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1 Experiential learning activities in undergraduate school: fostering entrepreneurship and employability from the first year Maria de Lurdes Calisto -

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Presentation on theme: "1 Experiential learning activities in undergraduate school: fostering entrepreneurship and employability from the first year Maria de Lurdes Calisto -"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Experiential learning activities in undergraduate school: fostering entrepreneurship and employability from the first year Maria de Lurdes Calisto - Estoril Higher School for Tourism and Hotel Studies, Portugal Victor Afonso - Estoril Higher School for Tourism and Hotel Studies, Portugal 3 rd European Conference on the First Year Experience 7 th – 9 th May 2008 Thursday 8 May - Parallel Session 2

2 2 Introduction Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs Education policies on entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship in Cascais municipality Entrepreneurship and higher education Entrepreneurship educational project at ESHTE Research: methodology, results, limitations Conclusions Experiential learning activities in undergraduate school: fostering entrepreneurship and employability from the first year AGENDA

3 3 Introduction Entrepreneurship is of vital importance to the employability of European youngsters. Entrepreneurship is of vital importance to the employability of European youngsters. The education system has a crucial role in providing the competences that individuals need to adapt to change. The education system has a crucial role in providing the competences that individuals need to adapt to change. Goals Goals –To discuss the theoretical and situational foundations, and the design, of an entrepreneurship educational project developed by ESHTE’s first year students. –To study the perception of students regarding the impact of the activities on their induction, on the acquisition of management and entrepreneurship competences, on their academic success and employability potential. 1

4 4 Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs Process of creating something with value by: Process of creating something with value by: –devoting the necessary time and effort, –assuming the accompanying financial, psychic, and social risks, and –receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence’ (Hisrich, 2005). Interaction of different skills, knowledge, affective factors and personal qualities (European Commission, 2004). Interaction of different skills, knowledge, affective factors and personal qualities (European Commission, 2004). 2

5 5 Education policies on entrepreneurship 3 Importance of entrepreneurship: Importance of entrepreneurship: –it contributes to job creation and growth; –increases competitiveness; –unlocks personal potential; and, –contributes to society - through eco-efficiency and social cohesion (European Commission, 2003). February a set of recommendations on entrepreneurship education were outlined by the E.C. February a set of recommendations on entrepreneurship education were outlined by the E.C.

6 6 Entrepreneurship in Cascais municipality 4 In Portugal the concern with entrepreneurship stretches to local authorities. In Portugal the concern with entrepreneurship stretches to local authorities. September 2006: Cascais Municipality created DNA Cascais Agency to develop the ‘DNA Entrepreneur Ecosystem’. September 2006: Cascais Municipality created DNA Cascais Agency to develop the ‘DNA Entrepreneur Ecosystem’.

7 7 Entrepreneurship in Cascais municipality 4 In its first year the DNA Cascais Agency… In its first year the DNA Cascais Agency… –…established contacts with 300 potential entrepreneurs. –150 projects were presented by entrepreneurs, representing 20 million euros of investment intentions. –32 new businesses were implemented – more than 6.7 million euros invested and more than 6.7 million euros invested and 138 new jobs created, most of them in the tourism sector. 138 new jobs created, most of them in the tourism sector. (Andrez, 2007)

8 8 Entrepreneurship in Cascais municipality 4 The Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE) has been one of DNA’s partners since the creation of the agency. The Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE) has been one of DNA’s partners since the creation of the agency. ESHTE’s concern with entrepreneurship goes further than this partnership. ESHTE’s concern with entrepreneurship goes further than this partnership. In 2006 the theme was included in the curricula of 4 of its 5 undergraduate courses. In 2006 the theme was included in the curricula of 4 of its 5 undergraduate courses.

9 9 For some time entrepreneurship was considered un-teachable. For some time entrepreneurship was considered un-teachable. International experience demonstrates that elements of entrepreneurship can be taught and learned (Gottleib and Ross, 1997). International experience demonstrates that elements of entrepreneurship can be taught and learned (Gottleib and Ross, 1997). Entrepreneurial skills and behaviours can generally be developed and acquired (Timmons at al., 1985). Entrepreneurial skills and behaviours can generally be developed and acquired (Timmons at al., 1985). Entrepreneurship and higher education 5

10 10 Entrepreneurship education should not be taught from a traditional lecture-centred perspective (Gibb, 2002). Entrepreneurship education should not be taught from a traditional lecture-centred perspective (Gibb, 2002). ‘Experiential education can be defined as immersing students in an activity (ideally, closely related to course material) and then asking for their reflection on the experience’ (Stevens and Richards, 1992). ‘Experiential education can be defined as immersing students in an activity (ideally, closely related to course material) and then asking for their reflection on the experience’ (Stevens and Richards, 1992). An experiential activity has some special features. (Anthony et al.,1990) An experiential activity has some special features. (Anthony et al.,1990) Entrepreneurship and higher education 5

