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Developing a More Comprehensive Instrument to Assess the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Engineering Students

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Student Perceptions of Self-efficacy, Success, and Identity

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34417

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34417

Download Count

166

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Paper Authors

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Constanza Miranda Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9110-2832

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Constanza Miranda holds a PhD in design with a focus in anthropology from North Carolina State University. While being a Fulbright grantee, Constanza worked as a visiting researcher at the Center for Design Research, Mechanical Engineering Department, at Stanford. Today she is an assistant professor at P.Universidad Católica de Chile's Engineering School. There, she directs the DILAB: the engineering design initiative. Apart from developing the educational program in engineering design and innovation (Major IDI), the DILAB partners with forward thinking organizations to assess real life ill-defined issues. Past personal experiences involve work in industry and for consultancies such as Procorp Santiago, Cooper San Francisco and Continuum Milan. On the other hand Constanza is an entrepreneur in medical devices where she is continuously working in the detection of opportunities for innovation and development of new technologies. Her research work is focused mainly in the area of bio design, engineering-design education and design anthropology methods.

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Julián Iñaki Goñi Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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Julián is an educational psychologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, with academic certification in Economy. He is an instructor and research assistant at DILAB UC (School of Engineering UC). He has collaborated in diverse innovation projects. In DILAB UC he researches on topics such as Engineering Education, Public Innovation and Teamwork. He is interested in research, theory and application of interdisciplinary social sciences, with emphasis on the intersection of educational psychology, philosophy and STS

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Bruk T. Berhane Florida International University

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Dr. Bruk T. Berhane received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 2003. He then completed a master’s degree in engineering management at George Washington University in 2007. In 2016, he earned a Ph.D. in the Minority and Urban Education Unit of the College of Education at the University of Maryland.
Bruk worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he focused on nanotechnology, from 2003 to 2005. In 2005 he left JHU/APL for a fellowship with the National Academies where he conducted research on methods of increasing the number of women in engineering. After a brief stint teaching mathematics in Baltimore City following his departure from the National Academies, he began working for the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE) in the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.
In 2011, he began working directly under the Office of the Dean in the Clark School, coordinating outreach and recruitment programs for the college. In 2016, he assumed the role of director of the Office of Undergraduate Recruitment and Scholarship Programs. His duties entailed working with prospective freshmen and transfer engineering students.
In 2019, he transitioned to the role of Assistant Professor in the School of Universal Computing, Construction and Engineering Education at Florida International University. His research interests transfer students who first enroll in community colleges, as well as developing broader and more nuanced engineering performance indicators.

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Trinidad Sotomayor Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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Trinidad is an Engineering Design Master Student at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC). She owns a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering with a major in Design and Innovation. At DILAB (UC), the engineering design initiative, Trinidad has been working as a researcher in topics regarding engineering education such as entrepreneurship, epistemologies and minorities, among others.

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Abstract

This is a Work in Progress. Goals of becoming more entrepreneurial have placed considerable pressure on institutions of higher education to generate educational programs that are consistent with the entrepreneurial mindset. Surpassing business programs, engineering education has had an exponential growth of entrepreneurship instruction in curricula and publications related to the topic. However, there are still many conceptual and methodological challenges described in recent literature left unmet by current assessment methods, which include the following: (1) Entrepreneurship is often conceived as business creation, rather than a set of competencies relevant in all organizational settings. (2) The entrepreneurial mindset is often used to separate students (e.g., entrepreneurial engineers vs. traditional engineers). (3) Domain-specific and domain-general aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset are not explicitly discussed. (4) Embeddedness in the territorial and temporal context is not systematically explored. For example, literature on entrepreneurship does not specifically account for cultural differences, institutional context, or the ecosystem in which learning occurs. (5) Educational theories are not properly incorporated. (6) Current assessment methods often operationalize the entrepreneurial mindset through broader sub-constructs than the main construct (loss of specificity). (7) Assessment methods usually do not discuss the ethical dimension of entrepreneurship, or, put another way, how the entrepreneurial mindset should be conceptualized in the context of broader societal implications. As an international and interdisciplinary research team, we seek to develop a new survey to assess the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students. In the summer of 2019, the team jointly developed research protocols to conduct qualitative workshops with students and staff. An initial set of dimensions of the entrepreneurial mindset was identified in the literature. These components or dimensions were used to guide focus groups with students and staff about (1) Behaviors, (2) Examples, and (3) Educational practices associated with an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering. We recruited engineering professors, engineering education scholars, and current engineering students at the University of Maryland and the Catholic University of Chile for this study between May and July 2019. We used our network of engineering education scholars to identify professors and students who might be interested in this study. We also used snowball and purposive sampling to identify faculty and students who teach and learn about support entrepreneurship, respectively. In the next two years, a preliminary quantitative version of the instrument will be applied to an incrementally larger body American and Chilean students in order to evaluate its utility across a much larger sample size. Through this research effort and a critical review of the literature, we aim to produce a more comprehensive and situated method for defining and articulating the entrepreneurial mindset for stakeholders in engineering education. Long-term implications for this project include an international deployment of this survey at engineering schools across both countries.

Miranda, C., & Goñi, J. I., & Berhane, B. T., & Sotomayor, T. (2020, June), Developing a More Comprehensive Instrument to Assess the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34417

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