The Framework

for Entrepreneurially Minded Learning

A Framework for the Entrepreneurial Mindset

The Framework is an adoptable, adaptable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning, and has been used by thousands of faculty to create educational materials and teaching concepts that equip students with an entrepreneurial mindset. 

Within the Framework, you will find a starter-set of mindset and skillset learning outcomes. The skillsets correspond with the design spine that you are familiar with. 

KEEN Framework

The Framework helps students understand the importance of opportunity and impact in the context of design. These situational skills can lead to dispositional changes within students. They are the building-blocks for the entrepreneurial mindset.

Additionally, the Framework outlines the 3C’s student learning outcomes. These outcomes are how you infuse entrepreneurially minded learning into your courses. These learning outcomes cultivate curiosity, empower students to make connections, and promote value creation.

Faculty Applications of the Framework

See how other faculty have applied the Framework for their projects, classes, and curricula, and get resources to adapt for your own students.

Apply Value

Apply Value

Use these rubrics as inspiration.

Gain a better understanding of how the 3C's can be digested in the form of rubric-level assessment criteria.
Robust Entrepreneurial Mindset Assessment


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?


Augment traditional learning.

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

Background of the Framework

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

Exploring the Framework

What's Missing From Design?

As engineering faculty, 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 Framework lists design skills featured in nearly every engineering design cycle.

While design is important, it is not the complete set of tools your students will need to be successful. Design without initial exploration and an eye for impact does not create the best value for your students and society. The Framework addresses this, adding engineering skills before and after the design process to create a full toolbox for the student.

Framework Design

Opportunity + Design

Developing opportunity recognition is a powerful skill when coupled with the engineering design skills you already teach. Doing this will encourage your 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 better understand their customers' needs. The 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.

Framework Opportunity Design

Opportunity + Design + Impact

Impact is significance multiplied by scale. Coupling impact skills to opportunity recognition and design implementation will equip your students to have an eye for value creation. The Framework provides specific educational outcomes to develop your 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 their design skills, students will be able to apply creative thinking to ambiguous problems, convey engineering solutions in economic terms, evaluate technical feasibility, and understand the motivations and perspectives of team members and stakeholders.

Framework Opportunity Design Impact

Opportunity + Design + Impact = Mindset Outcomes

When these skillset and mindset outcomes are combined, engineering faculty can equip students to create value for their organizations and communities in successful and rewarding engineering careers.

Framework Engineering Skillset

The Framework includes:

  • A starter set of educational outcomes based on the 3C’s of entrepreneurial mindset: Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value. Add these to your courses to create and assess EM in students.
  • Example behaviors for each of the 3C’s of entrepreneurial mindset. These will help you introduce mindset outcomes in your courses. 

Educating the Engineers We Need

Florida Gulf Coast students

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 (EM) 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.

Join the Community

Not yet part of Engineering Unleashed? 

Join now to gain access to thousands of resources built with the Framework, and start infusing your engineering classes with the entrepreneurial mindset!


  • Make connections with faculty from over 340 institutions
  • Contribute ideas and collaborate on projects
  • Attend faculty development workshops, events, and meet-ups