Institutionalizing Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programming by Optimizing a Faculty Grantmaking Process: A Case Study


The number of institutions offering entrepreneurship courses and programs has grown dramatically over the last decade. Many of these programmatic offerings have been driven by the passion of individual faculty champions. Unfortunately, the programming often remains the responsibility of that founding faculty champion. In such cases, if the faculty champion leaves, the entrepreneurship programming declines or may be completely lost. VentureWell, a not-for-profit that supports STEM innovators and entrepreneurs, has utilized its Faculty Grants Program to provide seed funding to faculty champions to create courses and programs that enhance student development of skills and knowledge associated with innovation and entrepreneurship. To foster lasting impact, the program sets the expectation that meritorious educational innovations will continue after funding ends. While this has occurred in most cases (over the last 5 years 72% of grantees' claim activities have continued, expanded or been institutionalized), continuation of the program typically remains the responsibility of the founding faculty members, an indicator that institutionalization is not yet complete. Research on propagation and institutionalization of educational innovations has suggested that an institutionalization plan should be constructed in three phases: (i) describe the gap between the current situation and the desired future situation, (ii) prepare a plan for bridging the gap, and (iii) prepare a plan for monitoring progress toward bridging the gap. This paper describes how VentureWell is integrating this three-phase approach to institutionalization, Designing for Institutionalization (DI), into its Faculty Grants program. The DI approach is an adaptation of the three-phase Designing for Sustained Adoption Framework, which supports educational developers to increase the percentage of educational innovations that are propagated beyond the original developers. Case studies of institutionalization efforts provide lessons that could be applied by others interested in institutionalization.

Meeting Name

124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2017: Jun. 25-28, Columbus, OH)



Keywords and Phrases

Curricula; Engineering education; Students, Adoption framework; Case-studies; Current situation; Educational innovations; Faculty members; Student development; Three phase; Three phasis, Teaching

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Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2017 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2017

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