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Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset through Design: Insights from Thematic Analysis of First-year Engineering Students' Reflections

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count

27

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28093

Download Count

146

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Paper Authors

biography

Mark Vincent Huerta Arizona State University

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Mark Huerta is a PhD student in the Engineering Education Systems and Design program at Arizona State University. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University. Mark possesses a diverse background that includes experiences in engineering design, social entrepreneurship, consulting, and project management.

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Jeremi S. London Arizona State University

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Dr. Jeremi London is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Arizona State University. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue University. Prior to her PhD, she worked in quality assurance and logistics roles at Anheuser-Busch and GE Healthcare, where she was responsible for ensuring consistency across processes and compliance with federal regulations. For four consecutive summers (2011-2014), she worked in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education on research and evaluation projects related to the use of technology in STEM education. Dr. London masters mixed methods and computational tools to address complex problems, including: science policy issues surrounding STEM learning in cyberlearning environments; evaluation and impact analysis of federal investments in R&D; and applications of simulation & modeling tools to evaluate programs.

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Amy Trowbridge Arizona State University

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Amy Trowbridge is a Lecturer and Director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Her teaching focuses primarily on first year engineering students, and she is interested in curricular and co-curricular experiences that broaden students’ perspectives and enhance student learning.

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Marvyn Arévalo Avalos Arizona State University

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Marvyn R. Arévalo Avalos is a 2nd year Doctoral Student in Counseling Psychology, in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. Marvyn's research interest include Latino/a Career Development and Multicultural Counseling Competencies. For instance, his research examines environmental and socio-cognitive variables associated with academic attainment among Latino/as in higher education.

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Wen Huang Arizona State University

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PhD. student, Engineering Education Systems and Design (PhD)
The Polytechnic School
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Arizona State University

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Ann F. McKenna Arizona State University

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Ann F. McKenna is a Professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Director of The Polytechnic School at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU she served as a program director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education, and was on the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. Dr. McKenna received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Abstract

Design is often specified as the characteristic that distinguishes engineers from professionals in other fields. This skill gives engineering graduates a competitive edge for pursuing diverse career paths and for responding to a range of social and technological needs throughout their careers. A component of this competitive edge includes affording students the opportunity to develop an entrepreneurial mindset (EM). According to the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), the EM includes three dimensions: curiosity, creation of value, and connections. While entrepreneurship is frequently associated with commercialization and business, it is a critical but undervalued aspect of designing products and solutions in engineering. Over the past decade, various members of KEEN have embedded the EM in engineering curriculum offered by programs across the U.S. This is one of few studies that investigate the impact of doing so.

Given the inherent characteristics of an EM and the engineering design process, this paper starts by describing the overlap between the two and reveals how they complement one another; then goes into a thematic analysis of the mindsets of twenty-six students who had just completed a design activity in a first-year engineering course. The purpose of the study is to explore how their mindsets were revealed in their written reflections on: the attitudes and behaviors they perceive were necessary for successfully completing the design activity; reflections on which of the specified attitudes and behaviors they feel they possess; and reflections on which attitudes and behaviors they perceive are necessary for success after graduation. The results of this study reveal that students seamlessly weave together thoughts on actions performed during the design process with facets of an EM throughout their reflections. It includes evidence of how engineering design and EM can inform and influence one another while engineers engage in their work. The findings of this study help make the case for the need to co-facilitate the development of an EM as part of teaching engineering design in undergraduate engineering education.

Huerta, M. V., & London, J. S., & Trowbridge, A., & Arévalo Avalos, M., & Huang, W., & McKenna, A. F. (2017, June), Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset through Design: Insights from Thematic Analysis of First-year Engineering Students' Reflections Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28093

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: © 2017 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