Edited by Charles H. Matthews and Eric W. Liguori
Chapter 12: Examining differences in students’ entrepreneurship self efficacy in curricular and co-curricular entrepreneurship education programs
Undergraduate engineering students are increasingly being exposed to entrepreneurship through curricular and co-curricular programs (Gilmartin, Chen, & Estrada, 2016). While historically, self-employment and venture creation has been the target of entrepreneurship education (Katz, 2003), recent efforts and advances in entrepreneurship education focus on developing graduates with skills to identify and develop opportunities, fostering innovation in their respective fields of work (Standish- Kuon & Rice, 2002). This shift in focus of entrepreneurship education from venture creation and conceptualization of entrepreneurship as a developable skillset rather than an innate characteristic has fueled the development of entrepreneurship programs outside of business schools in the United States (U.S.) and other parts of the world (Katz, 2003). Expanding from traditional business-focused programs, the pedagogy and content of these emergent entrepreneurship programs has evolved from traditional case-based methods to more immersive, experiential approaches to entrepreneurship education. In addition to imparting entrepreneurial content knowledge, these programs target the development of entrepreneurship-related characteristics and domain-general skills in undergraduate students. In the U.S., fueled by recent National Science Foundation initiatives in entrepreneurship such as the Epicenter Program: National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter, 2017) and I-Corps Program (NSF, 2016), entrepreneurship is gaining significant traction in higher education institutions. Using a wide variety of student-centered pedagogical approaches and formats, undergraduate entrepreneurship programs focus on preparing students to succeed in a competitive technology-driven economy by exposing them to entrepreneurial practice (e.g. opportunity identification and customary discovery) and business content knowledge. Due to this student-centered experiential learning emphasis, universities offer entrepreneurship education to undergraduates through both curricular coursework and informal co-curricular programs. Our presented work focuses on examining differences in self-efficacy outcomes resulting from engagement in these curricular and co-curricular learning experiences.
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