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Investigating the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Engineering and Computer Science Students

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30726

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

biography

Cheryl Q. Li University of New Haven

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Cheryl Qing Li joined University of New Haven in the fall of 2011, where she is Associate Professor of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. Li earned her first Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from National University of Singapore in 1997. She served as Assistant Professor and subsequently Associate Professor in mechatronics engineering at University of Adelaide, Australia, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, respectively. In 2006, she resigned from her faculty job and came to Connecticut for family reunion. Throughout her academic career in Australia and Singapore, she had developed a very strong interest in learning psychology and educational measurement. She then opted for a second Ph.D. in educational psychology, specialized in measurement, evaluation and assessment at University of Connecticut. She earned her second Ph.D. in 2010. Li has a unique cross-disciplinary educational and research background in mechatronics engineering, specialized in control and robotics, and educational psychology, specialized in statistical analysis and program evaluation.

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Ronald S. Harichandran University of New Haven

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Ron Harichandran has served as the Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven since August 2011. He is the PI of the grant entitled Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules and Experiential Learning Opportunities. Through this grant from the Kern Family Foundation, entrepreneurial thinking is being integrated into courses spanning all four years in seven ABET accredited engineering and computer science BS programs.

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Nadiye O. Erdil University of New Haven

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Nadiye Ozlem Erdil is an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of New Haven. She has over eleven years of experience in higher education and has held several academic positions including administrative appointments. She has experience in teaching at the undergraduate and the graduate level. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Erdil worked as an engineer in sheet metal manufacturing and pipe fabrication industry for five years. She holds B.S. in Computer Engineering, M.S. in Industrial Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Binghamton University (SUNY). Her background and research are in quality and productivity improvement using statistical tools, lean methods and use of information technology in operations management. Her work is primarily in manufacturing and healthcare delivery operations.

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Jean Nocito-Gobel University of New Haven

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Jean Nocito-Gobel, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of New Haven, received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has been actively involved in a number of educational initiatives in the Tagliatela College of Engineering including KEEN and PITCH, PI of the ASPIRE grant, and is the coordinator for the first-year Intro to Engineering course. Her professional interests include modeling the transport and fate of contaminants in groundwater and surface water systems, as well as engineering education reform.

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali University of New Haven Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0001-5887-0744

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Tagliatela College of Engineering, University of New Haven, CT. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2008. She received her Bachelors of Engineering from MIT in 2000. Her research focuses on the nontraditional engineering student – understanding their motivations, identity development, and impact of prior engineering-related experiences. Her work dwells into learning in informal settings such as summer camps, military experiences, and extra-curricular activities. Other research interests involve validation of CFD models for aerospace applications as well as optimizing efficiency of thermal-fluid systems.

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Abstract

In recent years, numerous engineering programs around the country have introduced curricular revisions and co-curricular activities to develop entrepreneurial skills in students. The primary motivation of these efforts is to graduate engineering students who can rapidly contribute to the economic growth of the nation through entrepreneurship and innovation. A precursor to launching startups or creating new products or services is the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. Efforts focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students through curricular and co-curricular activities are emerging from the many partner institutions of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN)1. As these efforts strengthen, approaches to assess the entrepreneurial mindset have also been developed. A popular approach is the use of survey instruments. Lichtenstein and Zappe2 reviewed 22 instruments developed to assess entrepreneurial mindset. We have developed a rigorously validated assessment instrument to explore the entrepreneurial mindset of engineering and computer science students. This instrument was developed based on a framework in which an entrepreneurially minded engineer is defined as one who possesses curiosity about our changing world, habitually makes connections to gain insight from many sources of information, and focuses on creating value for others. The italicized words, referred to as the 3C’s, form the core of this framework which was developed by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN)1. The instrument consists of 50 questions loaded on 14 factors that are associated with learning outcomes based on the 3C’s. The instrument was administered to first-year and senior engineering students in two consecutive years and 394 valid samples were collected. Statistical analyses were performed to answer the following research questions: 1. How diversified is the entrepreneurial mindset of first-year students when they enter the university? 2. How diversified is the entrepreneurial mindset of seniors when they complete their program? 3. How does the entrepreneurial mindset of students evolve through traditional engineering and computer science undergraduate experiences? 4. Are there differences in the entrepreneurial mindset between male and female students? 5. How does family background influence the entrepreneurial mindset?

By investigating the answers to these research questions, we hope to answer the broader question: How can engineering and computer science undergraduate programs be revised to enhance entrepreneurial mindset growth as we strive to meet the challenges of “Educating the Engineer of 2020”?

Li, C. Q., & Harichandran, R. S., & Erdil, N. O., & Nocito-Gobel, J., & Carnasciali, M. (2018, June), Investigating the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Engineering and Computer Science Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30726

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