Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Caesar R. Jackson - North Carolina Central University
Co-Author(s): Alade Tokuta, North Carolina Central University Tanina Bradley
The HBCU-UP project at NCCU entitled ‘DREAM STEM’ – Driving Research, Entrepreneurship, and Academics through Mastering STEM, seeks to provide an innovative approach to enrolling, retaining, and training students in STEM degree programs. In this project, we devised an Entrepreneurship in Science Education component as a strategy to attract and hold students’ interest and academic pursuit of STEM through entrepreneurial thinking and training. We are interested in knowing if students developed for entrepreneurial thinking and getting entrepreneurial training will enroll in, be retained in, and persist in STEM degree programs at NCCU at a higher rate.
In summer 2014, Entrepreneurial thinking training was embedded in the DREAM STEM Summer REU program through seminars and workshops and field trips. The entrepreneurship thinking training activity was designed to promote business awareness and introduce students to entrepreneurship concepts related specifically to STEM fields, such as creativity and opportunity recognition, industry and market analysis, development of sales and financial projections, operations design, small business management, and small business legal structures. We administered a survey (pre/post) that included a Scientific Research Process Skill Assessment and an Entrepreneurial Skill Assessment. The scientific research process skill assessment was used to assess gains in scientific research skills acquired by the REU students. The Entrepreneurial Skill Assessment was used to assess entrepreneurial readiness due to the entrepreneurial thinking training provided to the REU students. The Entrepreneurial Skill Assessment survey items were based on Lichenstein’s and Lyons’ which defined four categories that help assess students’ entrepreneurial readiness: 1) Technical knowledge; 2) Managerial knowledge; 3) Entrepreneurial Skills and Characteristics; and 4) Personal traits.
We will present results on the following: 1. Pre-Post gains for 2014 DREAM STEM Summer REU students surveyed on: a) Personal Traits scale of Entrepreneur Skill Assessment due to the Entrepreneurial thinking training activity, and b) Scientific research process scale due to summer research experience. 2. Predictive validity determined by correlation and regression analysis of above two scales with fall and spring semester grades in the STEM courses. 3. Comparison of faculty mentor assessment of student scientific research process skills to students’ self-report of their skills.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funded by National Science Foundation; Award No. HRD-1238547.
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,