National Standards for Entrepreneurship Education

During the past decade there has been a movement to develop local and national education standards. Many education associations have taken leadership in identifying the content of a given discipline so that students will have the opportunity to participate in a common set of curriculum objectives. This was emphasized in order to ensure that all schools provided a comprehensive course of study. Further it enabled students to move to different schools and find the same curriculum expectations.

Education in this country is the responsibility of each state and the local school boards. As a result, states have taken responsibility to establish their own content standards. Often these are cross-walked with those published nationally to demonstrate how they do and do not match. States also crosswalk the entrepreneurship standards with academic course standards to demonstrate the opportunities for infusion of entrepreneurship as a context for teaching academics.

National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education

Nationally accepted entrepreneurship content standards and performance indicators have been important in determining what should be part of entrepreneurship programs everywhere. The Consortium decided that it was important to be able to describe the entire field of entrepreneurship education as a lifelong learning process.

As a result in 2004, thanks to the sponsorship of the Kauffman Foundation, the Consortium worked with focus groups of business owners to identify what they do and what they need to know in order to do it, for the purpose of establishing the Entrepreneurship Education National Content Standards. The resulting 15 standards, with 403 supporting performance indicators, are available free on the Consortium Web site They have been used widely to support the development of curriculum that is used by diverse programs, K-16 and adult education institutions.

Department of Labor Entrepreneurship Competency Model

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor/ Employment and Training Administration adapted the Consortium standards to create the DOL Competency Model Format. This is the latest addition to the 10 major industry competency models that are posted on the Career One-Stop website. DOL worked cooperatively with Consortium members to complete and evaluate the new DOL model and listed the Consortium as its major partner in its development and dissemination. Curriculum developers and trainers working within the workforce system are using the model to help design and deliver a unified approach to expanding entrepreneurial skills and thinking for the unemployed.

National Standards of Practice

Starting in 2000 the Consortium organized an annual Think Tank of entrepreneurship education leadership organizations to create a unified approach to building the field of entrepreneurship education. One development was agreeing on common criteria for entrepreneurship education programs. It was first published as a brochure, signed by all of the member organizations of the Think Tank and published on the Consortium website.

With further additions it was expanded to be a companion document with the National Content Standards. The 8-page brochure addresses agreed-on Outcomes by educational level, Concepts of a Comprehensive Curriculum, Methods of Delivery, Accountability, and Resources. A companion product is a Rubric suitable for evaluating entrepreneurship programs.

Standards CrossWalk

In 2016, the National Standards were reviewed and a CrossWalk was completed for three grade bands (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12) to see which Entrepreneurship Standards align with the Common Core Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.  This crosswalk will be helpful to those who wish to teach Entrepreneurship topics in a specific content area and need to know how to apply Entrepreneurial concepts.

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