June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
15.590.1 - 15.590.6
First-Year Student Experiences, Attitudes and Outcomes in a Seminar on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This paper reports on experiences, attitudes and outcomes of first-year students who have completed a one credit-hour seminar entitled "Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Rocket Fuel for Creative Minds". Although the seminar is open to all first-year students at Ohio State University, it primarily attracts engineering and business students.
This paper more fully describes the structure of the Rocket Fuel Seminar and presents selected responses of students to surveys recorded at the end of each seminar offering. The survey results clearly indicate that engineering and business students are both attracted to and motivated by entrepreneurial learning opportunities very early in their college careers.
There is ongoing discussion among engineering educators regarding whether or not engineering students should be exposed to business subjects in order to better prepare them for engineering careers.1 And, if so, what would be the best way to integrate such material into the traditional engineering curriculum? The issue of teaching entrepreneurship (how to start a company) to engineering students is even more complex, since few engineering faculty have had actual startup experiences and only a small percentage of engineering graduates will go on to start their own company sometime during their career.
And yet, engineering students as a group seem to have a high degree of curiosity about innovation (conceiving, creating and commercializing new products) and entrepreneurship. This attitude is confirmed in our experience of teaching the freshman seminar on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Another interesting element to the question of why and how to teach entrepreneurship to engineers lies in the fact that the globalization of entire markets is forcing traditional industries to become much more entrepreneurial in their operations and business development strategies.2 Indeed, the dramatic reduction in design cycle times and product lifetimes are forcing product designers to become much more agile and market-smart—just to remain competitive.
The Freshman Seminar Program at Ohio State University
In the freshman seminar program at Ohio State University, one and two credit-hour seminars are taught on a wide range of scholarly subjects by senior faculty representing diverse academic areas of the university. Faculty are invited to propose seminar topics within their area of expertise and seminar proposals are reviewed and approved by a multidisciplinary committee.
Schlosser, P., & Merrill, J. (2010, June), First Year Student Experiences, Attitudes And Outcomes In A Seminar On Innovation And Entrepreneurship Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16791
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