11 11 The entrepreneurship educational project at ESHTE It started in 2006 within Business Management. It started in 2006 within Business Management. 4 Courses: 4 Courses: –Hotel Management –Cookery and Food Production –Leisure Management and Tourism Entertainment –Tourism Management 6

12 12 The entrepreneurship educational project at ESHTE 4 Phases: 4 Phases: 1. 6 hours immersion session on entrepreneurship 2. 1 week for the start-up of a mini-company 3. The Entrepreneurship Fair 4. Reflection and self-evaluation 6

13 13 The entrepreneurship educational project at ESHTE: students voice 6 “The immersion session before the Fair allowed us to stimulate an ‘entrepreneurial reasoning’ and use it even in non-academic contexts.” Maria L. “On December 19th, I woke up at 5 a.m. joyfully to bake the muffins…” Rodrigo M. “In my opinion the Entrepreneurship Fair was an excellent initiative due to the experience it offered me. It was a rewarding challenge in terms of learning.” Paulo C. “I learnt that being an entrepreneur means getting out of boundaries.” Amélia P.

14 14 The entrepreneurship educational project at ESHTE: students voice 6 “Undoubtedly a fruitful experience, in terms of discovering and developing an entrepreneurship spirit in this new academic generation.” Matilde M. “I will remember this experience all my life because, on top of having a lot of fun, we did something unique and unforgettable.” Patrícia M. Not only the Fair but all the activities before it, like the immersion session, were of great interest and everyone enjoyed them. It allowed me to learn about the entrepreneurship spirit that must be present in all of us and taught me that if we want to stand out, in any activity or area of our lives, we must think ‘outside the box’. Margarida A.

15 15 Research methodology Population: 1st year students of Business Management that participated in the project (December 2007) Population: 1st year students of Business Management that participated in the project (December 2007) Sampling by convenience: 64 from 80 students responded to the questionnaire Sampling by convenience: 64 from 80 students responded to the questionnaire Age: 18 to 51 (Mo=20 years old) Age: 18 to 51 (Mo=20 years old) Gender: 64% Female and 36% Male Gender: 64% Female and 36% Male Questionnaire Questionnaire 7

16 16 Research methodology Questionnaire: Questionnaire: –Applied 1 week after the event –Respondents anonymous –8 items grouped into 4 categories Biographical questions (2) Biographical questions (2) Benefits of the experiential education activity (3) Benefits of the experiential education activity (3) Importance to students’ induction and academic success (2) Importance to students’ induction and academic success (2) Benefits to career decision making/employability (1) Benefits to career decision making/employability (1) 7

17 17 Research results 7 AESHTE's Entrepreneurship Project develops relevant competences to improve employability BEducation methodology used in the Project facilitates the acquisition of entrepreneurship competences CEducation methodology used in the Project facilitates the acquisition of management competences DEducation methodology used in the Project motives learning in the subject Business Management EParticipation in ESHTE's Entrepreneurship Project improves contacts network within the school community FParticipation in ESHTE's Entrepreneurship Project allows better identification with the culture of the school

18 18 Research results 7

19 19 Research limitations Questionnaire was not sufficiently comprehensive. Questionnaire was not sufficiently comprehensive. Some pertinent questions were not included. Some pertinent questions were not included. It is not adequate to draw conclusions on the probability of students following the path to entrepreneurship and self-employment. It is not adequate to draw conclusions on the probability of students following the path to entrepreneurship and self-employment. 7

20 20 Conclusions and implication for future research The design of the project reflects the goals and features identified as important in the literature review on entrepreneurship education. The design of the project reflects the goals and features identified as important in the literature review on entrepreneurship education. Considering students’ perceptions, we concluded that: Considering students’ perceptions, we concluded that: –Experiential education methodology is considered motivating by undergraduate students; –Entrepreneurship competences are considered important to academic success in other scientific areas, not directly related to management; –Experiential education in entrepreneurship is considered to improve employability. Results are coincident with the advantages of experiential learning in higher education. Results are coincident with the advantages of experiential learning in higher education. 8

21 21 Conclusions and implication for future research Future research Future research –Explain possible gender differences in what concerns the results of an entrepreneurship experiential education activity. –Study the impact of such a project in students’ intentions towards self-employment comparatively to students that did not participate in such a project, and comparatively to students from other courses and schools. 8


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