June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
15.597.1 - 15.597.21
Fostering Entrepreneurship while Teaching Design
Rowan University has a unique 8-semester Engineering Clinic sequence. This sequence helps develop professional skills identified in the ABET A-K criteria though project-based-learning. The Freshman Engineering Clinics are an introduction to the profession, teamwork, and measurements. The Sophomore Engineering Clinics provide an introduction to technical communication and engineering design principles, and in the Junior/Senior Engineering Clinics, students work in multidisciplinary teams on real research and design projects. Most Junior/Senior Engineering clinics are sponsored by companies, or federal or state government agencies.
As a secondary objective, the Engineering Clinic supports entrepreneurship in engineering students. The College of Engineering has a long-standing program that allows students to apply for funding to pursue their own entrepreneurial ideas through the Junior/Senior Engineering Clinics. However, the program has been utilized by very few students. Recently, two new assignments- an entrepreneurial design project and a white paper- have been added to the Sophomore Engineering Clinic sequence. This paper describes these new assignments and discusses how entrepreneurship provides an excellent framework for meeting the main pedagogical objectives of the course: teaching technical communication and engineering design. It will also give an assessment of whether the new assignments have been effective in causing more students to pursue entrepreneurship in the Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic.
I. Background and Introduction
Project-based learning has been gaining popularity in engineering curricula to address the professional skills component (or A-K criteria) introduced by ABET in the 2000 criteria.  The College of Engineering at Rowan University has adopted a sequence of courses, known as Engineering Clinics, throughout the engineering curriculum. In this sequence, engineering students progress from limited scope projects freshman year, to ill-posed and open-ended projects that reflect professional practice in the Junior and Senior years. Indeed, most Junior- and Senior-year projects are externally sponsored. The College of Engineering faculty believes that this progression is logical, taking full advantage of project-based learning and allowing students to develop toward professional practice throughout their studies.
Like many engineering programs, Rowan University is also striving to develop a sense of entrepreneurship in their students. The College of Engineering has established a venture capital fund that allows undergraduate students to pursue entrepreneurial ideas, and has been developing contacts with faculty from the College of Business Administration. A recently developed tech park that is affiliated with Rowan University has incubator space that is devoted to small
Dahm, K., & Riddell, W., & Merrill, T., & Weiss, L. (2010, June), Fostering Entrepreneurship While Teaching Design Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16393
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