The ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship seminar: Helping students to become leaders Conference Paper uri icon


  • Recently, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (EET/TET) Programs at Texas A & M University have created a new undergraduate initiative in the area of entrepreneurship. The goals of the Engineering Entrepreneurship Education Experience (E4) are threefold: Excite and motivate undergraduate students to take ownership of their education by giving them opportunities to develop and market their own intellectual property. Retain the best and brightest undergraduate talent in the Brazos Valley region. Use entrepreneurship to help undergraduates develop ethical and leadership qualities. The E4 initiative affords teams of students two semesters in which to develop an idea, plan their project, and implement a commercially viable product prototype. The most successful projects will be selected for an additional semester of business development incubation. However, it was quickly recognized that students needed access to experienced mentors who could guide and teach them as they transitioned through the E4 process. To this end, the Ethics, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship (ELE) Seminar was created. The ELE Seminar is a one hour extension of the first course in the E4 sequence where regional industry and entrepreneurial leaders conduct weekly roundtable discussions on ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. The format of the seminar inherently fosters leadership in the students. Each E4 team of students is required to recruit a speaker and help them select a topic. On the day of the seminar, the student group hosts their guest during the seminar and actively participates in the roundtable discussion. It is the responsibility of the team to ensure that the speaker stays on topic and that relevant questions are being asked. After the seminar, the student team takes their guest to dinner for follow-on discussions. The seminar has now been conducted for two semesters and has been extremely successful. Guests have included Vice-Presidents from regional companies, a Houston-based venture capitalist, and the President of Texas A & M University. Several student teams have formed relationships with their guests and are having continued professional interactions. This paper will describe the ELE Seminar process, discuss specific guest examples, and relate the seminar to success in the E4 initiative. American Society for Engineering Education, 2007.

published proceedings

  • ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Morgan, J., Porter, J., & Lockard, M.

complete list of authors

  • Morgan, J||Porter, J||Lockard, M

publication date

  • December 2007