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Single-class Infusions to Integrate the Entrepreneurial Mindset into First-year Experiences

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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 6

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Stephanie M. Gillespie University of New Haven

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Stephanie Gillespie is the Associate Dean at the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven. She has specialized in facilitating service learning while teaching at the Arizona State University in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program. Her current teaching and research interests are in exploring skillset and identity development in first-year engineering students and improving retention rates. She acts as a faculty liaison for the University of New Haven Makerspace and facilitates student and faculty training. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami.

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One recent paradigm-shift in general engineering education has been the inclusion of the Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network’s philosophy of the Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM) as a means of developing student curiosity, helping students to make connections, and ultimately finding ways to create value through engineering. Multiple attempts at infusing EM have been explored and developed throughout recent years, including into first year engineering programs, capstone courses, elective courses, and other core technical courses. However, much of the shared faculty-examples of the new EM-infused content involves adding or revising an existing term project, or revision of an entire course completely. These large time-investments in EM can be effective, but faculty may be hesitant to alter their courses so substantially. By identifying single-class opportunities to integrate pedagogically-sound practices that meet both EM and ABET outcomes, faculty can excite their students, meet class and program learning objectives, and enjoy teaching.

This paper explores the effectiveness of single-class infusions in developing the learning outcomes and skillsets related to an entrepreneurial mindset. An initial analysis of existing available resources related to instilling the entrepreneurial mindset provided on the Engineering Unleashed website is included and suggests that single-session resources may be hard to find, and that they often lack details important for implementation such as the time required to facilitate the activity. Four distinct examples of single-class infusions of EM implemented during the Fall 2018 semester in a first-year engineering course at Arizona State University are provided as examples. Qualitative results from student survey data explore the impact that single-class EM opportunities can have on first year engineering students.

Gillespie, S. M. (2021, July), Single-class Infusions to Integrate the Entrepreneurial Mindset into First-year Experiences Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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