The Social Entrepreneurship (SE) certificate program is designed for students with high-intermediate to advanced English-language proficiency. The courses focus on solving social problems by using creative entrepreneurial skills. SE students learn about problems in society, current business trends, and innovative social entrepreneurships. They also gain the knowledge, tools, and language resources necessary to create a business that would positively affect social change for the future.

Participants have the opportunity to follow one of three tracks depending on their length of stay. Students who successfully complete a session (eight weeks in fall and spring, six weeks in summer) receive an SE Certificate of Recognition. Those who successfully complete a term (two sessions) earn an SE Certificate of Achievement. Students who enroll for a period shorter than a session are eligible for an IEC certificate with specialization in business English.

Program Highlights

  • Excellent Faculty with Advanced Degrees
    Most instructors hold advanced degrees and have experience in both business and language instruction.
  • Interaction with International Business Students
    Students in the program have the opportunity to take classes with people from all around the world.
  • SDSU Entrepreneur Society
    During the fall and spring semesters, students are eligible for membership to the SDSU Entrepreneur Society. Membership includes: access to networking opportunities and speaker sessions, participation in meetings, events, and workshops.
  • TOEFL Not Required
    Students are tested on site. Those placing in high-intermediate to advanced levels are eligible for the Social Entrepreneurship certificate program.
  • Social Enterprise Models
    Through classroom and seminar instruction, students will be shown models of how others developed a social business idea into an effective social business plan.

Testing and Placement
The Social Entrepreneurship program offers instruction for students with intermediate to advanced levels of English. A minimum TOEIC score of 500, TOEFL iBT of 55, or IELTS score of 5.0 will guarantee admission to this program. without test scores will test upon arrival. Students who do not have a high-intermediate level of English will enter either the IBE or IEC program.

Non-Certificate, Short-Term Option
Social Entrepreneurship students who miss the start of a term may begin their studies on any of the published flex-entry dates for four weeks or longer. Students who enroll for a period shorter than a session will receive recognition in business English. To be eligible for a SE certificate, students entering on a flex-entry date must enroll in the next complete SE session. Please see Calendar & Fees for flex-entry dates.

Social Entrepreneurship (SE)

Number of weeks

6+ summer, 8+ fall or spring

Hours of instruction

23+ per week

Requirements

Intermediate to advanced English language proficiency. A minimum TOEIC score of 500, TOEFL iBT of 55, or IELTS score of 5.0 will guarantee admission to this program.

Certificates

Certificate of Recognition (1 session) or Certificate of Achievement (2 sessions)

Number of levels

2

Also included

All students have access to electives, pronunciation clinics, sports facilities, conversation groups, language and computer labs, student advising, the SDSU library, and academic advising.

Dates

See Calendar & Fees

 

Curriculum

  • Class Structure
    Classes are structured to improve entrepreneurial skills, business knowledge, and practical English ability while focusing on successful social business models and strategies.
  • Core Classes
    Students will take a variety of business English classes that focus on social entrepreneurship. Class curriculum incorporates case studies, guest speakers, on-campus resources, and technology.
  • SE Seminar
    Students are required to take the Social Entrepreneurship weekly seminar. This seminar provides instruction on SE ideas and tools to develop SE ideas into social enterprises.
  • Portfolio
    Students are encouraged to assemble a portfolio throughout the program. The portfolio should include work completed in approved classes and SE seminars.
  • Social Enterprise Project
    Through classroom and seminar instruction, students will develop a business plan for a social entrepreneurship idea.

Practical Experience

  • Inspirational Social Entrepreneurs
    Students will meet successful social entrepreneurs and be exposed to prominent San Diego social enterprises through speaker sessions and field trip opportunities. Field trips and speakers will vary by session.
  • SDSU Entrepreneurship Center
    Students can take advantage of SDSU’s Entrepreneur Center, which provides students with a full range of resources to facilitate social business idea creations.
  • SDSU Entrepreneurship Incubator
    With permission, students will have access to SDSU’s Entrepreneur Incubator, which is designed to accelerate the growth and success of new business.
  • Social Enterprise Creation
    Through classroom and seminar instruction, students will learn how to develop a social business idea into an effective social business plan.

Sample Schedule

Session

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Morning

Oral Presentations

Talking About Business

Oral Presentations

Talking About Business

SE Seminar

Morning

Business Video

Business Writing

Business Video

Business Writing

SE Seminar

Break

Late Afternoon

SE Reading

SE Listening

SE Reading

SE Listening

SE Seminar

 

Additional English-Language Support
In addition to daily speaking classes, the ALI offers students additional language support outside of the regular class schedule:

  • Pronunciation Clinic
  • Grammar Lab
  • Homework Help Lab