An Entrepreneurship Education Co-Curricular Program to Stimulate Entrepreneurial Mindset in Engineering Students
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There is a need to expand the fundamental skills in science and engineering to include innovation & entrepreneurship (I&E) skills as core competencies. To better prepare the future Nanotechnology workforce, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Nanotechnology Center, broadened the educational content beyond traditional skills in science and engineering. The Center, offers a rich educational program for materials and nano scientists that aims to create the next generation of knowledgeable, experienced professionals, and successful entrepreneurs, who can develop value-added innovations that can spur economic growth and continue to impact the quality of life for society. Within the educational program an Entrepreneurship Education Co-Curricular Program (EEP) incorporates I&E training into the Materials Science, Nanotechnology, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) faculty and student experiences. The EEP consists of a two-year series of workshops that seek to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, including five key topics: 1) Generation of Ideas, 2) Entrepreneurial Vision, 3) Early Assessment of Ideas, 4) Identification of Opportunities, and 5) Strategic Thinking. The EEP goals, target audience, and implementation strategy, is described with an evaluation tool to assess the program’s success in developing an entrepreneurial mindset.