University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is charged by our state to enhance the lives of citizens in Illinois, across the nation and around the world through our leadership in learning, discovery, engagement and economic development. Our vision is to be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact.

The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois is a leader in engineering and computing education, research and public engagement. Our diverse, tight-knit community of faculty, students, and alumni is driving the future of technological advancements and innovation, relentlessly pursuing knowledge and empowering the next generation of engineers. Collectively, we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible to solve the world's greatest challenges and leaving a lasting legacy of excellence.

At Grainger Engineering, we foster a passion for lifetime learning. Our undergraduate, graduate, and online degree and certificate programs are designed to give the brightest minds the opportunity to think critically and creatively.

By design, our educational process celebrates diversity, collaboration, student research, professional development, and unique, hands-on learning experiences that unlock the potential for boundless achievement in every student.

Why We're In KEEN
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.

We would welcome visitors to connect with our Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) to learn more about our engineering education community at the University of Illinois and our programming that support our commitment as partners in KEEN.

Through AE3, visitors can meet our Education Innovation and Entrepreneurial Mindset Faculty Fellows and network with any of our principal investigators who are leading SIIP teams aligned to EM integration across the College.

Current Work
Our work to implement EM across our programs of study is multifaceted and involves numerous faculty, staff, and collaborators. At present, we are focusing our efforts on building faculty awareness of EM and the KEEN Framework through careful integration of information and experiences in some of our signature faculty development offerings.

All new faculty are invited to participate in our yearlong Collins Scholar program. This program exists to help new Illinois faculty off to an efficient and productive start. The program provides a culture of support for teaching, research, and service in a relaxing and collegial environment. Seminars address instructional design, research-based teaching strategies, and innovative assessment techniques. Staff from the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education and distinguished guests from around campus lead the weekly interactive seminars. Since becoming a KEEN partner in 2020, we have worked to integrate EM in these seminars, at multiple points throughout the year, as well as invite faculty who are using EM in their classes to speak with our new faculty.

Since 2012, the Grainger College of Engineering has supported the Strategic Instructional Innovations Program (SIIP), a competitive grant program for teams of faculty, staff, and students who wish to accelerate the spread of best practices for teaching, to develop new best practices, and to reimagine what it means to educate our students. In voluntary communities of practice, teams propose projects that advance educational innovation through a belief that we should teach like we do research: with a scientific approach, bold action, constant reflection, and peer engagement. At present, there are nineteen (19) active SIIP projects, and, with the support of the Kern Family Foundation, we are proud to have ten of those teams working on outcomes directly related to EM development in students and awareness and integration of EM by faculty in their instruction.

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
Jacob Henschen 2 others  
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This project encourages first-year students to connect their interests with an area within Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Chris Schmitz 8 others  
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Lab activities and reflection exercises that help students see connections between courses as well as evaluate the value of a broader solution space.