Asee peer logo

Catalyzing the Adoption of Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering by Aligning Outcomes with ABET

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Education Session 3

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.265.1 - 24.265.18



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nathalie Duval-Couetil Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Nathalie Duval-Couetil is the Director of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, Associate Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation at Purdue University. She is responsible for the launch and development of the university’s multidisciplinary undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which has involved over 5000 students from all majors since 2005. She has established entrepreneurship capstone, global entrepreneurship, and women and leadership courses and initiatives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to her work in academia, Nathalie spent several years in the field of market research and business strategy consulting in Europe and the United States with Booz Allen and Hamilton and Data and Strategies Group. She received a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MBA from Babson College, and MS and PhD degrees from Purdue University. She currently serves on the board of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship in the role of Vice President for Research. She is also a Senior Research Advisor to the Stanford University Epicenter.

visit author page


Elizabeth C. Kisenwether Pennsylvania State University, University Park

visit author page

Liz holds a B.S.E.E. from Penn State (1979), and M.S.E.E. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1981) and The Johns Hopkins University (1988). She worked in the defense industry for 11 years with HRB Systems/Raytheon, and then co-founded a high-tech startup (Paragon Technology). Since joining Penn State in 1999, Liz has taught design courses in a variety of engineering departments. From 2002-2010, Liz was Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship (E-SHIP) Minor, serving undergraduates from all majors. She was awarded the 2005 Price Foundation Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award – Stanford University. In 2006, she was awarded the ASEE Kauffman Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator Award. Liz is currently co-Director of the Lion Launch Pad, a student-centric on-campus business accelerator program and is also involved in research funded by NSF and NCIIA (National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance). Between 2008-2012, Liz supported ASME’s annual Innovation Showcase (I-SHOW), was a faculty adviser for the Kern Family Foundation’s KEEN (Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Network) program, and served as Division Chair and Program Chair of the ASEE Entrepreneurship Division. In 2013, Penn State’s new Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) was approved, with five focus areas for undergraduate students to select from: Food and Bio-Innovation, New Media, New Ventures, Social Entrepreneurship and Technology Based Entrepreneurship.

visit author page


Joe Tranquillo Bucknell University

visit author page

Joe Tranquillo teaches at Bucknell University, offering courses in signals and systems, neural and cardiac electrophysiology, instrumentation and medical device design. He has published widely on electrical dynamics in the heart and brain, biomedical computing, engineering design and engineering education.

visit author page

author page

Jacob Dean Wheadon Purdue University

Download Paper |


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.

Duval-Couetil, N., & Kisenwether, E. C., & Tranquillo, J., & Wheadon, J. D. (2014, June), Catalyzing the Adoption of Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering by Aligning Outcomes with ABET Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20156

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015