I would love to see this trend accelerate:
“The five-year-old [Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship] program, [Wake Forest University’s] most popular minor, requires students to learn the practical aspects of starting a business. It is a sign of change in liberal-arts colleges, which are grappling with the responsibility of preparing students for a tight and rapidly shifting job market while still providing the staples of academic inquiry.” (from Wall Street Journal)
This is really important in my opinion, and it’s a big part of what we cover in the course I am co-teaching at Brandeis this year, “Web and Social Apps”. The course starts next week and runs for 10 weeks, practically full time. During that course students go through the whole cycle of conceiving a product, designing, implementing and deploying it to the world. It’s an exciting experience. Fairly exhausting for everyone involved, but worth it.
I wish all college students, especially in my field, Computer Science, were thought learn theory and critical thinking, but also got exposed (and were even required) to learn what I like to call “critical doing”. Working in teams, inventing and creating things that others could benefit of, could touch and feel, and could have an impact in the real world.
The truth is that in many Universities, this is not a priority today, but there is signs that the students and parents (the customers after all) are demanding this. Change is slow, but it is coming.