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Statistical Validation of Growth in the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Students Resulting from Four Years of Interventions

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division (ENT) Technical Session 2: Assessing the Entrepreneurial Mindset, Curiosity, and Workplace Preparedness

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division (ENT)

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Paper Authors


Nadiye O. Erdil University of New Haven

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Nadiye O. Erdil, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and engineering and operations management at the University of New Haven. She teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level and has held several academic positions including administrative appointments. In addition to her work in engineering education, her background and research interests 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. She also worked in sheet metal manufacturing and pipe fabrication industry as a process engineer for several years. She obtained her Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Binghamton University (SUNY); and her Bachelor’s is in Computer Engineering.

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Ronald S. Harichandran University of New Haven Orcid 16x16

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Ron Harichandran is Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering and is the PI of the grant entitled Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules and a Leadership Cohort. Facilitated by this grant, a comprehensive program to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in all engineering and computer science undergraduate students in the Tagliatela College of Engineering was implemented.

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Integrating entrepreneurship elements into the college classroom and beyond is gaining momentum across higher education institutions in the U.S. Engineering faculty are adopting Entrepreneurial Minded Learning (EML) to help students develop entrepreneurial skills. A wide range of approaches are used including offering a minor or specialized courses, incorporating EM elements into existing courses, running student competitions that focus on ideation and value creation, providing physical spaces to support EM development, and so on. At our institution, we employ both curricular and extracurricular activities to foster EM in students including integration of EM in specific courses in all four years of students’ programs, a few competitions held throughout the academic year, a living learning community with a focus on EM, and an entrepreneurial engineering certificate. Our efforts span back more than a decade. Most of the focus during the initial years was on the program implementation with some preliminary assessments based on data collected.

Assessment of educational interventions is of particular importance because it helps to determine whether the interventions are effective. As we collected more data over time, we were able to expand our assessments. In this paper, we present findings of a longitudinal study related to our EM efforts that provides a more comprehensive evaluation. The study was performed with a cohort of undergraduate engineering and computer science students who started in fall 2017 and were exposed to all curricular EM focused learning experiences in our college and the extra-curricular ones they chose to participate induring their studies. The data was collected using a survey instrument with 50 questions loaded on 14 factors and then analyzed using statistical methods. Students completed the survey during the incoming first-year orientation in fall 2017 and then again at the end of their senior year in their capstone design courses in spring 2021. The factors associated with the entrepreneurial mindset of students were problem solving/logical thinking; engaging stakeholders; value creation; risk management; ability to learn; analyze market conditions; systems thinking; team building; prior exposure to entrepreneurship; ability to anticipate technical developments; intrinsic curiosity; ability to assess financial value; data driven decision making; and career plan. The results show that the students’ entrepreneurial mindset increased in all areas except prior exposure to entrepreneurship and career plans – both of which are explainable. While the growth observed may be attributable to elements beyond the EM focused interventions, their contribution cannot be denied. Comparison of the current results with our earlier work supports this inference.

Erdil, N. O., & Harichandran, R. S. (2023, June), Statistical Validation of Growth in the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Students Resulting from Four Years of Interventions Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--44247

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