What is the KEEN Framework?

Engineering faculty care about educational outcomes that ensure graduates have a mastery of engineering skills. The goal of each course is to equip students for their careers, building on knowledge they have gained previously and assessing mastery.

KEEN developed this framework to supplement the engineering skills you already teach with outcomes that support the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. The Framework also includes example behaviors for each of the 3C’s of entrepreneurial mindset, giving you a map to introduce mindset outcomes in your courses. When these skillset and mindset outcomes are combined, faculty are able to equip students to create personal, economic, and societal value.

  • What's Missing From Design

    You know the design process well. It has been billed as the ultimate act within engineering. From developing requirements, to analyzing solutions, to creating models or prototypes, design is commonplace in engineering education. The KEEN Framework lists design skills featured in nearly every engineering design cycle.

    But while design is important, it is not a complete set of tools. Design without initial exploration and an eye for impact does not create value. The framework addresses this, adding engineering skills before and after the design process to create a full toolbox for the student.

  • Opportunity + Design

    Developing opportunity recognition is a powerful skill when coupled with the engineering design skills you already teach. Doing this will encourage students to not only identify opportunities that influence design, but investigate markets, create business models, and learn skills to assess policy and regulatory issues.

    By adding opportunity to design, students are able to refine concepts, think more broadly about the world around them, and understand the customer who they are designing for. The KEEN Framework outlines specific educational outcomes for opportunity skills, streamlining the process for engineering faculty to include specific outcomes in courseware that reinforce the development of an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Opportunity + Design + Impact

    Impact is significance multiplied by scale. Coupling impact skills to opportunity recognition and design implementation will equip students to have an eye for value creation. The KEEN Framework provides specific educational outcomes to develop students’ impact skills. This includes communicating an engineering solution in economic terms, validating market interest, identifying supply chains distribution methods, and communicating an engineering solution in terms of societal benefits.

    By adding opportunity and impact to your design skills, students will be able to apply creative thinking to ambiguous problems, convery engineering solutions in economic terms, evaluate technical feasibility, and understand the motivations and perspectives of team members and stakeholders.

Entreprenurial Mindset
It's not just about skill. It's about a Mindset.
Mastery of technical skills is only half the equation for student success. Engineers find success and personal fulfillment when they couple their skills with a mindset to create extraordinary value for others. That’s why the Framework includes this starter set of educational outcomes based on the 3C’s of entrepreneurial mindset. By including adding these mindset outcomes to your courses, you can create and assess an entrepreneurial mindset in students.
The 3C's
Students will demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world and explore a contrarian view of accepted solutions
Students will integrate information from many sources to gain insight and assess and manage risk
Creating Value
Students will identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value and persist through and learn from failure
Educational Outcomes
This is the engineer we need
Framing educational outcomes with an entrepreneurial mindset that is coupled with engineering thought and action – expressed through collaboration and communication – and founded on character equips engineering students to contribute to a flourishing society.