Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E&I) Experiences are small projects, related to entrepreneurship, that students complete as an extension of their normal coursework—sort of like extra credit projects. Want to start a business? Write a business plan? Do a crowdfunding campaign? Attend Startup Weekend? Develop a prototype? All of these could form the basis of an E&I Experience.
Regardless of the nature of the project, E&I Experiences are done as extra work in a course in which the student is enrolled. The E&I Experience is approved by the instructor of that course (not by the Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship). Doing one involves proposing to the course instructor a project that is over and above the typical requirements of the course. Think of it as an extra-credit project, that gets approved by your instructor, about entrepreneurship and innovation.
PLEASE invest five minutes in reading this page carefully, watching the video, and checking out the Examples and the FAQs. These will answer most questions and eliminate a lot of potential confusion. The three-minute video gives a quick overview of the E&I Experiences program.
Who is my instructor?
An E&I Experience is done as a project in a course in which the student is enrolled. For example, if a student wants to do an E&I Experience in the Fall 2019 semester, they will need to secure the support of an instructor of one of the courses in which they are enrolled that semester. The recognition on their transcript (see below) will be for that specific course. The final decision about whether to support the proposed E&I Experience, as well the final sign-off when the project is completed, rests entirely with the instructor.
In which courses can I have an Experience?
Any undergraduate can do an E&I Experience in any course, however, students in the E&I Minor are required to complete two E&I Experiences. One of their E&I Experiences must be done in a course that they are not counting toward the 15 credit-hour requirement of the E&I Minor. Whether or not the Experience is done in a course that counts toward the E&I Minor, a student’s instructor still needs to approve the Experience per the guidelines on this page.
What about internships?
Internships can count as E&I Experiences, but they must be approved in advance by both the Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and the instructor (the person who awards the course credit for the internship). Because each internship is unique, these are handled on a case by case basis. Please talk to your instructor first, and if they are supportive, contact the Director. Be certain to review the FAQs first.
Students who complete an E&I Experience in a course will have the following appear on their permanent transcript next to the course name: ENTREP & INNOVATION OPTION. You can see how this will appear on the sample transcript.
How do I sign up?
Experiences are initiated by the student, and the instructor should agree verbally (or by email) to the project plan before the student begins the work. Then to formalize the request in the system, students should log into the Registrar’s website at https://reg.msu.edu/. Then click on Student Resources // Forms // Student-Instructor Forms. On that screen look for the form called “Application for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Experiences Option.” Once a student fills it out, it will be automatically routed to the course instructor for approval. If a student is in the Social Innovation Track, they will want to read those requirements carefully since they are slightly different.
The form asks five simple questions about the proposed project:
- Description of Proposed Option Coursework (Subject matter purpose, methods)
- Rationale (Explain how project satisfies one of the entrepreneurial criteria)
- Work to be completed (Describe specifically the work product)
- Evaluation Criteria (Describe specifically what will meet expectations)
- Date by which the project is to be completed [Ideally the work should be completed during the semester, but cannot be any later than the start of the following semester].
I did the work. Now what?
Once the student completes the work, and only after the instructor submits their final grade for the course, the instructor fills out an Administrative Action Form online to complete the process and ensure the student is recognized for their E&I Experience. The student can track the progress on the Registrar’s Website (link above). The E&I Experiences Administrative Guidelines is a handy one-page summary of the procedures for signing-up for E&I Experiences and it is strongly recommended that students share it with their instructor. The Examples of E&I Experiences page has templates that tell students exactly how to fill out the forms. They will save students a LOT of time.
Other Nitty Gritty–also important
Any student can complete an E&I Experience and have it reflected on their transcript. Students earning the E&I Minor are required to do two of them, one of which must be done in a course that does not count toward the 15 credit-hours of the E&I Minor.
- Students cannot do the same two experiences twice. In other words, students cannot participate in Startup Weekend two times. The experiences must be unique.
- Similarly, students cannot do both Experiences with the same instructor unless they get the explicit approval of the Direct of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship.
- Students cannot do both Experiences in the same course. They must be done in two different courses.
Where can I get more details?
E-Advisors are well versed in the E&I Experiences program and are also familiar with the programs and curricula of each college. For both students and faculty, they should be your first point of contact.
International Students who are on F-1 or J-1 student visas are required to apply and receive authorization from the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) prior to participating in any off-campus practical or academic training. Although Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Academic Training (AT) are not an option for a minor academic program, many of the E&I experiences do not require CPT or AT authorization. F-1 and J-1 students must visit OISS and meet with an immigration advisor to discuss their E&I experience.