Vassar College Partners With GCSEN Foundation, Launching Innovative Social Entrepreneurs Internship Program

Vassar College Partners With GCSEN Foundation, Launching Innovative Social Entrepreneurs Internship Program

PR Newswire

KINGSTON, New York, Oct. 30, 2018

KINGSTON, New York, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Prestigious liberal arts institution, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, has entered into an innovative partnership with the Global Center for Social Entrepreneur Network (GCSEN Foundation), implementing GCSEN's Social Venture Internship program (SVI) for students and graduates. Ranked 11th in the 2019 edition of Best Colleges for national Liberal Arts Colleges, Vassar, founded in 1861, is a highly selective, coeducational, private, residential college renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus in the Hudson Valley.

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The Social Venture Internship program, launched during the Fall 2018 Semester, is facilitated by Vassar's Office of Community-Engaged Learning and sponsored by the Career Development Office. SVI is a three-part experience developed by GCSEN, initially designated for six Vassar students but designed to scale up based on future student demand. The SVI program is now available to all colleges, starting with a 12-hour blended learning on-line and live coaching experience, enabling students to learn the fundamentals of starting a business tied to a relevant, socially beneficial venture or social enterprise that they create.

The first phase of the SVI program results in a Principles of Social Entrepreneurship Certificate and an accredited internship endorsed by the college, along with a professional reference by GCSEN. A great resume builder, SVI includes a next-step 40-hour experience designed to assist enrollees in creating a new business pitch or prototype for potential customers and investors, resulting in a Social Venture Formulation Certificate. A final 10-hour field study experience results in SVI's Entrepreneur Ecosystem Mapping Certificate, reflecting proficiency in identifying local community, and campus assets, as well as the economic development resources necessary for each enrollee to launch a successful business and social venture.   

Students at other campuses, recent graduates, and adult learners are also eligible to purchase the program directly from GCSEN. SVI offers a life-changing experience, allowing students to intern on their own idea, at their own pace. The experience facilitates student design of a "4 P" social venture, for People, Planet, Place and Profit. Based on GCSEN's intellectually rigorous pedagogical research, SVI offers students a meaningful reality-based internship experience utilizing applied learning, within the context of their own community's business and social needs.

Vassar College's Director of Career Development Ms. Stacy Bingham said of the new program, "We are thrilled to partner with GCSEN on the SVI initiative at a time when we are assessing student appetite and building campus support for social entrepreneurship. We know students are hungry for experiences like this, that give them the tools, time, and support for their entrepreneurial ideas. The fact that students can receive academic credit for the experiences they create further exemplifies Vassar's support for this initiative."

Professor Mike Caslin, The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network's Founder and President, said, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Vassar College, which has long been a global leader in liberal arts higher education and innovative social programs. Our agreement is a win-win-win: for Vassar, its students, and for GCSEN. Vassar College has indicated they will use their good offices to reach out to other institutions about the new SVI program. We are excited about more students learning to 'Make Meaning, Make Money, and Move the World to a Better Place."

Mike Caslin is Adjunct Lecturer of Social Entrepreneurship at SUNY New Paltz NY Business School, and St. Peter's University, Jersey City, NJ. He has spent the last three decades studying, lecturing and facilitating efforts to promote and develop social entrepreneurship on a global scale. GCSEN's leadership and influence in the field of Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education continues to build, as seen in its support of Wheaton College's successful effort last year to create enhanced social entrepreneur programming, facilitated by a grant of $10M from the visionary Diana Davis Spencer Foundation of Bethesda, MD. SVI was developed by GCSEN with the support of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation and GCSEN's national pilot campus partner, Wheaton College, and its WIN Hub Social Entrepreneur Launch Program.

GCSEN has been a leader in the effort to accelerate innovative Social Entrepreneur (SE) curricula in partner colleges, while also offering innovative programs to students and adult learners. Caslin says, "It is vital that a new generation of business-oriented, socially conscious millennials emerge and become successful, high-impact social entrepreneurs. Our life-changing, prac-ademic blended-learning programs benefit colleges with enhanced recruitment, improved retention rate rankings and institutional advancement. The programs promote greater post-college success for their students, due to their improved practical business and community engagement skills."

Recently, GCSEN was featured in the financial Trends Journal magazine article entitled "Want to Change the World? There May be Money In It," and in a New England Journal of Higher Education article which said, "GSCEN's research has conclusively shown that SE education results in significant content knowledge gains retained by students; shows significant gains in self-confidence; is ranked highly as "life-changing" by students; and is highly recommended by students to their peers. Additionally, SE gained a business formulation rate near 50% by students participating in GSCEN programs."

GCSEN Foundation's vision is to expose 1 million millennials to the ideals and concepts of Social Entrepreneurism, while providing life-transforming learning experiences to 100,000 certified "Meaning Makers" and assisting in the formulation and launch of 10,000 new social ventures by Year 2027. The organization's Social Entrepreneur System Institute's on-line courses, campus-based Meaning Maker Boot Camps, faculty and administrator certifications, and at international academic forums help spread the word about the importance of accelerating the Social Entrepreneurship movement. The GCSEN Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c-3) not-for-profit organization, accelerating social entrepreneurship around the world.

Mike Caslin is a graduate of Babson College's prestigious Fast-Track MBA Program at the Olin Graduate School, considered one of the top-ten in the world. The Founder and President of GCSEN Foundation, he was co-founder and CEO of NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) from 1988-2008. Caslin is a past faculty member of Babson College, CUNY-Baruch, Marist College School of Business and Manhattanville College. Caslin has been a featured lecturer at the Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, Columbia Univ. Business School Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship, at International Association of Jesuit Business Schools Conferences and at The Fund for American Studies events, where annually he inspires college students from over seventy different campuses.  Mike Caslin has also been a Subject Matter Expert Witness for the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and The White House.

For more information about GCSEN, or for an interview with Founder & President Mike Caslin, call 212-444-2071; e-mail mike@gcsen.com & visit www.gcsen.com

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