New Penn College Bachelor’s Degrees to Prepare Innovation Leaders

Innovation, identified as vital to the nation’s economic growth, is the focus of two new bachelor’s degrees at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The new degrees are part of the college’s quest to prepare graduates for success and to provide the community with a highly qualified workforce.

Innovation – developing new products, services or processes or improving existing ones – is a skill that is in demand in all occupations. It is recognized by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as essential not only to the nation’s economy, but to improving quality of life.

Students may begin coursework toward a degree in applied innovation in Fall 2017, and applications are being accepted for the college’s entrepreneurial innovation major, which will start in Fall 2018.

In both degrees, students will gain hands-on experience as they develop meaningfully unique ideas, write a business plan, submit a provisional patent and learn to use sales-forecasting tools. They’ll participate in a key to innovation, collaboration, as they discuss ideas with classmates and with forward-thinking Penn College faculty.

Throughout the process, students will study a systematic approach to creativity. They will learn how to generate innovative ideas – including finding creative stimuli and data mining for trends – how to communicate their ideas, and how to prototype and test them.

The college expects to see many students graduate with patent-worthy innovations.

“As part of the program, students have the opportunity to convert ideas into provisional patents via the patent-writing process,” said Chip D. Baumgardner, associate professor of business administration/management. “Such ideas could evolve into actual patents through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

The Bachelor of Science in applied innovation is designed as a “two-plus-two” major, meaning that students who hold an associate degree in a technical or professional field may apply those credits to the applied innovation bachelor’s degree, giving them junior-level status.

A combination of entrepreneurship, innovation and design courses will teach students the basics of new-venture creation and management, as well as how to design and develop innovative products and systems.

The Bachelor of Science in entrepreneurial innovation offers a business approach, providing core courses in innovation, entrepreneurship and industrial design, as well as a strong background in management, marketing, accounting, finance and business law.

Both of the innovation degrees at Penn College capitalize on a partnership with Eureka! Ranch, founded by former Procter & Gamble master marketing inventor Doug Hall to develop reliable methods for increasing innovation speed and decreasing risk. Hall’s system was developed based on the “continuous improvement” principles of W. Edwards Deming, who is credited with helping to rebuild Japan’s economy after World War II.

Innovation courses are taught by Penn College faculty who are Black Belt Innovation Engineering certified instructors or Blue Belt Innovation Engineering instructors working toward Black Belt certification from the Eureka! Ranch.

Penn College also offers a 12-credit professional certificate in applied innovation leadership and an 18-credit minor – available to students in any of the college’s bachelor’s degree majors – in innovation leadership.

Students who complete any of the Penn College innovation programs can go on to earn the Black Belt in Innovation Engineering, the highest level of attainment in innovation.

To learn more, call the college’s School of Business & Hospitality at 570-327-4505.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.