Entrepreneurship education has blossomed in Ontario.

The Impact Centre currently offers a number of programs dedicated to entrepreneurship training and education. These span from an undergraduate course, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to a dedicated startup internship program, Exploring New Ventures.

“Experiencing an entrepreneurial environment offer significant opportunities to students,” says Emina Veletanlic, a PhD student at OISE studying entrepreneurship education. “Aside from the economic impacts of future business and job creation, entrepreneurship experience offers a unique opportunity for skill development and training that can be transferred to any future career.”

Read about the experience of two recent Impact Centre startup interns.

Despite this surge in interest, very little has been done to formally assess the skills that will most benefit students.

“The Impact Centre is tackling the problem of learning outcomes assessment in entrepreneurial work-integrated learning (E-WIL),” says Dr. Alon Eisenstein, experiential learning educator at the Impact Centre. “We are embarking on a multi-year project that will bring together practitioners and experts, including faculty from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), to create a critical thinking measurement tool for students in E-WIL.”

Funded by the Higher Education Quality of Council of Ontario (HEQCO), the tool will capture and score students’ critical thinking and track its development over time. Critical thinking, which includes the ability to reason and explore issues, is believed to be one of the most important job skills for students in entrepreneurship and beyond.

“We believe that this tool can help anyone running entrepreneurship training programs to highlight their successes and areas for improvement,” says Eisenstein. “Ensuring these programs train students to think critically and identify new business or other opportunities will equip them for future success.”

Read about how our summer international entrepreneurship academy brought Norwegian students to learn in Toronto-based startups

To learn more about our experiential learning programs and share best practices with fellow educators, register for our WIL Educators Mini-Symposium taking place on Friday November 10, 2017.