Academic Focus: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

by | Aug 11, 2009 | Academic Focus, Innovation Method, The Economist | 2 comments

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has created the first-of-its kind Bachelor of Innovation™ program. Founded by Professor Terry Boult, the programis “an internationally unique interdisciplinary undergraduate program between the College of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) and College of Business (COB). The Bachelor of Innovation™ (BI) is a family structure, much like a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA), in which particular majors are defined. Included degrees (in alphabetical order): BI in Business Administration, BI in Computer Science, BI in Computer Science Security, BI in Electrical Engineering, and BI in Game Design and Development. Each degree in the program is composed of an emphasis major, an innovation core, and one of 4 cross-discipline cores.”

Here is how the program is structured (from the UCCS website):

  • Each major in the BI family of programs is composed of an emphasis major, an innovation core, a cross-discipline core, and the general education requirements.
  • The Innovation Core is 27 Credits, geared toward innovation and entrepreneurship; a key component is multi-disciplinary long-term team activities over the sophomore, junior and senior years. Teams are expected to include students from all years, and may include graduate students. The teams will have dynamic membership and team member roles will change on a regular basis. The innovation core includes courses on innovation, entrepreneurship, business and IP law, and policy. The students will develop an “innovation portfolio” throughout the program to help document and highlight their roles and contributions in these various courses. This unique common core and experiential learning component are part of what makes the Bachelor of Innovation™ family so unique.
  • Each major also includes a per-student choice of a cross-discipline core, which is a coherent collection of 15 credits from one “cross over” area. The individual will choose this as early as possible in their program, but definitely before sophomore year.
    • Business Core (for non-business degrees) provides a broad coverage of business topics.
    • Creative Communication Core (for any BI major) provides coverage of a variety of communication modes. Courses include both traditional (e.g., oral communication) and non-traditional (e.g., visual arts) communication approaches.
    • Engineering Technology Core (for non-technology degrees) provides a broad coverage of engineering and technology.
    • Globalization Core (for any BI major) provides a selection of courses on globalization issues. It will have a language requirement (passing at the second year level) and a collection of international business/policy courses. Students in this option are encouraged to demonstrate at least 3 months residence in a non-English speaking country, which may be met by one-semester of study abroad. While abroad, involvements in the Innovation team projects will be “virtual,” but will be required.

I am impressed with breadth and depth of this program. It not only prepare students for innovation across various disciplines, but it also begins to move innovation towards a professionrather than an activity. Congratulations to Professor Boult and the entire team.