For many years, XXXXXXXX has been engaged in a campus wide effort to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in our engineering undergraduates. As part of this effort, we have intentionally created opportunities at all levels of our curriculum for students to practice an enterprising attitude. This entrepreneurial experience begins the freshman year with EGE 1001: Intro to Engineering Design Projects in which students are introduced to the engineering design process through collaborative, team-based design projects. A tolerance for ambiguity and social awareness is emphasized. The sophomore-level course EGE 2123: Entrepreneurial Engineering Design Studio, builds upon this foundation of entrepreneurially-minded learning. These students are engaged in a semester-long team design project where the students identify opportunities for design within a theme, engage real customers outside the classroom, and design and build a working prototype that creates value for these customers. At the junior level, this entrepreneurial thread is disseminated through project-based learning in multiple discipline-specific courses. Leadership, teamwork, and ethics are also explored in an interdisciplinary, active and collaborative learning- based course. Finally, this entrepreneurial thread culminates in the senior capstone experience in which students apply their engineering skillset while exercising their entrepreneurial mindset in a year-long, real-world design project.
This paper describes the work done to determine the efficacy of the entrepreneurial engineering curriculum sequence relative to developing the entrepreneurially-minded engineer. Throughout the curriculum, the mindset of the students was formally assessed using a mixed method study with indirect and direct techniques.. The primary tools for accomplishing the indirect assessment include surveys, student interviews, and focus groups. Each tool relies on the students to self-assess their own perceived mindset development. These results, therefore, represent indirect assessments used to gather student feedback on their experiences or attitudes about their own personal learning experiences. Since indirect assessments are composed of student opinions or self-reports, a direct assessment tool was developed to lend validity to the interpretation of these indirect assessments. The direct assessment tool was also administered at each level of the curriculum.
Indirect assessment surveys and interviews, as well as the direct assessment case studies have been completed, thus far. The preliminary results of this data will be reviewed, analyzed, and shared in this paper. Based on these results, the study itself will be evaluated for efficacy and potential future follow-up.
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