Certificate & Credentials
Undergraduate Certificate (UCERT) in Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving
The world needs and highly values people who can think critically and act in creative, innovative ways. People who can solve problems in an increasingly complex world.
This NAU certificate program enhances your NAU experience by teaching you how to identify needs, come up with many good solutions, and articulate and advance your ideas, and convert ideas into value and impact in the world. Ultimately, this class gives you core skills of thinking and acting like an innovator and entrepreneur that will, regardless of your degree, support your aspirations and help you build a thriving career and life.
Class 1: ITG 121 Innovation & Design Thinking Accordion Closed
(3 credits AHI General Studies)
For students who want to become more creative, curious, and gain a better understanding of themselves as innovators and problem solvers. We FOCUS first on self, personal story and motivations and then learn skills for turning your aspirations into action.
VALUE: Gain transferable skills of critical thinking, self confidence, problem solving, communication, and much more.
Class 2: ITG 201 Ideation Accordion Closed
(3 credits SPW General Studies)
Builds on ITG 121. For students who want to learn more about innovation, ideation, and entrepreneurship. We FOCUS on you as an entrepreneur and look at models of entrepreneurs. Go deeper into strategies for turning ideas into ventures (nonprofit and for profit). Learn more about problem solving strategies.
VALUE: Deeper understanding of self and how and why to turn your ideas into reality, transferable skills to lead change and make impact in life, career, and world.
Class 3: ITG 301 Writing* (Communicating) for Innovation Accordion Closed
*Note: This class is about communication; writing is only part of the class. This is not an intensive, writing-only course, despite what the NAU catalog says.
Builds on ITG 121 and 201, and will teach you powerful and practical communication skills. We FOCUS on things like writing emails, negotiating, conflict resolution, job interviews, persuasive use of memes/social media and video, how to read graphs and spot manipulation, how to talk so others listen, etc.
VALUE: practical communication strategies and techniques that will set the student apart throughout life and career.
Class 4: ITG 408 Fieldwork: Entrepreneurial Elective Accordion Closed
(1 + 2-3 credits*)
The ITG UCERT requires a minimum 3 elective credits. You can count any upper division course toward the certificate. *To do this you co-enroll in ITG 408 (1 credit) the same semester as any upper division course (usually 2-3 credits) and then “entrepreneurialize” some element of this course. To do this you will research and create a venture plan based on a component of the course. Upon successful completion of this upper division course, its credits, along with the 1 credit from ITG 408, will count toward the ITG UCERT electives. You can take ITG 408 multiple times if you wish.
VALUE: Ability to turn anything you learn into value in the world. See your major and career through new lens of opportunity creation.
Class 5: ITG 490 Final Project Accordion Closed
ITG 121, 201,301, and 408/electives prepare you for the final project experience. We go from idea to actual product or service that the student will test by selling or providing to real customers. The course is less like a class and more of a mentored seminar where student and mentor/instructor work together, meeting as needed, toward accomplishing the goal.
VALUE: At the end of the class you have more confidence as an innovative thinker, problem solver, and change maker. You’ll also have a powerful highlight (you founded something!) on your resume, sometimes a new business or nonprofit, and you earn the official certificate.
ADD IT TO YOUR MAJOR NOW
How to add the Certificate in Innovative Thinking & Problem Solving to your degree plan in less than 2 minutes!
- Watch the short video on YouTube, and follow the steps.
- When searching for the certificate just type in “Innovative” and it will pull up the certificate.
- Select the Certificate. Save. Done.
- If you ever change your mind it’s as simple as going in and removing it.