Academic Programs Committee Reports
AGENDA ITEM NO: 14.2
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS COMMITTEE
FOR INFORMATION ONLY
PRESENTED BY: Trever Crowe, Chair, Academic Programs Committee
DATE OF MEETING: May 17, 2007
SUBJECT: Items for Information:
Approval of Agriculture and Bioresources minor in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship
Progress report on other programs
COUNCIL ACTION: For information only
Minor in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship
Under the authority delegated to the Academic Programs Committee by Council in 2002, APC approves new Fields of Specialization at the Minor level (www.usask.ca/university_council/acad_prog/reports/04-25-02.shtml). At its meeting on 2007, the Academic Programs Committee approved the attached proposal for the introduction of a Minor in the College of Agriculture & Bioresources in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship.
Summary: The College of Agriculture and Bioresources is committed to preparing students for success in the modern world. This means providing them with the training and skills required to excel in the job market. It also means that those students who choose to be self employed will also have the skills to support the development of successful ventures. The minor in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship will provide an opportunity for students to develop the skill set required to successfully develop an entrepreneurial venture. The minor will also be attractive to those students who will be working with entrepreneurs, who are employed in innovative companies or are simply interested in knowing more about entrepreneurship.
Students who wish to complete a minor in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship will be required to complete at least eighteen credits units of study with fifteen credit units of required course work and three credit units selected from a list of restricted electives. This unique program will focus on the essential skills required by successful entrepreneurs. Courses in creative thinking, communications and leadership are included in this program.
AGEC 395.3 Creative Thinking and the Entrepreneur
RCM 400.3 Rhetoric: The Theory and Practice of Persuasion
AGEC 400.3 Leadership and the Entrepreneur
Progress report on other programs
At present the Academic Programs Committee is reviewing the following program proposals:
Arts & Science:
BA in Prairie Studies
Minor in Entrepreneurship
Graduate Studies & Research:
PhD in Nursing
Reinstatement of graduate programs in Music including increase in course requirements
Trever Crowe, Chair
University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources
1. Proposal for Curriculum Change
1.1 Proposal Identification
Title of proposal: Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship
Degree(s): B.S.A., B.Sc. (Agbus)
Field(s) of Specialization: Entrepreneurship in Food and Bioproducts
Level(s) of Concentration: Minor Option(s):
Degree College: Agriculture and Bioresources
Department: Agricultural Economics
Home College: Agriculture and Bioresources
Contact person(s) (name, telephone, fax, e-mail):
T.J. Allen J. Hobbs, Professor and Head
CIBC Enhancement Chair in Entrepreneurship Department of Agricultural Economics
Department of Agricultural Economics 51 Campus Drive
51 Campus Drive Saskatoon, S7N 5A8
Saskatoon, S7N 5A8 Ph: 306-966-4026
Ph: 306-966-4012 Fax: 306-966-8413
Date approved by the degree college and/or home college:
BSA Programs Committee: December 1, 2006
Faculty of Agriculture and Bioresources: December 4, 2006
Proposed date of implementation: 2007-08
1.2 Type of Change
Requiring approval by Academic Programs Committee
X Addition of a new Field of Specialization at the Minor Level of Concentration.
2. Executive Summary
The introduction of a minor concentration in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship is consistent with the University Integrated Plan. It is also consistent with the goal of the University of Saskatchewan and the College of Agriculture and Bioresources' objective of increasing enrolment. Entrepreneurship programs across North America have been very popular with students and should also be popular with students at the University of Saskatchewan.
The College of Agriculture and Bioresources is committed to preparing students for success in the modern world. This means providing them with the training and skills required to excel in the job market. It also means that those students who choose to be self employed will also have the skills to support the development of successful ventures. The minor in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship will provide an opportunity for students to develop the skill set required to successfully develop an entrepreneurial venture. The minor will also be attractive to those students who will be working with entrepreneurs, who are employed in innovative companies or are simply interested in knowing more about entrepreneurship. Moreover, a recent survey of college graduates from 2001-2005, and their employers, rated leadership skills and creativity attributes with above average importance but below average satisfaction in the development of these essential skills in the BSA program, indicating that these are areas that could be improved on in the program.
Students who wish to complete a minor in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship will be required to complete at least eighteen credits units of study with fifteen credit units of required course work and three credit units selected from a list of restricted electives. This unique program will focus on the essential skills required by successful entrepreneurs. Courses in creative thinking, communications and leadership are included in this program. Students from all programs at the University of Saskatchewan will be encouraged to participate in this program.
