Interdisciplinary Nature of Entrepreneurship Education

Tom, is a past USASBE.org (largest entrepreneurship organization in the U. S.) President, and teaches business at the University of Tampa. Below is his letter than reaffirms (through research) that teaching majors other than business yield better prepared graduates for today’s world. Entrepreneurship awakens students to a passion, empowers them in creativity, develops self-efficacy, and changes their destiny. At its core is learning an entrepreneurial mindset -a set of skills that enable people to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of settings.

Entrepreneurship education is boundary spanning. The tools of an entrepreneurship education (e.g., prototyping, business modeling, ideation, effectuation, etc.) are interdisciplinary and designed to engage learners from across the college campus and beyond. The lessons of entrepreneurship education are acquired in a problem-centric environment where learners from diverse disciplines combine resources to tackle specific problems and derive unique solutions that alone they may struggle to accomplish. 

One of our goals at USASBE is to provide opportunities for educators outside of business schools to sharpen their skills and practice techniques for bringing the interdisciplinary lessons of entrepreneurship to their classrooms. In doing so, we follow the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which promotes the idea of interdisciplinary education by sharing that “business schools in 2022 are no longer gilded outposts on the edge of the university campus” (AACSB Insights, 2022). As such, it is incumbent upon us as educators to continue to push to open new avenues for entrepreneurship that integrates themes and ideas which cut across disciplines and make connection with real world challenges. 

A recently published article in USASBE’s flagship journal, Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy demonstrates the importance of this interdisciplinary work in a review of National Science Foundation (NSF) data gathered from science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) classrooms. The results of this research shed light on how graduates of STEAM programs utilize skills from entrepreneurship coursework (Stenard, 2021). They also show how the skills acquired through an entrepreneurship education by learners outside of the business school effectively position graduates for 21 st century workforce challenges. It is evident that Interdisciplinary appeal remains one of the hallmarks of an entrepreneurship education and that the outcomes of our work are wide ranging

References
AACSB Insights (2022). 5 Business Education Trends to Watch in 2022. Found online at: https://www.aacsb.edu/insights/articles/2022/01/5-business-education-trends-to-watch-in- 2022
Stenard,B. (2021). Interdisciplinary skills for STEAM entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, 25151274211029204. 

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