Arts, Letters, and Enterprise


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Jan. 30, 2013

Arts, Letters, and Enterprise


Minor and certification program to expand business knowledge for liberal arts majors, increase career options


Shannon Perry, a sophomore from Houston,  aspires to run her own scenic design company someday. But as a theatre major, she knows she'll need more than a deep knowledge of the performing arts in order to function and succeed in the professional world. Trinity University's newest academic program, the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) minor and certification, is designed to promote business literacy for students like Shannon.  "ALE will give me skills necessary to pursue a career beyond those traditionally sought in my area of theatre," says Shannon.  Rather than simply entering the technical theater world, she says the ALE minor gives her the option to promote herself as someone with training in arts management.

Trinity University is launching the new program this fall to equip students pursuing majors in the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, and the natural sciences with business skills. The ALE minor and certification program will further broaden the skill sets Trinity's students take with them after graduation, whether that leads to careers in traditional business environments or to careers in the arts, theater, non-profit, technology, and government sectors.

The ALE program builds on two of Trinity's greatest strengths - its liberal arts and sciences core and a robust business administration program. "Trinity continues to innovate its curricular offerings," said Trinity University President Dennis A. Ahlburg. "The latest example is the ALE minor and certification program. We believe this is the only program of its kind in the nation, pairing student interest in the visual, literary, and performing arts with practical business applications."

The program offers two paths for students, a minor and a certification program.  The minor in Arts, Letters, and Enterprise is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to explore various aspects of administering complex organizations in the modern world.   The certification requires fewer credit hours, but gives students an opportunity to build knowledge while gaining practical experience in an internship off campus. ALE certification is especially suited for students pursuing a degree in clinical sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences, and those interested in non-profit management.  

"Today's college graduates will need practical application skills, such as the ability to read a balance sheet or analyze a marketing plan, as well as the critical skills acquired through a broad-based education. Trinity's ALE program will give our students that advantage," said Jacob Tingle, professor of business administration and director of the Sports Management minor. "Student interest in the new program is strong," said Carl Leafstedt, professor of music history and, with Tingle, co-chair of the ALE program.  "We are glad to offer prospective students one more reason to pick Trinity University."

Upon completion of the certification program requirements, the ALE certification is designated on students' official transcripts. Other Trinity certifications include Environment/Sustainability Across the Curriculum and Spanish Across the Curriculum.

-Sharon Jones Schweitzer '75