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Entrepreneurial Intent in Commuter-school Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


David G. Novick University of Texas at El Paso

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David G. Novick, Mike Loya Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Professor of Engineering Education and Leadership, earned his Harvard University in 1977 and his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science at the University of Oregon in 1988. Before coming to UTEP he was on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Oregon Graduate Institute and then Director of Research at the European Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Engineering. At UTEP he has served in a number of positions including as Chair of the Department of Computer Science, Associate Provost, Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Studies and Research, and co-director of the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce. His research focuses on engineering education for entrepreneurship and leadership. He served as General Co-chair of the ACM Conference on Universal Usability 2000, Program Chair of ACM SIG-DOC 2003 and General Chair of ACM SIG-DOC 2007, and organized SIGCHI's series of events in Natural Language Interfaces. He has authored or co-authored over 130 refereed publications and over $16 million in funded grant proposals.

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Nicholas A. Ramirez University of Texas at El Paso

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Nicholas Ramirez is an undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science.

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Melanie Anne Realyvasquez University of Texas at El Paso

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Melanie Realyvasquez
Currently an Undergraduate student majoring in Civil Engineering

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This paper reports the results of a mixed-methods study of the factors leading students at a large public Hispanic-serving university, with a student body comprising primarily commuters, to choose an entrepreneurially oriented engineering major and to choose to pursue a startup. The study interviewed 36 lower-division engineering students, of whom 11 were enrolled in an engineering major with a significant emphasis on entrepreneurship and 25 were enrolled in other engineering majors. Structured interviews of covered the participants’ family background, their motivations for enrolling in their major, their expectations with respect to career (including startups), their attitudes toward risk, and reflection on the interview. In the course of the interviews, participants were asked to rate their risk tolerance and their interest in pursuing a startup. Analysis of the interviews suggests that the principal indicator of entrepreneurial intent was interest in a startup, that most students’ perceptions of the desirability of startups are negative, that students see lack of knowledge and preparation and lack of resources as the biggest barriers to launching a startup, and that students are held back by lack of confidence, fear of failure, and the perception that startups require too much time and effort. These factors can be addressed through a suite of programs and policies.

Novick, D. G., & Ramirez, N. A., & Realyvasquez, M. A. (2021, July), Entrepreneurial Intent in Commuter-school Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37091

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