Using an Online Assessment to Examine Entrepreneurship Student Traits and to Measure and Improve the Impact of Entrepreneurship Education

David Hayes, William Richmond


This paper concerns Entrepreneurial Education and the application of an online assessment tool to benefit student selection, retention, and development and to also measure and improve entrepreneurship curriculum success. Through the use of an innovative testing and mentoring approach, it is hypothesized that universities can assist students in becoming selfaware of their unique entrepreneurial traits and then, facilitate the development of skills required for future success. This paper reviews initial student-reporting data at Western Carolina University (WCU) and draws conclusions on whether entrepreneurship students differ from other students in both personality and skill traits and also discusses the implications of these results for measurement and enhancement of university entrepreneurship programs. Findings indicate there are distinct differences in the traits of entrepreneurship students compared to other majors and these differences have implications for how to best market and position entrepreneurship programs as well as potential consequences for how to structure and deliver curriculum content. Initial results show the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile can be an effective assessment tool and indicate that the Western Carolina University Entrepreneurship course curriculum results in improvements in student entrepreneurial skills in two categories, execution, and optimism.

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