Rated in the top 20 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News and World Report, Lafayette Engineering not only provides an outstanding technical education, but also prepares students with the ability to think creatively, imagine broadly, communicate effectively and influence change. This mission aligns well with KEEN’s Entrepreneurial Minded Learning, which seeks to equip engineers with the ability to operate from a broad perspective to recognize opportunities, evaluate risk, and learn from their mistakes. Lafayette’s Meta Mindset takes this an extra step. In addition to teaching specific tools, characteristics, and traits for entrepreneurial thinking, the Meta Mindset highlights the journey common to all entrepreneurial endeavors to create value so that students recognize it everywhere and can practice and improve it.
Developed with the continued support of Lafayette’s participation in KEEN, the graphical construct of the Meta Mindset describes the process we use to approach challenges, opportunities, and problems. It allows us to see that each of us brings background, positionality, and valuable knowledge to every situation or effort. Whether solo, or as part of a multidisciplinary partnership, the Mindset identifies the characteristics of the inspirational decision that motivates action and fuels creativity. This framework explains the need for discovery, deliberate risk, and each of our discipline’s literacies to deliver the value of our inspiration. It puts context to feeling uncomfortable, getting stuck, and struggling so we can develop tools for productive persistence that reveal the next step toward creating intrinsic and extrinsic value.
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As we prepare students to be authentic problem solvers, we need to help them cultivate a broad perspective that enables them to see challenges as opportunities to create value in new and meaningful ways. The Meta Mindset, which makes the process of entrepreneurial thinking explicit, is the mechanism that cultivates this broad problem-solving ability. We are proud to be a partner in KEEN to build on Entrepreneurial Minded Learning together through collaboration and shared goals.