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PSU to launch new Innovation Engineering minor

October 21, 2013 12:00AM

Starting in the Spring 2014 semester, Pittsburg State University students will have a new minor option that promotes creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

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

“The primary purpose is to provide students with the tools necessary to identify potential new ventures, create marketable concepts, connect with potential target markets, and to follow through and commercialize the product, service or activity,” said Linden Dalecki, PSU associate professor of Management and Marketing.

To help launch the new minor, an expert in the innovation field will visit the Pitt State campus next week to discuss his experience. Doug Hall, founder and CEO of Eureka! Ranch and author of five books, will speak from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 in the Balkans Room of the Overman Student Center. Hall previously served as Master Marketing Inventor at Procter & Gamble, where he set corporate records on creating and commercializing ideas.

“We are very excited to have Mr. Hall on campus to help us launch this groundbreaking new minor,” said Mark Johnson, PSU University Professor of Technology and Workforce Learning. “He has invaluable insight and experience in this field, and our students will benefit greatly from hearing him talk about his successes and challenges.”

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.

The survey also concluded that more than three in four employers say they want colleges to place more emphasis on helping students develop five key learning outcomes, including: critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings.

“More and more, employers are looking for applicants who can think outside of the box and be creative,” Dalecki said. “They want someone who can solve complex problems and have the capacity for continued learning. For many, that’s even more important than what the students majored in.”

Johnson said he’s confident that the new Innovation Engineering minor at Pittsburg State will help prepare students for the wants and needs of today’s employers.

“We’re incredibly anxious to launch this minor program,” Johnson said. “We think this will be just one more way Pitt State is giving its students that ‘something extra’ that sets them apart in the eyes of employers.” 

For more information about the Innovation Engineering minor, visit 
http://catalog.pittstate.edu/contentm/blueprints/blueprint_display.php?bp_listing_id=154&blueprint_id=277&sid=1&menu_id=10385.

©2013 Pittsburg State University