Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, No. 9, May 11, 2012

Rensselaer To Host 12th Annual Colloquium on Teaching and Learning

To highlight the importance of preparing students here and elsewhere for success in tomorrow’s highly competitive global labor market, the 12th annual Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, to be held May 21-22, will focus on “Surviving the Future—Preparing Students for the World They’ll Inhabit.” The event will be held in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies auditorium.

The program will explore and address why students need a complementary set of core entrepreneurial capabilities—including leadership, opportunity recognition, passion, adaptability, resilience, problem-solving intuition and know-how, risk management savvy, communication, networking, and a bias to act—in order to succeed.

The program features faculty, administrators, and staff from Rensselaer and across the nation who will describe the core competencies, highlight why the entrepreneurial skills are necessary, and discuss how changes in teaching and learning to support the development of these core competencies can be made successfully.

“We now know that successful people, in all fields, exhibit a recognizable set of characteristics beyond their technical training,” said Rob Chernow, vice provost for entrepreneurship. “Call them life skills, survival skills, entrepreneurial abilities. In the 21st century, they are the necessary complement to disciplinary mastery. This colloquium will focus on some of the ways in which students’ acquisition of the most important of these traits can be built into the curriculum.”

At Rensselaer, from on-campus courses to workshops, idea competitions, events, guest speakers, and hundreds of video clips, students have access to a wide range of learning tools and resources to help develop and pursue entrepreneurial thinking and innovative opportunities. Chernow also noted that entrepreneurship is embedded in curricula across the Institute, where it complements and enhances course content in areas such as engineering design, technology, sustainability, science, economics, and gaming.

“Rensselaer is deeply committed to its undergraduate programs,” said Bruce Laplante, project manager in the Office of Research & Innovation in Teaching & Learning. “Over the years, in planning the annual Teaching and Learning Colloquium, we have have been at the forefront in developing new paradigms for teaching and learning. The focus on interactive learning has transformed the traditional passive learning paradigm of information transfer to a more student-centered, active learning approach. Within Rensselaer’s academic programs, we also recognize the importance of formal education in emergent areas that are at the intersection of traditional areas of study.”

The annual program is sponsored by the Office of the Provost with support from Jack Arnold ’43. The event is free and open to faculty, staff, and graduate students of all area colleges and universities. In addition, interested area school district teachers and administrators are welcome.

Registration is required. To register, and to view the program schedule, visit

For more information about the Office of Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer, visit

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, Number 9, May 11, 2012
©2012 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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