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Title:Advanced Science with a Twist: Teaching Entrepreneurial Skills through Application of Course Content
Author(s):Sunderman, Judith A.
Contributor(s):Hurley, Walter L.
Abstract:Undergraduates are rarely provided organized learning opportunities that encourage, model, and facilitate development of, or practice of, the skills that characterize entrepreneurs. Skills such as initiative, innovation, creativity, opportunity seeking, risk taking, independence, self-sufficiency and others can be learned concurrently with the acquisition of advanced science content if assignments are configured to accommodate practical learning. The current study evaluated entrepreneurial skill recognition and development in an advanced undergraduate science course with a unique pedagogy offering students the opportunity to address complex real world problems. Animal Science 438 - Lactation Biology required students to reverse the typical pattern of student knowledge acquisition by first asking them to consider real-world challenges such as climate change, environmental issues, emerging diseases, poverty and others, and then apply course content to those challenges. Small groups of students worked together using their knowledge of lactation biology gained through the course to propose solutions to larger environmental issues. The course format recognized that science knowledge is advancing rapidly making what is learned today outdated tomorrow, while durable skills provide the means for a lifetime of learning. The entrepreneurial sensibility consists of a number of interrelated competencies that ingrain students with a range of durable skills promoting lifelong learning and success. ANSC 438 Lactation Biology addressed entrepreneurship as a set of skills that can be learned through the study of science content. Research findings from this study indicated that at the beginning of the semester students identified communication, interpersonal skills, and problem solving as the most important work place skills. By the end of the semester students reported using those skills in course projects but identified the most frequently used skills as creativity, innovation and perseverance. Students reported that these skills were most needed in order to use course content knowledge to pose solutions to larger global issues.
Issue Date:2009
Genre:Conference Poster
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-02-25

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