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Development of Entrepreneurial Attitudes Assessment Instrument for Freshman Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Evaluating Student Behaviors and Attitudes

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.535.1 - 26.535.21



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Paper Authors


Todd M. Fernandez Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Todd is a PhD Student in Engineering Education at Purdue University who's research is focused on entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship education as a component of modern engineering education efforts.

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Genisson Silva Coutinho Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Genisson Silva Coutinho is a Ph.D. student at the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He is a CAPES grantee and also professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Technology at the Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia da Bahia. He is a mechanical engineer and holds a Bachelor's degree in law and a Master's degree in mechanical engineering. He has been teaching at different levels, from the first year of technical high school to the final year of mechatronic engineering course, since 1995. He also has considerable experience in the design and implementation of mechatronic and production engineering courses. His non-academic career is centered on product development and manufacturing processes.

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M. D. Wilson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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M.D. WILSON is a lecturer for the Krannert School of Management, the entrepreneur-in-residence for the Office of Future Engineers, and a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University in the College of Engineering; his "Pracademic" background combines rigorous research with practical experiences. Wilson started, sold, and consulted Fortune companies in the University-Industry entrepreneurial space for over twenty successful years. He earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters from the University of Chicago; his broad research interests include Engineering Education, Network Science, and Modeling Human Sociometrics. Professor Wilson may be reached at

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Stephen R Hoffmann Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Stephen R. Hoffmann is the Assistant Head of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, with responsibilities for the First-Year Engineering Program.

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Development of Entrepreneurial Attitudes Assessment Instrument for Freshman StudentsAn increasing population of university programs and quantity of curricular content focused onentrepreneurship poses both enormous opportunities for student growth, and numerous practicalchallenges. Prior work has largely focused on pre-post assessment of student learning, shifts in‘mindset’, activity effectiveness, mapping of student outcomes, and implications of studentlearning on career success. A baseline of freshman student attitudes towards entrepreneurship,outside of specifically focused entrepreneurial leaning, has significant potential to identify andinform programming in entrepreneurship, as well as general curriculums and pedagogy. Animproved understanding of student’s constructive and cognitive influences in entrepreneurialeducation will serve to better inform the way entrepreneurship education in engineering ishistorically and currently discussed. Improving entrepreneurship education models begins withunderstanding student backgrounds comprised of different experiences, knowledge, andpreconceptions. When looking longitudinally, migratory information can better informentrepreneurial programming to provide data and support for more organized and integratedapproaches to entrepreneurship education.This work in progress provides initial results and validation on the quantitative instrumentportion of a mixed methods study developed for assessing and tracking entrepreneurialbehaviors, experiences, and attitudes in a way identifiable to engineering and business freshman.The instrument is modified from the Entrepreneurial Attitude Orientation (EAO) surveyinstrument developed by Robbins in the early 1990s. Additionally, a section for gatheringstudent socioeconomic status and gender, using elements of the Academic Pathways of PeopleLearning Engineering Survey (APPLES) is included. Based on the difficulties inoperationalization of student socioeconomic status self-identification, normalizing question areadded as suggested by Donaldson and Sheppard from results in the APPLES instrumentdevelopment process.The quantitative portion, discussed here, survey will be deployed during winter of 2015, tobusiness and engineering freshman at a large Midwestern university. The initial deployment willallow validation against prior uses of the EAO instrument. Results will be presented in the paperand conference presentation comparing gender and socioeconomic correlations to entrepreneurialattitudes with previous publications. The survey instrument is being developed as thequantitative element of a mixed method longitudinal study tracking student entrepreneurialattitudes, focus, and growth over student college experiences. Follow-on efforts are intended tohelp better inform educators about the nature of student construction and growth in an universityspace increasingly influenced by a move towards entrepreneurship education.

Fernandez, T. M., & Coutinho, G. S., & Wilson, M. D., & Hoffmann, S. R. (2015, June), Development of Entrepreneurial Attitudes Assessment Instrument for Freshman Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23874

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