The College of Agriculture and Bioresources will not be requesting additional resources to offer the minor. Two new courses will be developed and delivered however resources are available from the College for this purpose.
Consultation has taken place at the department level in the Department of Agricultural Economics, at the College level, and discussions have taken place with the Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Science and Commerce.
3. Rationale for the Program
3.1 Program Background, Objectives and Need
Future prosperity and national economic growth in Canada are dependent on entrepreneurial activity. Furthermore education and training in entrepreneurship is key to creating a culture of enterprise, recognizing entrepreneurship as a career option and developing the prerequisite skills necessary for individuals to succeed as entrepreneurs.
There is a growing realization in Saskatchewan that the key to improving economic conditions in rural areas is to expand the pool of local entrepreneurial talent and to assist them in developing and managing new rural business ventures. The entrepreneurial spirit of the pioneers created the economy of this province at the beginning of the 20th century. There is a need to rekindle the entrepreneurial spirit if the economy is to be rejuvenated at the beginning of the 21st century.
An even greater need to promote entrepreneurship exists in First Nation communities across Canada. The College of Agriculture and Bioresources can, and should, assume a major role in assisting the First Nation Peoples of Saskatchewan, Western Canada, and the entire Northern Plains to realize the full potential of their agriculture and agribusiness resources. The College will be a provider of education and training, the first choice as a place for applied research in aboriginal agribusiness, and the major provider of community outreach in areas of new venture and land-based economic development. The College of Agriculture and Bioresources will work with aboriginal groups to promote agricultural entrepreneurship for Aboriginal Peoples.
There is also merit in having all students develop a better understanding and appreciation of entrepreneurship. Students who do not wish to become entrepreneurs will benefit from entrepreneurship education as industry has recognized the need for employees who are creative and entrepreneurial in their thinking.
This need is consistent with the goals of the University of Saskatchewan as it has committed to placing an increased emphasis on business and entrepreneurial education. It was stated in the "Integrated Plan for the First Planning Cycle " document submitted to University Council on April 21, 2004 that the Colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Science, Commerce and Engineering should bring on stream entrepreneurship programs (page 18 of Integrated Plan document).
In 2004 the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce provided the University of Saskatchewan with funding for the development of an entrepreneurship program in food and bioproducts within the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. In 2005, a committee was struck with members from all departments. This committee developed recommendations for the program with a specific recommendation that it would focus on the human skill set of an entrepreneur. At that time it was also agreed that this minor specialization in food and bioproducts entrepreneurship would be offered through the Department of Agricultural Economics.
3.2 Uniqueness of the Program
The College of Agriculture and Bioresources is proposing a program in Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship at the minor level. This program is a unique offering differing from other minors such as the one in agribusiness offered by the Department of Agricultural Economics and the proposed entrepreneurship minor in the College of Arts and Science. The difference lies in the focus on the food and bioproducts entrepreneur as a person opposed to a focus on the business skill set required by a successful entrepreneur. This program emphasizes the development of skills in creative and critical thinking, communication and leadership.
3.3 Demand for the Program
Entrepreneurship is currently a popular topic in post-secondary education. This interest is the result of a wide range of factors. Economic instability, corporate downsizing, and concerns about the impacts of trade problems have contributed to a desire by individuals to create and manage new business ventures. Surveys completed in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Science indicate a strong level of interest in entrepreneurship programs and this interest is also evident in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources as the introductory course, AGEC 230.3 Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness, has been offered three times. Enrolment in this course has ranged from twenty one in year one to thirty six students in the current year indicating that potential demand within the College of Agriculture and Bioresources for a food and bioproducts entrepreneurship minor should be at least twenty five students each year.
This program will be of interest to students interested in rural entrepreneurship, aboriginal students interested in agricultural entrepreneurship and students who are not interested in becoming entrepreneurs but who would like to know more about food and bioproducts entrepreneurship.
This program will be open to students from all disciplines on campus and should be of interest because of the uniqueness of the program.
The combination of courses in the Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship minor is complementary to the proposed ENT offerings developed for Arts and Science by the College of Commerce.
4. Description of Program Characteristics
The program will consist of eighteen credit-units of course work including a capstone course.
The six courses will be offered as three distinct stages:
Stage 1-Introduction to Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship
One three-credit course offered in Stage 1. This course begins with a discussion of what is entrepreneurship, followed by an examination of the history of entrepreneurship, and finally, by highlighting the importance of entrepreneurs to our economy
Stage 2-Defining the Entrepreneur
The second stage consists of three courses that focus on understanding and developing the traits, personality and behaviours that make an entrepreneur unique. That is, these courses will enhance the "human " skill set of the student with an emphasis on creative and critical thinking, communication and leadership.
