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Lehigh rescues the Pennsylvania Governor's School

A commitment by Lehigh has saved the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Global Entrepreneurship program, which has been renamed the Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship (PSGE). Lehigh took action to continue the residential summer program in response to parental concern about the closure of all eight program locations across the state due to state budget cuts that eliminated program funding in 2009.

“Lehigh is committed to educating students for an ever increasingly global world,” said Dick Brandt, director of the Iacocca Institute in Lehigh’s office of international affairs.

“This venture fits with Lehigh’s focus on encouraging entrepreneurship and marks our determination to continue to teach entrepreneurial concepts and business and leadership skills to students who may be the future leaders of the state of Pennsylvania,” said Brandt.

“There is a lack of opportunities for gifted and entrepreneurship education in Pennsylvania and we saw a real need to continue this kind of programming.”

The PSGE program is designed for the “best and brightest” of Pennsylvania’s high school students. The program will retain the same content, length and selectivity as the former Governor’s School. Its cost, which was previously funded by the state, will now be provided by participating families. Management costs are being partially underwritten by the Iacocca Institute.

PSGE brings Pennsylvania high school students aged 15 to 18 together with international high school students from all regions of the world for a five-week residential learning experience. The 2010 session, which runs from June 27 to July 31, will focus on global entrepreneurship, leadership, team building, innovation, creativity, and doing business around the world. Students will participate in large and small group seminars and workshops, and visit businesses and industries throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Students will also work closely with a successful entrepreneurial company to tackle a business challenge, with teams of students preparing business reports and making formal presentations to the company.

Selection to the program is competitive. In 2009, 180 families petitioned to send their son or daughter to the program and only 63 Pennsylvania and 13 international students were selected to attend.
 
A unique feature of the program is the participation of international students who live and study with Pennsylvania students. The program has drawn students from Afghanistan, Antigua Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
 
“The presence and active participation of international students in the global entrepreneurship program have provided us with the essential global component of our program,” said Angela Urbano of Bethlehem, a 2006 program alumnus. “By working alongside them we have experienced their cultures and their countries and have gained new perspectives from around the world.”
 
Applications and further information can be found by visiting www.iacocca-lehigh.org, clicking on “High School Program” near the top of the page, and clicking on either “International High School Student Application” or “Pennsylvania High School Student Application” on the left column.
 
Applications for the 2010 program are now being accepted. For questions, please contact Trisha Alexy, director of PSGE, at tsa2@lehigh.edu. The five-week program fee, which includes housing, food, tuition, course materials, activities and field trips, is $2,950. Limited partial scholarship funding is available for students with financial need.

Story by Dina Silver Pokedoff

Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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