Onboarding 2: EM Workshop for Staff

Onboarding 2: EM Workshop for Staff

"Staff can play a key role on the evangelist side, in part because they can casually drop EM into conversations with both faculty and students. To not bring this potentially influential group of broadcasters onboard would be missing out on opportunities for effectively delivering EM interventions."

 - Brent Sebold, Director of E+I @ Fulton Schools of Engineering

Case at a glance

Integration goals

Inform staff about the importance of and framework for entrepreneurial mindset so that they are engaged and can support and contribute to the EM integration effort

Materials affected

Communication messages and presentation materials created, Leadership Workshop Evaluative Assessment created

Lessons learned

Although they aren’t directly tasked with helping students achieve EM learning outcomes, staff, especially those who coordinate programs but also those who informally interact with students, are key EM integration partners.


In a perfect world, staff members would send us a cold email inquiring about EM, something heard about around campus, but that hasn’t, and isn’t likely to, happen. However, the fact is that valuing entrepreneurship is in ASU’s charter as its third design imperative, and that is of course a huge advantage for the entrepreneurial mindset (EM) integration team, one that really sets the stage for everyone, including staff, to be open to learning about EM, because if you work, learn, or teach at ASU and you don't know enough about entrepreneurship, and so too EM, you're going to be less than fully informed and appropriately oriented. 

Consequently, training all of our staff to be aware of the importance of EM as a key learning outcome for all FSE students is tremendously important to ASU, because staff members spend a significant amount of time supporting the educational mission of the university and our schools of engineering. While they are augmenting FSE’s mission, it's specifically important that all staff remain "on message" with FSE's unique value proposition, which includes EM, as a key aspect of the Fulton Difference.

After launching EM onboarding for faculty and lecturers, we decided to explore offering an EM training workshop to Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) staff members and other interested parties. We intentionally wanted this workshop to follow onboarding workshops for faculty and lecturers, so that staff could support and build upon the EM integration work faculty and lecturers had started planning and implementing. The initial staff workshop was relatively brief, essentially a mini-workshop, as it was added to the agenda of a quarterly ASA staff meeting. The ASA has as part of its charter providing “learning opportunities based on student interests that complement classroom instruction,” focusing on “excellence in the delivery of academic services and programs that enhance scholastic achievement and personal growth.” Appropriately, the quarterly ASA leadership and staff meeting that the mini-workshop was incorporated into focused on innovation. 

The first staff onboarding event was important as a kick-off, but one-on-one and small group follow-up sessions have really driven EM training and development among staff and student leaders/employees (and other interested individuals who are not teaching). 

Integration details

In October 2016, members of the EM integration team delivered a 30-minute EM training session to 30 Academic and Student Affairs i2i (Ideas to Innovate) staff and program leaders.  The core tasks of this integration effort were the following:

  • Crafting messages for stakeholders 
  • Developing the presentation materials 
  • Working with ASA administrators to schedule the workshop, whether at a dedicated event or a staff meeting 
  • Building buy-in and support among administrative leaders via the initiative’s leadership and FSE academic advisors 
  • Developing a follow-up survey or other assessment instrument 
  • Running the session, reflecting on it, and planning the next session 

Dr. Jim Collofello presented an overview of the Entrepreneurial Mindset, and then Drs. Brent Sebold and Scott Shrake facilitated the mini-workshop, whose intended outcomes for participants were as follows:

  • Understand the Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM)
  • Understand how applying EM can make your work more efficient and impactful
  • Develop strategies to help share EM methods with your students

To achieve the workshop’s desired outcomes in only 30 minutes, the meeting covered just three agenda items:

  1. EM in context
  2. EM in action 
  3. Applying EM

In the EM in Context section, the presenters focused on two examples or case studies of EM being integrated into the curriculum: EPICS (EPICS@ASU + EPICS High) and the eSeed Challenge. Overall, however, this session introduced the genesis of the entrepreneurial mindset and challenged participants to understand how applying EM could make their student affairs work more efficient and impactful. The participants were also asked to develop strategies to help share EM methods with their students. They were also asked to complete an EM survey at the end of the session. It comprised five questions total--four Likert Scale with comments, one open-response. The questions focused on how confident about and how well participants understood EM after the training.

NOTE: Supporting resources for this case study can be found within its companion KEEN card (link below), which is also where the community can discuss the case and its broader topic.

Integration outcomes

The results of the i2i Leadership Workshop Evaluative Assessment that the EM team created and administered at the end of the mini-workshop are available. In general, the responses received were positive, but we consider staff training an ongoing effort. Again, this workshop was important as a kick-off, but one-on-one and small group follow-up sessions have really driven EM training and development among staff and other individuals in non-teaching roles. 

Future plans

We have no plans to do another staff workshop, unless several new staff members join at once. However, as noted, we do believe that everyone who interacts with FSE students must be informed about EM and why ASU is involved with it, and that it is essential that staff know how to talk about EM, that they have “the pitch.” To fill in when staff workshops cannot be scheduled, we created training videos for this audience (Dr. Brent Sebold’s “EM 101” videos). 


The training itself is actually a fairly easy deliverable. The challenge is prioritizing it over the myriad other priorities associated with the EM integration effort. That is, the challenge is not giving in to the potential mistake of not prioritizing this training and ensuring that there’s someone who's going to move it up the priority list. That’s where the initiative’s sponsor and  project manager were essential.  

Accordingly, this integration effort benefited from having a project manager and required collaboration among co-presenters and administrative assistants. We were fortunate to have earned the support of both upper administration and the constituent groups’ administrators.