There was also a "forum" in which a small group of kids gathered for a discussion/interview. S said it was wonderful - lots of really interesting kids. The leader of the discussion called S up after to further discuss his interests.</p>

<p>(eta: Unfortunately, no one at Dickinson could give us info on Social Entrepreneurship opportunities!)</p>

<p>We leave Sunday for Denison, Kenyon, Wooster, Oberlin and Allegheny. I'm excited to see what S thinks!</p>

<p>Apprentices</a> in Non-profit Management - Community Enhancement & Engagement | Grinnell College</p>

<p>Grinnell</a> College announces winners of the $100,000 2011 Young Innovation for Social Justice Prize | Social Enterprise</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I also encourage your son to consider Grinnell. Sounds like a fit.</p>

<p>M's Mom, thank you for the links! Sounds perfect. Grinnell is definitely on his list. He will do an overnight there in the fall. </p>

<p>We will be visiting Denison in a few days and they are actually holding a social entrepreneurship workshop while we're there. S contacted the organizer to ask if he may experience some of it and meet some of the students and staff.</p>

<p>As far as the other schools we'll be visiting this week, Wooster and Oberlin actually have some interesting possibilities.</p>

<p>glad Grinnell is on the list. This might be of interest:
Rosenfield</a> symposium on "What is social justice?" Sept. 13-15 - News | Grinnell College</p>

<p>Late to the party, but you might all check out Austin</a> Center for Design | An educational institution in Austin, Texas, teaching Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship as a choice for social entrepreneurship.</p>

<p>Might look at Babson and Holy Cross(don't have to be religious).</p>

<p>OP, if you're still looking I would add U Dayton. Here is a good article in the USAir Magazine showcasing the college: US</a> Airways Magazine / University of Dayton</p>

<p>Grinnell and Rhodes have reputations for being very strong in this area. In fact, community service and social involvement is ingrained into the ethos at Rhodes. I'm sure that extends to social innovation as well.</p>