RIT’s partnership with KEEN is unique in that two of our colleges, the Kate Gleason College of Engineering (KGCOE) and the College of Engineering Technology (CET) have joined forces to enhance student learning through Entrepreneurial Minded Learning (EML). KGCOE has an outstanding reputation for producing graduates well-versed in current engineering practice, educated to lead technical innovation and develop next-generation products and processes, and dedicated to continual improvement in their professional work. CET emphasizes unlocking the unlimited potential of dedicated learners to lead, create, innovate, and apply technology for the betterment of a global society and is committed to a student-centered educational environment and making technological careers accessible to a diverse body of learners.
RIT prides itself on providing students with a breadth of experiential learning opportunities and encouraging students to pursue a wide range of academic interests. All thirteen undergraduate majors in engineering and engineering technology include four years of academic preparation intermixed with one year of paid cooperative education work experience (co-op). Additionally, students at RIT have the opportunity to enhance their education through participation in a wide variety of student-run clubs. Notable among these clubs are the many “performance” teams in which students design, build, and test vehicles or aircraft for competition.
The value of RIT’s partnership with KEEN may be summarized through the core message of the Institute’s strategic plan, “greatness through difference.” RIT embodies a unique and diverse culture built on successful collaborations among the wide spectrum of programs that comprise the eleven colleges at RIT. Another distinctive feature of RIT is its cooperative education program (co-op), which is a requirement of all students in the thirteen programs in engineering and engineering technology. RIT’s co-op program is the fourth oldest and one of the largest in the world, and it is a cornerstone of our approach to undergraduate STEM education. We are excited to collaborate with the KEEN partner institutions to learn how others have used EML to better prepare students for the engineering profession. We look forward to exploring through the network how best to integrate EML into all of our engineering and engineering technology programs. Though some RIT faculty already utilize EML in their courses, the KEEN partnership provides the opportunity to promote this approach with other faculty to ensure that all students have the opportunity to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
RIT’s strategic plan also calls for a broad spectrum of experiential learning opportunities for our students, and incorporating EML into our programs is well-aligned with this goal. The KEEN network provides faculty training, pedagogical examples, and a robust infrastructure that will foster cross-university collaborations and make our programs stronger. The culture, enthusiasm, and support surrounding EML creates an environment that enables teaching-focused faculty to flourish. These attributes of the KEEN network help all of us engage and educate a highly diverse and highly capable engineering workforce.
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RIT is delighted to join the KEEN network of institutions as a partner. With strength in numbers, we will be able to serve as an excellent test bed for new pedagogical approaches and can generate meaningful data to support the efficacy of these approaches. Our faculty are looking forward to integrating EML across multiple years of the curriculum. This partnership will enable us to provide unique, state-of-the-art curricular experiences, to recruit, engage, retain and graduate students. The enhanced reputation because of this partnership will be invaluable to RIT." - Ram Manian Ramkumar, Interim Dean, College of Engineering Technology and Doreen Edwards, Dean, Kate Gleason College of Engineering