The KEEN Framework

Providing learning outcomes for students

This is the engineer we need: One with an Entrepreneurial Mindset that is coupled with Engineering Thought and Action, Expressed Through Collaboration and Communication, and founded on Character.

A Guide For Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset

The KEEN Framework provides you with a starter-set of mindset and skillset learning outcomes to use in your classes.

These learning outcomes in turn cultivate the 3Cs of entrepreneurial mindset in your students: Curiosity, connections, and creating value.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Download the KEEN Framework.

A Conceptual Framework

The 3Cs of Entrepreneurial Mindset + Engineering Skillset = Entrepreneurially Minded Learning (EML)


The KEEN Framework is an adoptable, adaptable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning. With it, faculty can create educational materials and teaching concepts that equip engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset. 

Design_slice_crop.png  What's Missing From Design?

Design has been billed as the ultimate act within engineering. But these skills are not enough to equip engineers to transform the world.

Design skills must be complemented with opportunity recognition and impact assessment.

Opportunity_slice_crop2.png  Opportunity

By adding opportunity to design, students can refine concepts, think more broadly about the world around them, and understand the customer they are designing for.

The KEEN Framework outlines specific educational outcomes for opportunity skills, streamlining the process for faculty to include specific outcomes in courseware that reinforces the development of an entrepreneurial mindset (EM).

Impact_slice_crop.png  Impact

Impact is significance multiplied by scale. Coupling impact skills to opportunity recognition and design implementation will enable students to have an eye for value creation.

The KEEN Framework provides specific educational outcomes to develop students' impact skills.

Opportunity + Design + Impact

Opportunity_Impact_Design_crop.pngBy adding opportunity and impact to design skills, students will be able to:

  • Apply creative thinking to ambiguous problems.
  • Convey engineering solutions in economic terms.
  • Evaluate technical feasibility.
  • Understand the motivations and perspectives of team members and stakeholders.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Download the KEEN Framework.

Connecting Skillset to Mindset - A Tandem Development

Engineers find success and personal fulfillment when they couple their skills with a mindset to create extraordinary value for others. The key is an entrepreneurial mindset.

Through educational interventions that connect to the 3Cs, you can equip students to understand opportunities, make an impact, and create value for themselves and others.

To understand this tandem development, we've created this simple model:


EU_swoosh_transbg.png Get the above model in a poster! Plus get more tips on using the KEEN Framework and the 3Cs.

Faculty Applications of the KEEN Framework

Faculty across the United States have integrated learning outcomes associated with entrepreneurial mindset into their courses. These include and expand on the starter-set of outcomes contained in the KEEN Framework: 


Click the resources below to see how community members have applied the KEEN Framework in projects, classes, and curricula.

Mapping the AACU VALUE Rubrics for Application to the Framework

By Blake Hylton

What can educators do when they trying to instill a characteristic they don’t know how to assess? Gain a better understanding of how the 3C's can be digested in the form of rubric-level assessment criteria.

Six EM Classroom Assessment Best Practices

By Gary Lichtenstein

Link student performance to proficiency: Use this Robust Entrepreneurial Mindset Assessment to help integrate mindset into your engineering curricula.

Why Do Jets Fly So High?

By Sid G. and Doug Melton

Augment traditional learning! Student learning outcomes become more meaningful by focusing on opportunity and impact and using key instructional methods.

Background of the KEEN Framework

Building a mindset takes planning and focus. KEEN, a Network of engineering colleges across the U.S., developed the Framework to supplement the engineering skills you already teach with outcomes that support the development of the entrepreneurial mindset. 

The KEEN Framework provides the resources and tools to support your engineering courses and curriculum. It helps you identify skills that, through repetition, can lead to changes in student mindset. 

Want to learn more? We've developed a short, 15-minute course toe help unpack the KEEN Framework and entrepreneurial mindset. 

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Take the Course.

Educating the Engineers We Need

The KEEN Framework has been used by thousands of faculty to create educational materials and teaching concepts that equip students with an entrepreneurial mindset.

As engineering faculty, you strive to ensure that your graduates have a mastery of engineering skills. Yet mastery of technical skills is only half the equation. Engineers find success and personal fulfillment when they couple their skills with a mindset to create extraordinary value for others.

The entrepreneurial mindset should be an integral part of the key skills of every engineer. 

When we frame educational outcomes with an entrepreneurial mindset founded on character and expressed through collaboration and communication, we help ensure that engineering students can fully contribute to a flourishing society.

EU_swoosh_transbg.png Download the KEEN Framework.