June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.265.1 - 24.265.18
Catalyzing the Adoption of Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering by Aligning Outcomes with ABET Accreditation StandardsEconomic trends and a changing job market for college graduates, has generated significantinterest among universities and employers in graduating more engineers who haveentrepreneurship skills and an entrepreneurial mindset. As a result, many engineering studentshave increasing access to entrepreneurship education, however, research shows this is not yetwidespread or institutionalized. ABET accreditation is a significant force in shaping theundergraduate engineering curriculum. We propose that wider adoption within engineeringacademic programs could be driven by demonstrating the manner in which entrepreneurshipeducation outcomes align with ABET Criterion 3 a-k. This approach would help address anumber of barriers, including: 1) the limited space available in academic programs to integratewhat might be perceived by faculty as “non-engineering” curriculum; 2) the reality that manyengineering faculty may not have had exposure to, experience with, or interest inentrepreneurship education; and 3) the reluctance on the part of engineering programs to modifycurriculum that, without entrepreneurship education, meets ABET accreditation outcomes. Inmany areas, ABET’s expected outcomes require that engineering programs equip students withmany of the same skills that are traditionally acquired through entrepreneurship education - suchas the ability to lead others, use teamwork and communicate well, perceive opportunities, reactand adapt with flexibility in the face of uncertainty, deal well with risk and failure, as well as theability to address real-world problems. The purpose of this paper will be to provide a rationalefor aligning entrepreneurship education with ABET accreditation standards. It will do so byreviewing the manner in which educators have successfully aligned entrepreneurship principlesand experiential learning activities with ABET Criterion 3 a-k. It will also review the literaturerelated to building and assessing the body of knowledge for entrepreneurship-related educationthat is pertinent to engineers. The researchers have already conducted pilot research that emergedfrom the Stanford Epicenter initiative which resulted in a preliminary list of 52 entrepreneurshipoutcomes in 4 major categories or content areas. Feedback on this work suggests that there issignificant interest and support among engineering faculty and administrators in pursuing suchan approach.
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