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A Way to Win: Incentivizing Engineering Faculty to Incorporate Entrepreneurship in Their Courses

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. Dr. Carberry was previously an employee of the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education & Outreach.

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Samantha Ruth Brunhaver Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Samantha Brunhaver is an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Polytechnic School. Dr. Brunhaver recently joined Arizona State after completing her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She also has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. Dr. Brunhaver's research examines the career decision-making and professional identity formation of engineering students, alumni, and practicing engineers. She also conducts studies of new engineering pedagogy that help to improve student engagement and understanding.

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Jeremi S. London Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Dr. Jeremi London is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Arizona State University in the Polytechnic School. London is a mixed methods researcher with interests in research impact, cyberlearning, and instructional change in STEM Education. Prior to ASU, London worked at the National Science Foundation, GE Healthcare, and Anheuser-Busch. She earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Changing engineering faculty’s pedagogical practices is challenging and an ongoing undertaking within engineering units. A major reason for the challenge is the reluctance of faculty to change if what they are doing in the classroom is familiar and seems to be “working”. The difficulty with changing pedagogy in the absence of faculty’s readiness to do so is compounded by rapidly changing trends in topics to embed in courses. Entrepreneurship is a recent example of such in engineering. This confluence of factors calls for an innovative approach to spur pedagogical change among faculty.

This paper presents an effort undertaken at a large, southwestern research-focused institution to spur pedagogical innovation around the topic of entrepreneurship. Several engineering faculty submitted individual or joint four-page proposals to an internal solicitation for a competitive professorship. The winners were awarded funding (up to $10,000) to support the pedagogical innovation they planned to implement in one of their courses over a given semester. Projects incorporated entrepreneurship into courses on a range of topics such as design, robotics, and math-intensive engineering fundamentals courses. Awardees used the funding for a variety of resources including project materials, undergraduate teaching assistants, equipment, and summer salary.

The purpose of this study is the investigate the ways in which the internal competition spurred pedagogical innovation. A thematic analysis of open-ended survey responses from the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 awardees reveals some of the factors that motivated them to pursue the award and/or the pedagogical innovation. Analysis focused on when the idea was derived (i.e., before or after the announcement of the professorship opportunity), what aspect of the competition motivated them to apply (e.g., financial support, recognition), and the role of funding in the actual implementation of their innovation. The findings of this study provide insights into what kinds of incentives can serve as beneficial approaches to embedding entrepreneurship into engineering curricula.

Carberry, A. R., & Brunhaver, S. R., & London, J. S. (2018, June), A Way to Win: Incentivizing Engineering Faculty to Incorporate Entrepreneurship in Their Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29744

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