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Growing Entrepreneurs Outside the Classroom
CNBC.com | September 19, 2011 | 10:08 AM EDT

“Thiel's program is an incubator,” says Mary Haskett, Tactical Information Systems CEO and co-founder, who describes herself as a serial entrepreneur who is currently launching her third startup.

While she has spent much time in the hallowed halls of university, Haskett questions whether it was worth it.

“I have a degree in applied math and a master’s degree in educational technology, and in my entire adult life nobody has ever cared where I went to school,” says Haskett.

Such thinking has prompted many undergraduate and graduate schools in recent years to innovate themselves, by launching entrepreneurial-centered courses and programs. More than 2,000 schools now offer coursework in the area, according to The Kaufman Foundation.

Thiel's program has its share of critics, who say it is unwise to encourage students to drop out, or simply skip the college experience; some question whether this will in fact spur innovation, or just encourage those with good ideas to skip college without a clear cut plan.

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