Westmont Downtown, a new, semester-long academic program focusing on capital and social entrepreneurship, opens May 1 in downtown Santa Barbara on the third floor of 26 W. Anapamu Street in the Hutton Parker Foundation Building above the Fund of Santa Barbara.
The first class of students will enroll in the program in fall 2015, and each one will be involved in an internship 20 hours a week downtown. They will also take classes on Anapamu Street. “Westmont Downtown will create opportunities and open direct partnerships with Santa Barbara-based businesses and social agencies,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “These efforts will include training in capital and social entrepreneurship as well as internships. We want to equip students with the skills and experiences they need to become social innovators, entrepreneurs and people who seek the global good. We’re grateful for the support of Tom Parker and the Hutton Parker Foundation in launching this program.”
“The curriculum will highlight global realities while providing opportunities for students to apply their new knowledge in a local context,” says Mark Sargent, Westmont provost. “We hope this setting will also provide space for other events where Westmont students, faculty and staff can engage the Santa Barbara community.”
Next year, Westmont seeks to place every junior and senior at the college in a meaningful internship. “The best studies indicate that one of the most pivotal experiences for undergraduates is an internship or work experience that allows students to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom,” Beebe says. About 85 percent of the students who graduated in 2014 participated in an internship during their time at Westmont.
Rachel Winslow, a 20th century U.S. historian whose research and teaching interests include race, family, gender, childhood, and social policy, directs Westmont’s new Center for Social Entrepreneurship and will coordinate Westmont Downtown. She graduated from the University of Rochester, earned a master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, and a doctorate at UC Santa Barbara.
Rick Ifland, director of the Eaton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and chair of Westmont’s Department of Economics and Business, will also teach in the program. A Westmont alumnus and successful entrepreneur, he studied international law, original economic theory and international distributive justice at Oxford University.