June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
12.917.1 - 12.917.12
Integrating Entrepreneurship into Already Ambitious Curricula through a Collaboration of Business and Engineering Programs Abstract
Since October 2005, the business and engineering faculties of the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) have been working on a novel effort to integrate entrepreneurship into the engineering curricula. Our methods bring together business and engineering students, two groups that normally do not interact in their course of study, to work together on a team design project. The challenge is to introduce entrepreneurship education without significantly increasing the workload on faculty and students. With the help of a grant from the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), MSOE will offer entrepreneurship education to engineering students by formally integrating business topics into already ambitious business and engineering programs. In this paper, we present the joint findings and progress of the engineering college and the business school to develop an entrepreneurial spirit on our campus.
MSOE is a small private university predominantly focused on engineering. Before 2005, the idea of teaching entrepreneurship was virtually non-existent in our undergraduate programs. In spring 2006, MSOE was awarded a grant by the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), with a broad mandate to undertake a first-time effort to instill the ideas of entrepreneurship in the minds of our faculty and students. Faced with the challenge of integrating entrepreneurship into an already ambitious engineering curriculum, we decided to focus our resources on activities that would bring together business and engineering students, two groups that normally do not interact in their course of study, to work together on a design project.
While there is agreement around campus that a focus on entrepreneurship is both a timely and a worthy undertaking, there are significant obstacles to be overcome in order to achieve our goal. The business and engineering programs have completely separate curricula, completely separate faculty that rarely have reason to interact, and that are physically located in separate buildings on opposite ends of the campus. The academic content of our programs is already quite ambitious (as is the case at every other ABET-accredited institution). Finding room for new content is always difficult. Students do not want to be required to take more courses. Faculty members are reluctant to crowd more content into their existing courses. Publicly supported universities in our area have more resources to devote to entrepreneurship. Our two nearest competitors are state-run universities that have each received multi-million dollar grants for entrepreneurship education. In contrast, we are just getting started on our endeavor to introduce entrepreneurship education and to ultimately make it a permanent part of our curriculum.
Blessing, J., & Gassert, J. D., & Schmedeman, L. J., & Fennigkoh, L. (2007, June), Integrating Entrepreneurship Into An Already Ambitious Curricula Through A Collaboration Of Business And Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2246
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