June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.211.1 - 24.211.11
Assessment of a New University-Wide Entrepreneurship Minor The assessment plan of a new entrepreneur and innovation focused inter-college minor ata large, Mid-Atlantic university will be discussed. The new minor, which previously existedonly within the College of Engineering, has expanded to include five tracks or clusters, whichinclude emphases on Technology-Based Entrepreneurship, New Media, Food and Bio-Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, and New Venture. The overall goal of the assessment is totrack the students’ progress, knowledge, skill development, and attitudinal changes as theyproceed through the minor and begin their careers. This paper will detail the current assessmentplan and provides preliminary results on the impact of the courses on students’ attitudes and self-efficacy. Other individuals interested in assessment of entrepreneurship programs, includingthose housed solely in engineering or those that are cross-disciplinary, may find this paper ofinterest. As the first step in this process, students from the core classes of the minor were asked tocomplete a survey near the beginning of the semester to capture their current attitudes and skillsrelating to entrepreneurship and innovation. A vast majority of the students (125 out of 140)who completed the survey were enrolled in their first entrepreneurially focused class. As aresult, the survey responses provide a unique opportunity to examine students’ initial thoughtsabout entrepreneurship and innovation, which will serve as a baseline for future assessments. Inthe current survey, students were asked to provide their personal definition of entrepreneurshipand innovation, rate the importance of several entrepreneurial skills, indicate whetherentrepreneurial and innovation skills were innate or learned, and complete a measure ofentrepreneurial self-efficacy and creative self-efficacy. Preliminary results demonstrate that the students believe that entrepreneurial andinnovative skills can be both learned and innate. Additionally, the students rated the followingentrepreneurial skills as the most important: the ability to recognize opportunities, the ability toact on opportunities, persistence, creativity, communication skills, and their belief in their abilityto succeed. Since most of students were just beginning to learn about entrepreneurship andinnovation in an academic setting, an analysis was conducted to determine if any differencesexisted between students who had previously been exposed to entrepreneurial or innovativeactivities outside the classroom either as a result of working on their own product or venture orbeing related to an entrepreneur. ANOVA results show that students who are currently workingon a new product or venture have a higher mean on the entrepreneurial self efficacy scale (F1, 122=12.607, p=.001) and the creative self efficacy scale (F1, 132 =21.400, p=.001) and whencompared to students who are not currently working on a new product or venture. A similar survey will be distributed to the same students near the end of the semester andresponses will be analyzed across time. Students who continue to progress through the minorwill be assessed throughout the program. Distinctions between students pursuingentrepreneurship in the different clusters (i.e. engineering versus new media) will be analyzed.Student responses will be used to improve the entrepreneurship and innovation minor.
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