An increasing population of university programs and quantity of curricular content focused on entrepreneurship poses both enormous opportunities for student growth, and numerous practical challenges. Prior work has largely focused on pre-post assessment of student learning, shifts in‘mindset’, activity effectiveness, mapping of student outcomes, and implications of student learning on career success. A baseline of freshman student attitudes towards entrepreneurship,outside of specifically focused entrepreneurial leaning, has significant potential to identify and inform programming in entrepreneurship, as well as general curriculums and pedagogy. An improved understanding of student’s constructive and cognitive influences in entrepreneurial education will serve to better inform the way entrepreneurship education in engineering is historically and currently discussed. Improving entrepreneurship education models begins with understanding student backgrounds comprised of different experiences, knowledge, and preconceptions. When looking longitudinally, migratory information can better inform entrepreneurial programming to provide data and support for more organized and integrated approaches to entrepreneurship education.This work in progress provides initial results and validation on the quantitative instrument portion of a mixed methods study developed for assessing and tracking entrepreneurial behaviors, experiences, and attitudes in a way identifiable to engineering and business freshman.The instrument is modified from the Entrepreneurial Attitude Orientation (EAO) survey instrument developed by Robbins in the early 1990s. Additionally, a section for gathering student socioeconomic status and gender, using elements of the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) is included. Based on the difficulties in operationalization of student socioeconomic status self-identification, normalizing question are added as suggested by Donaldson and Sheppard from results in the APPLES instrument development process.The quantitative portion, discussed here, survey will be deployed during winter of 2015, to business and engineering freshman at a large Midwestern university. The initial deployment will allow validation against prior uses of the EAO instrument. Results will be presented in the paper and conference presentation comparing gender and socioeconomic correlations to entrepreneurial attitudes with previous publications. The survey instrument is being developed as the quantitative element of a mixed method longitudinal study tracking student entrepreneurial attitudes, focus, and growth over student college experiences. Follow-on efforts are intended to help better inform educators about the nature of student construction and growth in an university space increasingly influenced by a move towards entrepreneurship education.
2015, ASEE, entrepreneur, assessment
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