DEVELOPING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL COACHING CLINIC THROUGH A CO-CREATIVE STUDENT ENGAGING LEARNING PROCESS. CASE - ARCADA COACHING CLINIC

S. Fabricius1, C. Tigerstedt1, M. Klynhout2, V. Strolys2

1Arcada University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
2Arcada UAS (FINLAND)
Stimulating innovation and fostering entrepreneurial (intrapreneurial) thinking is crucial in today’s fast-moving world and should be a priority of any higher education institution. In the world of work there is a constant emphasis on soft skills (SITRA, 2018; Ritter et al, 2017), as employers seek to hire individuals with such requisites to give them a competitive advantage (Ritter et. al. 2017). Development of an entrepreneurial mindset may require certain milieus, however researchers (Blenker et al, 2012 etc) argue that entrepreneurship education should be tailored to meet the needs of each individual learner. This article outlines a development project at Arcada UAS, which combines entrepreneurial thinking, soft skills and personalized student engaging processes.
In 2018 the Arcada Coaching Clinic (ACC) concept was formed as part of the University’s entrepreneurial context, the Oasis. The idea was to build a sustainable milieu, including an approach to learning and coaching that helps students in their entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial development. The project recruited 13 students and 6 teachers that would collaborate on building and developing this concept. The project has a dual approach to learning 1) students learn through the collaborative and co-creative process 2) teachers, taking on the role of coaches, and students learn together about how to build a sustainable milieu, in order to foster entrepreneurial thinking at Arcada UAS. The project activities related to this collaboration run until May 2019.
The project draws on theories related to innovation, entrepreneurial education, activity-based workplaces (ABW) and contexts (Leesman report, 2017, Wraae, Tigerstedt & Kratzer, 2018) and sprint methodology (Knapp, 2016). The process includes elements of design thinking and agility to trigger entrepreneurial thinking and, concurrently, develop the concept for the Arcada Coaching Clinic. Throughout the project, a student-centred approach to learning has been adopted (Hoidn, 2016).
The methods used in this study, including participatory observation and autoethnography, are of an exploratory nature. A systematic analysis of self-reflection diaries, field notes and process descriptions was also employed. The coaching teachers and students are from the fields of Business, Engineering, Media and Healthcare education and all have former knowledge of entrepreneurship.