KEENzine Partner Showcase

Leaders at Lawrence Technological University reimagined undergraduate engineering education so graduates would make a greater impact in the world. Partnership in KEEN enabled them to develop a blueprint to equip faculty and reach every engineering student with entrepreneurial mindset. This has fundamentally changed the institutional culture. What have institutions done to make KEEN and entrepreneurially minded learning sustainable? KEEN initiatives and partner approaches have evolved over the years, but a consistent connection among administration, grassroots faculty, and a structured approach to faculty development are central to creating lasting impact. This is the blueprint Lawrence Technological University (LTU) has used to integrate entrepreneuriallymindedlearningacross itscurriculum, reaching 100% of its engineering students. In 2004, LTU’s provost, Maria Vaz, took a leadership role in shaping the goals of what is now the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN). She was an early visionary who believed undergraduate engineering education should focus on both technical competence and broad economic and societal impact. A proponent of getting all faculty on board, Maria workedwith early adopters to identify ways to broaden support. This visionary leadership has since been carried on by KEEN leaders, includingNabil Grace, dean of engineering, Andrew Gerhart, assistant department chair and professor of mechanical, robotics, and industrial engineering, and Heidi Morano, director, Entrepreneurial Engineering Design Curriculum. LTU primarily caters to undergraduate students who become thelocalworkforceaftergraduation.Administratorsunderstand that undergraduate education is imperative. Because of this, faculty routinely ask, “How am I making my classroom better? AmI tryingnewpractices tomeet the needs of all my students?” These types of questions were a great place to start integrating entrepreneurially minded learning to improve teaching and learning. TheKEENFrameworkprovideddefinitionsandcontext for LTU to innovate teaching and provided a shared language for administrators and faculty to use. “Ultimately you won’t have to use the term ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ because you’ve integrated it into engineering education. Our students just see this as engineering and what makes a good engineer.” - Andrew Gerhart The Power of Consistent Meetings LTU realized early on that administration and faculty both needed to be engaged. KEEN could not be an initiative owned by either group if it was to have sustained impact on campus. Maria established a pattern of regular meetings with chairs, faculty, and other key stakeholders around KEEN implementation. Southfield, Michigan. Private. Partner since 2004 . 2,966 total students, 888 undergraduate engineering students, 99 engineering faculty. These early meetings helped shape the program and build community. Regular KEENmeetings have continued through leadership transitions at the university and within the core KEEN team. On-Campus Faculty Development LTU identified faculty development as the key to equipping faculty for success. To do entrepreneurial mindset (EM) well, LTU turned to experts in student-centered learning to find best practices and looked to the Network to see what others were doing. They learned about a small, several-hour workshopcalled“IntegratingCurriculumwithEntrepreneurial Mindset” (ICE). ICE focused on explaining EM and its importance to successful engineers, and enabled faculty to embed EM as assignments ormodules in classes. Leaders fromLTUdecided to take what was being presented and work with others in the Network to expand it to a multi-day workshop which could be institutionalized for LTU faculty and staff. These LTU ICE workshops became the primary vehicle for professional development across campus. LTU leaders invited a cohort of 12 faculty to an ICE workshop. These early adopterswere selectedbecause theywere already motivated to try new things and could be influencers within their departments. These faculty were from all disciplines impacting first-year students. Experts facilitated sessions on classroom pedagogy and integrating EM. These experts coupled entrepreneurial mindset withactive and collaborative learning, which became the signature of LTU’s approach. Overlapping Cohorts The first cohort ran for two years, allowing LTU to launch and overlap two cohorts of faculty. With Cohort 1 able to show the work they’d done, the lessons they had learned, and the impact EM was having, Cohort 2 was able to more quickly understandandimplemententrepreneuriallymindedlearning. Intentionality Across the Student Experience LTU began with faculty who taught mostly first-year courses, which gave them a cohort of students who also started with the entrepreneurial mindset that first year. The second and third ICE cohorts taught more sophomore and junior classes, while the fourth, fifth, and sixth cohorts taught more junior and senior courses. Connecting EM to a solid first-year and sophomoreexperienceensures that studentsaren’t surprised about coursework that contains value creation, stakeholder engagement, and other elements of the 3Cs (Curiosity, Connections, Creating Value) in their junior year. By being intentional about students experiencing EM in courses such as calculus, chemistry, and physics, LTU ensures that when students take their first engineering courses, the conceptofentrepreneurialmindset issofamiliar thatstudents feel it is simply part of engineering. 38 39 KEEN’zine ― PARTNER SHOWCASE PARTNER SHOWCASE ― KEEN’zine