Williamsport, Pa. - Pennsylvania College of Technology is the only institution in Pennsylvania offering "innovation coursework" through a partnership with the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute.
The college said they've made it easier for students to earn a competency credential in innovation leadership and the industry-recognized certifications that come with it.
The innovation leadership competency credential offers three courses that teach theory, concepts, and hands-on activities that teach systematic approaches to stimulating and implementing effective new ideas. Graduates are prepared to lead change within their industries, careers, communities, and personal lives.
“Regardless of focus, the ability to innovate is what gives a company competitive edge,” explained Brian D. Walton, the college’s assistant dean of business and hospitality.
“The knowledge and skills taught in Penn College’s innovation leadership competency credential are vital for any company in the 21st century. Our courses not only define innovation, they also teach students how to integrate it into daily practice in any organizational setting.
The flexibility of the courses allows students to work online and at their own pace to complete the innovation sequence and earn industry-applicable credentials," Walton continued.
The core of the innovation leadership courses is a set of continuous-improvement principles from W. Edwards Deming, who is credited with helping to rebuild Japan's economy following World War II.
Deming taught that for companies to remain competitive, they must develop a practice of never-ending innovation to suit evolving needs and tastes.
Deming's concepts have been refined into a system by corporate innovator Doug Hall, founder and CEO of Eureka! Ranch.
Offered at Penn College since 2015, the credential formerly required five courses that had to be taken in sequence, yielding a 2.5-year timeframe.
Beginning in Fall 2021, the major has been streamlined, in close consultation with Eureka! Ranch, to encompass all of the concepts in three courses, shortening the path to 1.5 years. All classes will be conducted online.
The updated format helps working professionals to fit the credential into their busy schedules, and already-enrolled Penn College students to add the credential to their degrees.
Upon completion of all modules of the first course in the sequence – which offers students the opportunity to develop multiple ideas for goods, services or systems – students can earn Eureka Ranch’s Innovation Engineering Blue Belt certification. Completion of all modules within the three courses allows students to earn the Innovation Engineering Black Belt.