Case studyInstitutional Program Development:
Ethos was enlisted to conduct impact assessment-based research after an institutional advisor at a university in Colorado expressed the desire for more unique and interactive learning models. To support students as they endeavor to explore numerous pathways to thrive upon graduation, Ethos explored the great role that entrepreneurial education plays in teaching students skills that are transferable across a plethora of industries.
Table of Contents
> Key Phases
> Example Deliverables
Ethos worked with a public research university with an average undergraduate student population of 20,000+ located in the state of Colorado. The university is the state’s land grant university and one of the largest homes to rural agricultural studies.
The institution offers a wide variety of programs and resources to promote students’ opportunities for success. A key component of the university’s offerings is curated through the facilitation of living-learning communities that support many of the students on campus. One living-learning community, in particular, facilitates educational courses and workshops for 600 diverse students with their transition to and through the university.
After a dialogue with this community’s living-learning advisor, a need was expressed for more unique and interactive learning models for students as they endeavor to explore numerous pathways to thrive upon graduation. One of these pathways, in particular, the university has expressed better support with is promoting entrepreneurial education for students within interdisciplinary fields.
This was discovered as the school has noted the great role that entrepreneurial education can have in teaching students skills that are transferable across a plethora of industries. As a result, the Colorado-based public institution enlisted Ethos to support exploring potential synergies for creating a hands-on and transferable skill-based course in entrepreneurship.
Ethos divided the project into three key phases and, to facilitate the project, worked with an in-house education doctoral graduate who was skilled in qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Phase 1: School Needs Analysis
To begin developing a proposed curriculum, the researcher conducted a needs assessment. This needs assessment aimed to identify students’ needs within the designated living-learning community. The researcher discovered those needs by exploring:
- Overarching institutional offerings and internal resources
- Previous and current students’ educational trends
- External community initiatives and supplemental programs
Once the data was collected, the Ethos team regrouped with the Colorado living-learning community faculty to review the needs assessment findings. Upon a review of the findings, the floor was opened for feedback to identify next steps for the development of an interactive learning model.
Phase 2: Research Study to Inform Course Development
Based on findings from the needs assessment and feedback curated through communication with the institutional partner, Ethos identified a few key areas for further exploration. The areas for further exploration aimed to examine the correlation between existing needs assessment discoveries and the population targeted for the course. Based on the gaps and areas for further consideration found, a research study was conducted to identify the current and longitudinal benefit of offering an entrepreneurial education course similar in nature to the school’s key initiatives.
The research study reviewed students’ long-term goals, their perceptions of entrepreneurial education, and its transferability to numerous industries, courses, and assignments students preferred or dispreferred, and internal/external supplemental programs that supported their educational growth.
Phase 3: Course Proposal and Impact Measurement
Based on combined findings from the needs assessment and research study, an instructional plan was proposed for course development. Once the course plan was proposed, Ethos met with school faculty members to learn the feasibility of the offerings.
Given Ethos’ passion to support universities in developing long-term opportunities for students, during this time the Ethos team also expressed its commitment to creating pre- and post-assessments to demonstrate the longitudinal transformation for students over time.
Ethos’ strategy to meet the needs of the university community led to a unilateral outcome that incorporated feedback at three levels: student, faculty, and local Colorado community.
As a result, institutional living-learning community leaders conveyed a great appreciation for this opportunity as the developmental research-based approach for the course served as a great extension of existing opportunities to meeting students’ learning needs.
The research-based approach supported identifying students’ learning needs and areas of interest. Over the long-term, this would ensure students’ greatest opportunities to engage in a comprehensive course. This also supported increasing the viability for students to launch or participate in entrepreneurial ventures in Northern Colorado.
Faculty and Institution
Through Ethos’ research study course developmental method, the institution would be able to provide impactful learning opportunities that best meet the needs of students and support the overall development of the greater Northern Colorado community. Portraying this impact can create great opportunities to illustrate the institution’s global reach and impact.
The course would facilitate diverse and skilled talent opportunities for the Northern Colorado community. These opportunities, in the long-term, would support talent that can strengthen and further Colorado’s overall development. In addition to supporting the overall faculty and student communities, the greater Colorado talent community directly will impact Colorado’s economic growth.
“What Ethos is offering is what our students need” – Living Learning Community Director