An Examination of the Entrepreneurial Attitudes of Community College Students
This session will highlight the findings of a research project on the entrepreneurial attitudes of students from multiple community colleges throughout the U.S. The findings will be presented and a discussion will center on how to use this type of detailed information to develop more effective entrepreneurship education programs.
Community colleges are known for their ability to adapt and meet the needs of the surrounding community. Past research has indicated that community colleges have a “natural aptitude” for entrepreneurship and are well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities (Roueche & Jones, 2005, 27). Entrepreneurship education is on the rise at all levels of higher education, but a great challenge is to identify appropriate strategies for dealing with the increased demand. Thompson (2004) points out that programs need to be carefully targeted around the learners’ needs on key issues. This requires a more thorough understanding of students’ entrepreneurial profile in order to design effective entrepreneurship programs.
The entrepreneurial attitudes of nearly 400 students from multiple community colleges in Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina were examined based on the Entrepreneurial Attitude Orientation (EAO) survey. The EAO provides a score based on four attitude subscales, including achievement, personal control, innovation, and self esteem. The results of from our sampling will be presented.
Findings from this research project will be shared with participants, followed by a lively discussion on how to use these result to effectively design entrepreneurship courses. A better understanding of students’ entrepreneurial attitudes can be used to create courses that best help students refine their entrepreneurial skill set and expectations for future success. This is often done through case studies, consulting projects, and/or mentoring opportunities, which have been particularly successful at impacting students’ perceptions of entrepreneurship and their willingness to consider it as a viable career path.
Todd D. Mick, Ph.D., Director of Entrepreneurship, Metropolitan Community College, MO
Toni Burkhalter, M.S., Assistant Professor, Parkland College, IL
Shanan Gibson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management, East Carolina University, NC
Michael Harris, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, East Carolina University, NC