It was a unique experience to participate in the Faculty Entrepreneurial Mindset Workshop at Lawrence Technological University in Michigan and see how the faculty is integrating the ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ into their engineering curriculum.
The program is designed to give engineers and professionals the skills they need to turn ideas into viable product offerings in their respective organizations. By teaching engineers to be more entrepreneurial Lawrence Tech is helping these individuals to be more successful as engineers and leaders.
It is not a program to teach students about the entrepreneurial process but to enable them to integrate entrepreneurial thinking, action and decision making into their work.
Lawrence Tech is part of the Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network (KEEN) which is a network of twenty engineering universities across the country that is instilling the entrepreneurial mindset into their engineering programs. “KEEN’s mission is to graduate engineers equipped with an action-oriented entrepreneurial mindset who will contribute to business success and transform the U.S. workforce.”
The KEEN network currently touches 19,000 engineering students. Faculty members are encouraged to integrate the entrepreneurial mindset concepts into their programs. Students are given the opportunity to supplement their studies with programs focused on entrepreneurship.
A cross section of faculty from various disciplines at Lawrence Tech attended the entrepreneurial mindset workshop. They participated in exercises that got them to experience entrepreneurial thinking for themselves. Exercises they could later use in their own classrooms.
Lawrence Tech is situated in the Detroit area and many of their students are currently working in the automobile industry. One student involved in this program talked about his work at Chevrolet and how his engineering degree and entrepreneurial studies have helped him navigate the uncertainty and ambiguity inherent in business today.
I applaud the faculty at Lawrence Tech and the other nineteen universities who are participating in this program. They are leading the way to developing the entrepreneurial leaders that are needed to revitalize our economy and reestablish our leadership in innovation.
“It was a firm belief in the future that motivated Russell E. Lawrence to found a university in 1932—in the midst of the economic chaos of the Great Depression. While less farsighted individuals made predictions of gloom, Russell Lawrence turned a dream of preparing students for leadership in the new technical era into reality.” Lawrence Tech University
Lawrence Tech is doing the same thing today, by preparing engineers to become the entrepreneurial leaders we need to build a better future.