Lani Fraizer

Lani teaches social entrepreneurship in the areas of education and information and communication technology (ICT).

Ashoka U Spotlight: Top tips for using the Ashoka U Curriculum Guide

Let’s face it; preparing a robust course in social entrepreneurship is not an easy feat, even if you’ve been teaching for years. The field is evolving rapidly and thus offers many opportunities (and challenges) for how it can be introduced in the classroom. The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch! Ashoka U offer guidance to help pave the way. Below are top five tips based on recent experience using the Curriculum Guide to help develop curriculum for a graduate course in social entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University.

#1 Visualize what success looks like—for your students—before moving forward. You’re accountable to future Changemakers who enter your academic institution. Envision the possibilities of what students and alumni can do when fostered and nurtured, such as in the in case of undergraduate students Zach Yentzer and Brian McCollow from Arizona State University. Treat your students and alumni with care every step of the way.

#2 Draft a plan of action and review Ashoka U’s Top tips for designing a new SE course. Purchase a copy of the The Ashoka U Curriculum Guide to help you prepare for next steps—a distinguished review board that has proven expertise on social entrepreneurship vetted the Guide so a chunk of the “homework” has already been paved for you.

#3 Decide on an approach for teaching SE. Are you planning on introducing general concepts of social entrepreneurship or teaching a particular topic? Refer to the “Promising Approaches in SE Syllabi, Courses and Teaching” section on page 19, which offers a good review of different approaches. Also, review “Appendix D: Exemplary Syllabi” on page D-1 to give you a preview of how other academicians have taught social entrepreneurship.

#4 Map the journey. Once you’ve decided on an approach, carefully map out your lesson plans by reviewing “Areas for Improvement in Syllabi, Courses and Teaching” on page 27. This section not only showcases opportunities for improvement but also introduces techniques and solutions to address any areas unfamiliar to you.

#5 Remember to embrace the Changemaker in you! Stay abreast of current trends in social entrepreneurship. Review “Areas for Growth and Innovation in SE Academic Space” on page 33, which highlights trending in standards, tools and resources in the field. Most important, stay connected with other educators and practitioners and share best practices. You are no longer just an educator…you’re a Changemaker too!


If you buy the Curriculum Guide now the Brin Wojcicki Foundation will make a matching contribution to Ashoka.