June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
22.243.1 - 22.243.10
Assessing the Effectiveness of Entrepreneurial Education Programs From a Multiple Level, Multiple Dimension PerspectiveThe assessment of entrepreneurship education programs often cover a large range of topicsincluding knowledge, skills, and attitudes as well as the impacts of such programs to go beyondthe classroom. Because of the extent of these inclusions and the broad range of effects, assessingthe effectiveness of entrepreneurship education programs is challenging. Based upon Block andStumpf (1992)’s idea of a “hierarchy of criteria”, the main purpose of this research is to providea multi-level, multi-dimensional model that systematically investigates factors related to thesuccess of entrepreneurship education programs and, in turn, stimulation and success of newenterprises.While we propose a multi-level, multi-dimensional model, we also introduce a mental modelmeasurement as a critical component of the model. According to Rouse and Morris (1986),mental models are the mechanisms whereby humans generate descriptions of system purpose andform, explanations of system functioning and observed system states, and predictions of futuresystem states. Consequently, a mental model can play a major role in understandingentrepreneurial mindset because one’s beliefs, intentions, and behaviors profoundly influenceone’s mental model.In this paper, we first provide an updated review of recent literature for assessment ofentrepreneurship education programs as well as for measurements of mental models. Second, weprovide a comprehensive assessment model of entrepreneurship education programs to informand direct stakeholders of entrepreneurship education programs. Third, we present empiricalresults from a testing of our model in an entrepreneurship education program at a small mid-western private engineering school.We suggest measurements of mental model as appropriate assessment tools for assessment ofentrepreneurship education programs. We also suggest that a multi-level, multi-dimensionalmodel could be empirically testable for interactions between students, his or her teachers,relationships within the institution, and the society and economy, by adding the shared mentalmodel construct into the research model.
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