Over the past 30 years, enrollment in entrepreneurship programming within community colleges has grown substantially. The two-year context poses unique challenges and opportunities for studying entrepreneurship, and the purpose of this paper is to use a narrative review approach to consider the vitality of entrepreneurship education in the community college system. This research captures and reflects key findings from the field and illuminates the current state of scholarship on entrepreneurship education in community colleges. Four key areas are highlighted that describe the primarily challenges and distinctiveness of entrepreneurship education in the community college setting: curricular effectiveness, emphasis, degree and non-degree programs. The general framework that emerges from this narrative review helps to identify gaps in the literature and provides a focal point for future studies.
A structured literature review methodology (Armitage and Keeble-Allen, 2008) was chosen for this study as the state of literature in the specific area of interest did not present general groupings of topics or activities. Given this lack of categorical clarity, the design was specifically focused on bringing together key groupings to provide a framework for further study. The specific methodology adopted standard SLR techniques in terms of article selection, choice and organization. No pre-conceived groupings were used as part of organization of information. The goal was to allow the disparate studies fall into natural categories as greater review and organization continued.
During the authors’ review and analysis of the extant literature, four focal areas emerge that appear to create a general framework for explaining the important matters in community college entrepreneurial education. Those areas are: overall effectiveness, education emphasis, non-credit educational programs, and for-credit educational programs. The following discussion offers a starting point for future investigation. Figure 2 presents this paper’s advocacy arguments and a full literature review follows this initial framework.
Entrepreneurship programs in universities have grown significantly over the last 30 years (Heriot and Simpson, 2007). In the early 1980s, approximately 300 schools had entrepreneurship and small business programs. By the 1990s, that number had increased to 1,050 schools and signaled the beginnings of rapid entrepreneurial education expansion (Solomon et al., 1994). By the early 2000s, entrepreneurship education had exploded to more than 1,600 schools offering over 2,200 courses including journals and mainstream trade publications as well as special issues devoted solely to entrepreneurship (Katz, 2003; in Kuratko, 2005). This growth trend has been mirrored in community colleges (DoBell and Ingle, 2009). Despite that growth, scholarship regarding entrepreneurship education in community colleges has been described as a “wild west” (Truit, 2017) highlighted by little communication or sharing of experiences or cooperative activities beyond limited partnerships both inside or outside of the community college. Existing studies tend to be scattered and practitioner-written while academic articles are often theoretical, focused more on entrepreneurial education in four-year universities and at times promote underspecified models of challenges community colleges face. Given the dearth of scholarly work in the domain, this review attempts to form a comprehensive classification of extant work in order to stimulate and direct future research in this domain. The goal is to provide a current “state of the literature” of entrepreneurial education in community colleges that shares findings, suggests potential areas of inquiry, and helps to structure research arguments. To accomplish this, in the spirit of Hammersley (2001) and Harvey and Moeller (2009), we present a descriptive, narrative review of entrepreneurship education in community colleges in order to gain a better understanding of its complexities.
The authors and publisher would like to take this opportunity to inform readers that this paper was submitted in June 2018, and reviewed and accepted under double blind peer review prior to Dr Jeff Vanevenhoven being appointed Editor in Chief of the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development on January 1, 2019. There is no conflict of interest to declare as Dr Jeff Vanevenhoven’s appointment has not influenced the submission, or publication process of the paper.
Barnard, A., Pittz, T. and Vanevenhoven, J. (2019), "Entrepreneurship education in U.S. community colleges: a review and analysis", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 190-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-06-2018-0178Download as .RIS
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