Students will create, learn and become successful entrepreneurs in a new living-learning community

Radford University students from every academic discipline will have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial in all aspects of the collegiate experience through the new Entrepreneur Learning Community (ELC) located in Moffett Hall opening fall 2018.

“Our students can be entrepreneurial in everything that they do,” said Jeanne Mekolichick, assistant provost of Academic Affairs. “In any career that they are pursuing, we don’t know the kinds of jobs that are going to exist in the future. Students need to be thinking about their skills, their knowledge, and how they can solve the problems of tomorrow. The cultivation of that mindset is something from which all of our students can benefit.”

Being in the Community of Artists, has helped me tremendously in regards to my academics. It has allowed be to be around others who are in the same classes as me. If I am having trouble, I am able to ask them and they can help me. It also has made push harder to be better.

Hannah Smith

Member of the Community of Artists living-learning community.

The living-learning community was born from that creative mindset.

“The ELC will provide students a safe environment to explore and develop their entrepreneurship competencies,” said Jerry Kopf, professor of management at Radford University. “This residential-based learning community will provide students opportunities to meet and develop relationships with not only students who share their interests, but also network and receive mentoring and coaching from faculty, alumni and successful innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The benefits for students will continue after graduating from Radford University. Students engaged in the community will participate in active learning experiences where they apply their skills to real-world projects, enabling them to serve as mentors, partners, investors and customers throughout their careers.

Moffett Hall, where the ELC will be located.

Moffett Hall, where the ELC will be located.

“It’s an intact group of people that you will connect quickly with because you are sharing the same experience,” said Jamie Penven, director of Housing and Residential Life. “You’ll be connected and expand your social circle. You’re living in the living-learning community, taking classes, but you also have classes with other students across the university. You’re meeting people from across campus while having a strong relationship with people in your residence hall.”

The benefits of LLCs aren’t just social.  Students in living-learning communities have, on average, a GPA of 0.6 higher than first-year students not participating in the living-learning communities.

“The faculty are in the classroom with the students, engaging them outside of the classroom, working closely with residence directors and resident advisors to create a more seamless experience for our students,” Mekolichick said. “Academic and social integration keeps students involved and engaged in their studies and campus life.”

The entrepreneurial mindset applies to the entire campus community – including the Schoolhouse living-learning community, which also opens this fall.

“If you have a teacher that was experiencing a challenge in the classroom, they could engage that aspect of their mind and know how to think critically about that, propose a solution and figure out a way to solve it,” Penven said. “That’s what is at the heart of entrepreneurship. It isn’t just to make money or create a business. It is to think critically and problem solve.”

Mar 28, 2018
Max Esterhuizen