Social Enterprise students study open innovation – the art of seeking good ideas wherever they may
be found. We also believe in open learning, and encourage all of our
students to seek opportunities to learn outside the classroom. This can happen before, during, or after their
Resources for this abound. Some of these are useful before
starting graduate study, others are more appropriate during breaks and in the
summer. Because many of these are offered outside of American University, they
may involve additional expenses beyond graduate school tuition, and they will
not earn credits toward your degree unless they are part of an independent
study course you design with your advisor.
The School of International Service offers a comprehensive
program of study abroad opportunities with partner universities around the
world. Social Enterprise students have
made use of these to study at the University of Cape Town and at Sciences Po in
Paris. Credit for these can be used
toward your degree requirements. Details are here.
Many Social Enterprise students design their own abroad
experiences, usually combining work and learning. Sometimes these are part of
their academic program, sometimes they are done just for the experience.
Countries where these have happened include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa
Rica, DR Congo, El Salvador, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru,
Rwanda, South Sudan, and Vietnam. Ask our students and alumni how they have
done this – they’re good at coloring outside the lines.
There are also a number of for- and non-profit organizations
offering social entrepreneurship-related experiences abroad. Some of these are oriented to undergraduate
students, but may provide employment opportunities for graduate students. They
+Acumen is a social enterprise that offers a number
of excellent, free online multi-week courses covering subjects of interest to
social entrepreneurs.These include
Social Entrepreneurship 101, Adaptive Leadership, Human Centered Design,
Storytelling for Change, Lean Start-up, Financial Modeling, Scaling Smart, and
Impact Analysis. Taught by skilled practitioners, they are best taken together
with a small group of other students.
Coursera and other MOOCs offer a wide variety of free
university-based courses in management and social entrepreneurship-related
Kauffman Founders School offers a comprehensive curriculum in a range of subjects including: the art of startup finance, the lean approach, venture capital, startup boards, leadership and motivation, angel investment, entrepreneurial marketing, intellectual property, and powerful presentations.
Philanthropy University, created in collaboration with UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, offers free courses in leadership, scaling impact, nonprofit strategy, financial modeling, fundraising, and social entrepreneurship. Completing a series of these will earn you a certificate in social sector leadership from Berkeley-Haas.
The World Bank's e-institute has a free, self-paced online course on how to create innovative business models for social impact.
BASIC MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Harvard Business School offers a set of online
courses that cover the basic “hard” skills of business analytics, managerial
economics, and financial accounting.
The Management Center in Washington DC offers multi-day
workshops on the “soft” (actually the “harder”) skills: managing work, managing
people, and managing yourself.