As educational leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), our accessible faculty advances student scholarship through innovative teaching, research expertise, and the exploration of new technologies and ideas. We prepare our students for professional careers and advanced study, while connecting with local, regional and global communities.
We strive to provide a mentored educational experience to every student in our college, develop the most qualified engineers, scientists and STEM teachers, and establish our college as the preferred Master's degree provider in Minnesota.
Our academic programs are among the strongest in the region due to our commitment to building a community of scholars and practitioners to support active, engaging experiences for our students. Our faculty members are committed to developing educated citizens capable of enhancing the lives, communities, and industries for the state of Minnesota and beyond. As a college, we embrace the many challenges facing our society such as managing large amounts of data and information, making decisions based on quantitative and analytical information, creating ethical and responsible scientific innovation, and finding sustainable engineering and technological solutions that positively impact our world.
As given in our University Vision, “Minnesota State Mankato will be known as a university where people expect to go further than they thought possible by combining knowledge and the passion to achieve great things. Our foundation for this vision is our heritage of both dedicated teaching and the direct application of knowledge to improve a diverse community and world. We will achieve it by actively nurturing the passion within students, faculty and staff to push beyond possibility on the way to realizing dreams.” We feel that this vision mirrors the Entrepreneurial Mindset which is eloquently embraced through KEEN. Our institution is working to implement the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, as established by the National Academy of Engineers. Addressing such challenges requires not only technical knowledge and ability, but a broad and interdisciplinary approach. At Minnesota State Mankato, we are striving to nurture existing and to grow new collaborations, allowing us to work towards the solutions society demands.
As a state comprehensive institution, our doors are open to students throughout the region and the world with varied backgrounds and abilities. It is our responsibility to provide them with an opportunity to make a contribution to the world through a variety of career paths. We recognize that engineering and STEM-careers are challenging. Efforts are currently underway by faculty and staff that are focusing on increasing the success of our STEM majors. Implementation of the First-Year Advising Model, piloting the Peer Mentoring Program, and focused efforts on sophomore engineering course success will lead to increased success for engineering students and others in Science, Engineering and Technology. It seems that growing the Entrepreneurial Mindset in the engineering curricula may also contribute to greater success, as students gain a bigger picture of the global nature of engineering. We have seen this firsthand as our Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering programs have blossomed, in large part due to the entrepreneurial and profession-based focus of the programs. Our traditional engineering programs have a degree of the Entrepreneurial Mindset, but tools made available through KEEN would make a significant impact on all students in the engineering programs.
As given in our college mission statement, "we prepare our students for professional careers... while connecting with local, regional and global communities." Each of our engineering programs has a level of "entrepreneurial" development. For example, senior design/capstone projects working alongside industry partners, developing projects or products as either deliverables or as improved methods for product delivery. The Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering programs lead the way with respect to having an entrepreneurial approach to their curriculum, and this group has been instrumental in developing momentum in other programs with respect to involvement in the KEEN network. The engineering profession recognizes the need for both engineering and entrepreneurial proficiency in program graduates. As a college, we need to do more in order to more adequately meet these industry demands. Being a partner within the KEEN network will be a critical step to that end.
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We are committed to the success of our students and seek out opportunities which can aid our students in their academic and career objectives. I feel that becoming a partner with KEEN will be an additional mechanism in helping our students to succeed.
--Dr. Richard Davenport, President