The fundamental promise at Illinois for nearly 150 years has been to provide our undergraduate students with truly transformative educational experiences. Whether these experiences take place in the classroom, in the surrounding community or around the globe, our students leave this campus with the skills, knowledge and the drive to become leaders in their fields and to lead lives of impact in the world. Each year we welcome more than 32,000 undergraduate students across our nine undergraduate divisions – offering nearly 5,000 courses and awarding about 7,000 new degrees each spring.
Our focus on research shapes our identity, permeates our classrooms and fuels our outreach. Fostering discovery and innovation is our fundamental mission. As a public, land-grant university, we have the responsibility to create new knowledge and new ideas and translate these into better ways of working, living and learning for our state, nation and world.
Entrepreneurship flows from the classrooms to Research Park, a space that houses everything from Fortune 500 companies to student-founded startups. We are consistently ranked among the top five universities for NSF-funded research and our total annual research funding exceeds $600 million. Illinois students, scholars, and alumni are a community with the power to change the world.
With our land-grant heritage as a foundation, we pioneer innovative research that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. Our transformative learning experiences, in and out of the classroom, are designed to produce alumni who desire to make a significant, societal impact.
The University of Illinois has been a leader in the development of engineering curricula for over 150 years. As a land grant institution, we provide critical, relevant curricula while training students from a wide range of backgrounds to meet the challenges of the workforce of both the region and the world. KEEN provides a strong and diverse network of educational collaborators through which the university can broaden its impact and reach, as well as collaborate in the curation of best practices and methods for inculcating, at scale, an entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation of engineers. Faculty developing curricular and co-curricular innovations can collaborate with KEEN partners, present and refine their ideas at workshops, and contribute to the broad vision of KEEN. Early-career faculty and teaching faculty developing their teaching portfolios can benefit tremendously from working with and gaining feedback from the network of collaborators across KEEN.
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The Grainger College of Engineering has a rich history and deep commitment to infusing innovative opportunities throughout the student experience. Our Technology Entrepreneur Center and Siebel Center for Design provide students with tools, skills, experiences and knowledge aimed at developing and honing their entrepreneurial mindset. Our Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education empowers our faculty to work as a community to improve engineering education so that we can continue to provide the best educational experiences and outcomes possible for our students. We are honored to join as a KEEN partner institution and work with leaders in engineering education across the nation to prepare the next generation of engineers.
--Dr. Rashid Bashir, Dean of Engineering & Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering