New minor program off to fast start

  Friday, February 27, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

New minor program off to fast start

In the spring semester of 2014, Pittsburg State launched a new minor aimed at promoting creativity, entrepreneurship and new ways of thinking. One year later, the minor has proven to be not only effective, but also popular.

Dubbed the minor in Innovation Engineering, it’s a collaborative effort of the College of Technology and the Kelce College of Business and is open to any major on campus. The minor teaches students the techniques and systems used to create, connect, and commercialize unique ideas.

“We started the minor with 20 students,” said Mark Johnson, PSU University Professor of Technology and Workforce Learning. “We’re now up to 32 students, and we expect that number to continue to grow. The level of interest amongst our students is both high and exciting.”

Johnson said he’s most encouraged by the variety of majors in the new minor program.

“A key component of this program is that it’s not just for technology and business majors,” he said. “It’s for everyone. We have students in here majoring in music, art, English and many other fields. Regardless of your major, this innovation engineering minor can and will help in your career.”

The minor involves a series of four courses that students must take to complete the program. The fourth course will be officially added to the curriculum in the fall semester of this year.

"By the fall, the students who began this minor last spring will be ready for the fourth and final course," Johnson said. "We're excited to have the full program implemented and look forward to seeing the results in terms of student success."

Innovation and the ability to be creative continue to gain steam as attractive qualities in job applicants. According to a survey conducted for the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 95 percent of employers say they give hiring preference to college graduates “with skills that will enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace.” Also, 90 percent of employers say that “innovation is essential” to their organizations’ success.

“We think this is just one more way Pitt State is giving its students that ‘something extra’ that sets them apart in the eyes of employers,” Johnson said. 



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