Stage 3-Entrepreneurial Opportunity
The third stage consists of two courses focusing on opportunity identification and opportunity verification plus the skills required by the successful entrepreneur. The first of these courses will be selected from a list of restricted electives. The second required course is a capstone course where feasibility of an opportunity is explored through the development of a business plan.
It is proposed that the following five courses will be required for the completion of this minor. In addition three credit units of course work will be required from a list of restricted electives.
AGEC 230.3 Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness
The course first explores the historic role of entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector of the Canadian economy. Students will then be exposed to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship in the context of independent and corporate organizations. Entrepreneurship is investigated through the discussion of classical and current articles, books and studies. Entrepreneurship practice is explored through interviews with guest speakers.
AGEC 395.3 Creative Thinking and the Entrepreneur
This course introduces students to the role of creativity and creative thinking skills, processes and attitudes in the life of the entrepreneur. The theory and practice of creative thinking skills in both business and personal contexts will be presented to students. Creativity is examined through discussion of articles from peer-reviewed journals, books, and case studies. The practice of creativity is accomplished through a number of interactive exercises, strategies and processes integrated into the weekly fabric of the class
RCM 400.3 Rhetoric: The Theory and Practice of Persuasion
The course is a survey of the aims and scope of the art of rhetoric (the study of persuasion). Our emphasis will be not only on learning about the rhetorical tradition but also on developing skill in the use and detection of rhetorical devices and methods, including understanding and adapting to audience; using rhetorical strategies to develop a well-structured, engaging, and convincing message; accommodating to situational constraints; and establishing credibility through effective ethos, logos, and pathos appeals. You should leave this class with an understanding of the breadth of rhetoric and its influence on everyday experience.
AGEC 400.3 Leadership and the Entrepreneur
This course will introduce students to conceptual leadership theory and contemporary leadership models, and will also provide opportunities for experiential learning in the area of applied leadership practice. Leadership will be examined from a process-oriented framework with a focus on practical and applied elements in the context of entrepreneurship.
AGEC 495.3 Agribusiness Venture Management
This course is designed to assist students in developing and understanding the skills and tools required to prepare and present a complete and professional business plan for a business entity in the agricultural industry. All aspects of the business plan are included, including operations, human resources, marketing and finance. Students will be expected to form groups of four to complete the project. As groups are being formed, students will be advised to combine a variety of skills in their teams, such as accounting and finance, marketing, human resources, agricultural economics, and technical agricultural knowledge.
Restricted Electives for Stage Three
AGEC 346.3 Principles of Selling
AGEC 347.3 Agribusiness Marketing Management
RCM 401.3 Oral Rhetoric: Theory and Practice
RCM 403.3 Advanced Professional Writing Techniques
RCM 404.3 Leadership as Communication
The Department of Agricultural Economics has the teaching resources to deliver the part of the program consisting of Agricultural Economics and Food and Bioproducts Entrepreneurship courses or will be able to access the required resources. The College of Engineering has indicated that they will be able to accommodate at least twenty five additional students in RCM 400.3 Rhetoric: The Theory and Practice of Persuasion.
6. Relationships and Impact of Implementation
This new program fits well with existing programs in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources-the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.S.A.) and the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness [B.Sc.(Agbus)]. The introductory course in entrepreneurship has attracted class sizes of twenty one, twenty five and thirty six over the last three years indicating a strong interest in including entrepreneurship in students' programs. In addition employers have expressed a desire for graduates of these programs to have more training in the human or essential skills and this program is focusing on developing these skills necessary not only for entrepreneurs but also for all people.
Implementation should have no major impact on the delivery of existing programs. Both of the current degree programs have sufficient flexibility for students to complete a minor in food and bioproducts entrepreneurship. All required courses are either new courses that will accommodate at least twenty five students or existing courses that have capacity to accommodate additional students.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has provided the University of Saskatchewan with funds for the express purpose of promoting food and bioproducts entrepreneurship as a viable option for students in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. One specific stipulation of this agreement was that a minor in Agricultural and Bioresource Entrepreneurship be developed. This initiative can be offered with a requirement for the development of two new courses-AGEC 395.3 Creative Thinking and the Entrepreneur and AGEC 400.3 Leadership and the Entrepreneur. Resources from the CIBC funds are sufficient to cover development costs of the new courses.