Case study

College and University Co-Curricular Programming:

Program Development and Delivery

Program Overview:

Innovate@BU ran and delivered workshop series and pitch competitions. After identifying a desire to diversify their program topics, Boston University decided to enlist the help of Ethos to create a soft-skill co-curricular program, Purpose Bootcamp, presented by professional purpose and communication coaches.

Table of Contents


> Key Phases

> The Coaches

> Impact

> Testimonial


Boston University is a private, non-profit, research university in Boston, MA, comprising of 33,000 students and 3,900 faculty members.

Boston University’s Innovate@BU program was developed in 2017 to equip BU students with innovation skills and an entrepreneurial mindset and prepared students to create a meaningful impact in their careers and communities. Working with Boston professionals, in-house advice, and nationally recognized entrepreneurs, Innovate@BU ran and delivered workshop series and pitch competitions.

After identifying a desire to diversify their program topics, Boston University decided to enlist the help of Ethos to create a soft-skill co-curricular program, Purpose Bootcamp, presented by professional purpose and communication coaches.

Key Phases

Ethos divided the project into three key phases.

Phase 1: Program Development

To ensure a focus on an individualized program for Innovate@BU, Ethos ran a needs analysis in the form of a focus group comprising of current Boston University undergraduate students. Students were interviewed in areas of:

  1. Finding, defining, and developing the concept of purpose
  2. Understanding motivations for career paths and business creation
  3. Analyzing how passions and purpose are taken from the classroom into the world.

A needs analysis allowed Ethos to identify gaps in student’s understanding, literacy, and application of purposeful work. Ethos worked with Innovate@BU to customize a co-curricular with subject matter experts who were able to cover novel skill development oriented toward purpose-driven goals.

Phase 2: Marketing and Outreach

Community Engagement: Stakeholders included program facilitators, speakers, mentors, and students. The Innovate@BU program created multiple points for stakeholder engagement with the campus community (faculty, adjuncts, administrators, the university’s broader geographic community,  alumni, and donors).

To integrate nontraditional entrepreneur engagement, business leaders from Boston spoke to students about their pathways to success and driving force behind their career. Community members spoke on nontraditional career paths, activating purpose in their lives, and leadership development. The speakers included Busola Laguda, VP of Global Credit Finance for State Street Bank, and Kimberly D. Lucas, Director of Civic Research at the Boston Mayor’s Office.

Marketing: In addition to program development, multi-media marketing materials were designed and delivered by Ethos for distribution within Boston University and Innovate at BU’s channels. Materials included, but were not limited to, digital and printable promotion flyers, social media banners, Eventbright page setup, and online copy for email outreach campaigns. Additional custom assets for interuniversity marketing channels were also developed at request of Innovate@BU.

Phase 3: Program Delivery and Feedback

The co-curricular program was built to engage students consistently throughout the day program: Purpose Bootcamp. The Purpose Bootcamp is designed to help students better understand how they can be strong agents of innovation, creativity, and transformation for the communities that matter most to them.

Professional coaches and guest speakers: Integral to co-curricular programs are subject matter experts. Keeping in line with the institution’s desire to integrate practitioners, Ethos identified candidates who would fit the programs needs. The program featured a purpose coach and a communications coach to build a basis of purpose development and communicate their understanding as well.

The Coaches

Kelsey Crouch

Kelsey is a leading communications coach having worked with TEDsters with over 2 mill views, to Fortune 100 professionals, Fortune 500 CEOs, innovation frontrunners, and social activist superstars. Kelsey spent 25 years in theatre, film performance, and special event production. She is a member of the immersive theatre company, Odyssey Works, where she and an expanding team of artists create transformative experiences for audiences of one person, performed once and never again.

Zach Mercurio

Zach is the bestselling author of “The Invisible Leader: Transform Your Life, Work, and Organization with the Power of Authentic Purpose” and is the founder of, the popular blog on purposeful leadership. His work has been featured internationally with outlets such as ForbesBooks, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Acuity Magazine, and he is a regular guest on a wide range of leadership and organizational development podcasts.


The co-curricular was able to meet Innovate@BU’s need for a diverse and novel curriculum that engaged from key stakeholders including faculty, students and its local community.

The day-long program was popular among students ranging from freshmen to graduate students. Students were drawn into the program, indicated by one student who was “walking by the BUild Lab”, where the program was running and felt compelled to join.

Every attendee walked away with their own purpose statement and purpose pathway to help activate their role in their community. Beyond identifying their purpose at Boston University, workshop participants also received training to communicate their purpose and their story in a cohesive way. Attendees comprised of many leaders from various student organizations, allowing purposeful work to spread to other communities on campus.

Student Testimonials:

“Your talk truly tested the meaning behind one’s purpose and mission in life and it really made me think about my own outlook on life and the next big steps I’m going to have to take after I graduate.”

“I give it 10/10

“Great workshop leader–good for mental health

“I found the best part being put to task and having to write down the building blocks of my purpose

“Hearing what others had to say and how our purposes were similar in some ways. I also hadn’t thought about articulating my purpose.”

“The speaker was engaging; made me think; very reflective…I have plans to do something new

Make this a yearly thing

“Have one at the start of every semester

“I learned a lot in this class. Please let me know if Purchase and Ethos offer a level II class next year!”


Questions? Reach out to learn more about Ethos!