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The KEEN Framework
Updated: 9/8/2022 8:24 AM by Becky Benishek
Create educational materials and teaching concepts with the KEEN Framework, an adaptable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning!

The KEEN Framework is an adoptable, adaptable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning. With it, faculty can create educational materials and teaching concepts that equip engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset.

This conceptual framework connects engineering skillset with entrepreneurial mindset, providing the building blocks for entrepreneurially minded learning.


Why is this important? We believe this is how to educate the engineering we need. 

This is the engineer we need: One with an Entrepreneurial Mindset that is coupled with Engineering Thought and Action, Expressed Through Collaboration and Communication, and founded on Character.


Engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset transform the world. Educators have a role in developing this mindset in the rising generation of engineers.


This card contains the framework and resources connected to its use. Click the Cite button at the top of this card to reference the KEEN Framework in your work.

Instructor Tips

Eight ways to use the KEEN Framework:

1. Start a conversation.

Talk with other faculty and staff about how important mindset is for student success. Share concepts from the KEEN Framework about entrepreneurial mindset and explore how they might work in different contexts.

2. Build community.

Mindset can be a unifying concept across disciplines. Connect with other parts of your institution to find others who resonate with these ideas.

3. Equip champions.

Integrate the KEEN Framework within your staff and faculty development initiatives. Recognize leaders and showcase work that contributes to the success of others.

4. Transform curriculum. 

Start small with a project or module connected to a specific concept in the KEEN Framework, or rethink an entire course. Integrate entrepreneurially minded learning with other pedagogies to further engage your students.

5. Integrate into co-curriculars.

Student orientation, Engineers Week, student competitions – all benefit from concepts from the KEEN Framework. Refresh established events and directly impact students with entrepreneurial mindset.

6. Assess learning outcomes.

Map the KEEN Framework to ABET outcomes. Learn from others who have done the same. Measure changes in student attitudes, motivations, and dispositions in addition to technical engineering content.

7. Engage with industry.

The KEEN Framework is relevant to what employers are looking for in your graduates. Gather stories from industry partners on how the 3C’s equip employees for success.

8. Catalyze culture change.

Lead others and inspire transformation within engineering education by emphasizing both skillset and mindset development.

  • Demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world
  • Explore a contrarian view of accepted solution
  • Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
  • Assess and manage risk
Creating Value
  • Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
  • Persist through and learn from failure
  • Determine Design Requirements
  • Develop New Technologies
  • Perform Technical Design
  • Create Model or Prototype
  • Analyze Solutions
  • Validate Functions
  • Identify Opportunity
  • Evaluate Tech Feasibility, Customer Value, Societal Benefits & Economic Viability
  • Investigate Market
  • Test Concepts via Customer Engagement
  • Create Preliminary Business Model
  • Assess Policy & Regulatory Issues
  • Communicate Solution in Economic Terms
  • Develop Partnerships & Build Team
  • Communicate Societal Benefits
  • Identify Supply Chains & Distribution Methods
  • Validate Market Interest
  • Protect Intellectual Property
Categories & Tags
  • Engineering Unleashed Resources
  • Classroom & Courses
  • Comprehensive
Title Type Ext Date Size Download All Downloads
KEEN Framework Booklet Other .pdf 9/7/2022 165.5 KB 159
Explore each C in depth on our website pages.
Title Type Ext Date Size Downloads
Curiosity Other 9/8/2022 -  
Connections Other 9/8/2022 -  
Creating Value Other 9/8/2022 -