Educating Engineering Entrepreneurs: A Multi-Institution Analysis

Ken Yasuhara
Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching
University of Washington Box 352183 Seattle, WA 98195-2183
Email: yasuhara@uw.edu

Micah Lande
Center for Design Research
Stanford University 424 Panama Mall, Building 560 Stanford, CA 94305-2232
Email: micah@stanford.edu

Helen L. Chen
Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning
Wallenberg Hall 450 Serra Mall, Building 160 Stanford, CA 94305-2055
Email: hlchen@stanford.edu

Sheri D. Sheppard
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University Peterson Building (550), Room 119 Stanford, CA 94305-4021
Email: sheppard@stanford.edu

Abstract
Engineering entrepreneurship demands a broad range of skills and knowledge, extending far beyond technical expertise in an engineering domain. Motivation and proactive behavior, professional skills (e.g., communication, leadership, business), and creativity in problem solving are among the attributes linked with successful entrepreneurship. An extension of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education’s Academic Pathways Study, this survey- and interview-based study of engineering undergraduates examines the potential of extracurricular activities to help students develop these entrepreneurial attributes. Quantitative analyses show positive relationships between entrepreneurial attributes and involvement in engineering and non-engineering extracurricular activities. Preliminary interview analyses illustrate how these activities foster entrepreneurial attributes and contribute to students engineering education experiences, in general.

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