by Inji Kim
Starting this semester, the University offers an additional New York City program that focuses on social entrepreneurship. Just like Drew’s other New York semesters, the new Semester on Social Entrepreneurship takes advantage of the city to create a unique experience for the students. Stacy Fischer, the Director of the Center for Global Education, explained that the new program is a part of the University President’s focus on engaging students in the wider world, particularly New York City.
The original idea for the new course came from “The Political Economy of Non-Profits” taught by Professor of Economics, Jennifer Olmsted, who is also the director of the semester. The course, which examined how organizations address a range of social challenges such as poverty, human rights abuses, and environmental damage, also included a project where students were able to collaborate with a non-profit organization and develop a proposal for them to address an organizational need. Due to the great success of the course, Professor Olmsted wanted to “expand the course to an entire semester program, following the models of Drew’s other successful semesters in New York like the Semester on Communications and Media and the Semester at the UN,” said Fischer.
Just like its precedents in New York City, the 8-credit course operates during the spring semester, where students spend two days a week in the city to both learn about the concept of social entrepreneurship and to apply what they have learned through hands-on experiences. In the city, the students will take trips to non-profit organizations that range from large nonprofits to small grassroots organizations in diverse fields. Along with learning about how these organizations are addressing challenges, the participants will be able to explore diverse approaches taken by these organizations and design their own solution to a real-world challenge with the help of a social change organization. Fischer noted that students interested in learning more or applying should visit the Center for Global Education website.