“IE serves as an incubator permitting students to engage as entrepreneurs to find their own intellectual sweet spot and what they are passionate about. IE replaces the conveyor-belt motif of ‘apprenticeship-certification-entitlement’ with one of self ‘discovery-ownership-accountability’ wherein students are encouraged to be responsible and accountable to themselves for constructing an educational and career pathway responsive to their own needs.” – Keith McDowell, Austin American-Statesman
IE Pre-Graduate School Internship
The objective of the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship is to connect undergraduates with faculty and veteran graduate students in their field of study to explore those unique aspects of graduate study that make it distinct from the undergraduate experience. The Pre-Graduate School Internship is available to all undergraduates at UT-Austin in all colleges and schools. Internships are based on the ability of the student to find and gain the consent of a faculty member and/or graduate student willing to supervise the internship.
IE is both a philosophy and a pragmatic program that empowers students of diverse backgrounds to take ownership of their education and cultivate an experience that honors their interests, strengths and aspirations. Seventy-two percent of IE participants are first generation, underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students. This is not a coincidence. The philosophy of Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) shows promise as an approach to increasing the number of persons of color who attend graduate school. The value of IE as a mechanism for increasing diversity inheres in its capacity to allow students to become entrepreneurs–to discover otherwise unobserved connections between academe and personal and professional experiences.
The spirit of intellectual entrepreneurship seems to resonate with and meet a felt need of minority and first-generation students, facilitating exploration and innovation. IE implores students to create for themselves a world of vast intellectual and practical possibilities, acquiring the resources needed to bring their visions to fruition. IE changes the metaphor and model of education from one of “apprenticeship-certification-entitlement” to “discovery-ownership-accountability.” Learn more about IE on the about page.
The IE Mentorship
Graduate students have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students by guiding them through a process of academic and professional self-discovery. Become a mentor or read more about our mentors. Become an intern or read more about our interns.
“I’m proud that The University of Texas at Austin is home to the Intellectual Entrepreneurship consortium (IE). Since 1997, the consortium has strived to live out the highest ideals of academic life. Whether helping students find their true passion, exposing first-generation college students to the world of graduate studies, or enabling students to better serve society, the consortium has touched the lives of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members in profound ways. I look forward to seeing how this initiative continues to inform our national dialogue about the role of higher education in society, and I encourage the support of this important work.” – Bill Powers, University of Texas President
The IE Model
The IE Internship program introduces students to the intersection of civic engagement, entrepreneurship and cross disciplinary studies. This holistic approach to academia is helping redefine the higher education experience for many underrepresented students. Learn more about the significance of this model.
“Never has it been more important to foster partnerships among all types of public and private entities. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program leverages collaborations to meaningful effect, finding the confluence of common sense and common will.” – E. Gordon Gee, Ohio State University President
The Diversity Profile
The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin is a successful model for integrating diversity into the core mission of a university and integrating community engagement into teaching, research and service. DDCE strives to connect the university’s intellectual resources to communities across Texas and offer education to those who may face the greatest challenges in accessing it. The DDCE works with a broad range of student, faculty, staff and community constituents to help make The University of Texas at Austin a national model for diversity in higher education.
“I am both honored and excited to serve as vice president for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). Our division embraces and encourages diversity in all its forms. We strive for an inclusive community that fosters an open, enlightened and robust learning environment. A free exchange of ideas requires mutual respect and consideration for our differences.
“It is important to think of diversity not as a path toward uniformity, but as a way to acknowledge and value everyone’s varied experiences. This is especially vital in the increasingly multicultural state of Texas and global marketplace. All students, regardless of their backgrounds, benefit from a diverse learning environment.” – Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Vice-president of the Division of Diversity and Community-Engagement