small businesses, millennials, academic programs


The purpose of this paper is to explore students’ perceptions of entrepreneurship as a career path and match those perceptions with academic program assessment in an effort to help academic departments better prepare students for careers in small business management. As this is exploratory research, this paper employs methods that capture a broad perspective, collecting data from multiple sources over the last decade. Data obtained from multiple sources allows for a meaningful and thought-provoking discussion on methods academic departments can use to help prepare students for success. Additionally, the data, analysis, and discussion help inform academic professionals charged with making decisions about academic programming in this area. This paper also increases understanding of the entrepreneurial intentions of contemporary undergraduates (mostly millennials) and provides some encouragement, guidance, and lessons learned for academic departments, which are increasingly involved in assessment of academic programs and student learning. In the conclusion, we review the approach taken by one university in response to issues identified through assessment.

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