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Master of Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship

  

About the Program

MILE Student studying at home in their own time.

  

Whether you aspire to build or grow your own business, or lead change within an organization, WCU’s Master of Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship program can help you to minimize risk and maximize ROI in your pursuit of innovation. Our program offers two concentrations: Entrepreneurship, for those launching or growing an entrepreneurial firm, and Innovation Leadership, for those wanting to focus on innovation within an existing organization via intrapreneurship. All students in our program join a collaborative and resourceful community of support dedicated to helping them successfully operate and grow their enterprise.

Fully online and accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the international accrediting agency for business schools, our program offers the flexibility you need to enhance your entrepreneurial experience on your time, while balancing your career and personal life.

If you have a creative idea and would like to confidentially speak to one of our faculty members to see how your concept and your career could benefit from our program, we would be delighted to speak with you!  Please contact entrepreneurs@wcu.edu so that we can schedule a good time to talk.

Entrepreneurship Concentration 

Many enrolled students actually launch their start-up while in our program.  Benefitting from a professional network and the mentorship of our experienced faculty of successful entrepreneurs, our students explore possible markets, examine product/service feasibility, identify funding opportunities, and learn to build an effective team. This concentration is designed to help students build the tools, assets, experience and network they'll need to lead an entrepreneurial venture. 

 

Innovation and Leadership Concentration

Today’s organizations are faced with a rapidly changing environment, creating both challenges and opportunities to evolve and prosper. The Innovation Leadership Concentration addresses the emerging practice of Intrapreneurship, broadly defined as the application of entrepreneurial capabilities to the development of new ventures within an existing firm. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to serve as innovation leaders and change agents.

 

Students completing the Master of Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree will learn how to:

  • Be innovative and creative thinkers who will recognize entrepreneurial opportunities and recognize when entrepreneurial opportunities can be created.
  • Create and establish successful entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Lead entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Develop and maintain an ethical culture within an entrepreneurial venture.
  • Communicate effectively with the internal constituencies of an entrepreneurial venture, including officers, managers, employees, and agents.
  • Communicate effectively with the external constituencies of an entrepreneurial venture, including customers, investors, lenders, suppliers, and regulatory agencies.
  • Build and grow successful entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Maintain and harvest entrepreneurial ventures successfully.

Taught completely online, our program allows students to continue working while pursuing their degree. Students typically complete 6 credits of coursework per semester for a total of 30 credits at the completion of the program.  Students who begin in spring or fall semesters can complete the program in five semesters, while students who begin in a summer term can complete the program in six.  View the plan of study.

The Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program requires 30 semester hours.  This includes a 21 hour core and a 9 hour concentration. 

The Core consists of:

  • Entrepreneurial Innovation (ENT 601)
  • Entrepreneurial Creation (ENT 610)
  • Entrepreneurial Feasibility Analysis (ENT 640)
  • Advanced Entrepreneurial Finance (ENT 650)
  • Planning a New Venture (ENT 655)
  • Entrepreneurial Stratgey I (ENT 660)
  • Entrepreneurial Strategy II (ENT 670)

The Entrepreneurship Concentration focuses on launching or growing an entrepreneurial firm.

  • Entrepreneurial Planning (ENT 600)
  • Entrepreneurial Growth (ENT 630)
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing (ENT 645)

The Innovation and Leadership Concentration focuses on identifying, driving, and leveraging innovation for internal opportunities, typically within an existing organization.

  • Project Planning and Estimating (PMC 610)
  • Project Schedule, Risk, and Contracts (PMC 620)
  • Intrapreneurship (ENT 635)

 

"This program can help anyone out there, it doesn't have to be just about someone owning their own business but rather more about being innovative in any aspect of your career."

"ENT 601 expanded my view of entrepreneurial creativity and innovation. It showed me the importance of keeping pace with the ever-changing business world and exposed me to many resources that I can use in my business ventures moving forward"

"Thank you for exposing me to this world! It has given me an even deeper appreciation for the creators our there, and entrepreneurs everywhere."

"I learned so much more about the process of innovation based on learning about the theories, history and how this information ties into the future. I learned to focus more on the future as a strategy to analye what's to come."

"I find it very exciting that I can work on real life projects and not just hypothetical ones. With limited time in each day, knowing that what I am working on for school assignments also crosses over into real life, is a real blessing to me."

 

Admission Requirements

Graduate School Admission Requirements 

Applicants to the Master of Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship program are diverse. To support the diverse applicant pool, prospective students are strongly encouraged to present their best possible case for admission. You will be among peers who are passionate about innovating and leading from within organizations, or by creating and growing new entrepreneurial ventures. Accordingly, students must submit required items, and should submit any, or all, of the preferred/optional items as may be necessary to build their case for acceptance.

Required Items:

  • Transcript
  • Resume

Preferred Items:

  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Essay, addressing topics such as the rationale for entering the program, how you will meet the challenges of graduate-level academic study, your passion to persist throughout the program until graduation, goals, and aspirations after earning the degree.
  • Documentation of Leadership/Innovation/Entrepreneurial Achievements
  • Awards

Additional Optional Items:

  • Interview with the program director or another faculty member
  • GRE, GMAT, MAT

*If deemed necessary to support an applicant's case beyond other materials submitted.

Application Deadline(s) for Priority Consideration*:   

  • For Fall Admission - July 15
  • For Spring Admission - November 15
  • For Summer Admission - March 15

*Applications received after the date for "Priority Consideration" might be processed, but it should be anticipated that the entry date could be delayed until the next semester.

Course Offerings: Entirely online

 

Cost & Aid

Although tuition and fees tend to change from year to year, in state students are expected to be able to finish the program for less than $10,000. Out of state and international students can expect to finish the program for less than $30,000. There are special rates for those who are out of state and using military benefits.

Distance Tuition Rates

WCU has limited scholarship options for graduate students. University scholarship applications are due via an online portal in early February, while College of Business opportunities are communicated via email and are generally solicited between March and June, for the following academic year. The university offers a payment plan through an external vendor, and students can apply for federal loans through FAFSA.gov. For assistance with the FAFSA application, students can contact the Financial Aid Office at 828-227-7290.

 

Mission

The mission of the Master of Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship degree program is to inculcate entrepreneurial vision and the wherewithal to succeed in our graduates. The first part of our mission requires that we develop in our graduates the ability to identify entrepreneurial opporunities that already exist: these may represent unsolved problems, unmet wants and needs, and untapped/under-served markets. Of equal importance is the requirement to develop the skills to implement change: the invention, development, and exploitation of entirely new ideas, products, and services; and the creation of new industries, infrastructures, and ways of doing business. Our mission encompasses all types of entrepreneurial ventures: not-for-profit and government organizations as well as for-profit business ventures.  

  

Faculty
Alexandra Watson Distance Programs Manager & Advisor 
Robert Carton Ph.D.; Associate Professor of  Entrepreneurship
Robert Lahm Ph.D.; Professor of Entrepreneurship, Graduate Program Director
Frank Lockwood Ph.D.; Professor of Entrepreneurship

  

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