As a student in the Creativity and Entrepreneurship LLC, you will take three, 2-credit-hour academic courses during your first year (one course each quarter). The course meets for two hours each week for class and includes group-based projects, case studies, workshops, design projects, along with readings and guest speakers. Through these experiences and projects, students will learn about the many challenges and rewards of creativity, the design thinking process, innovation, tackling societal problems, entrepreneurship, app development/programming, social entrepreneurship, and core business skills. Through exposure to these skill sets, students will gain exposure to the principle of the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit) while developing solutions to real world problems.
Over the course of the academic year, each quarter focuses on a specific element of building student understanding, self-efficacy, and capacity for action. Community mentors, offsite retreats, and other resources are provided to give students the tools they need to accomplish their goals. This program emphasizes process and perseverance, and fosters divergent thinking by exposing students to many different ideas and experiences. Coursework evolves with student interests and adapts to the needs of the group, reflecting the nature of learning as an unpredictable series of events.
The below schedule outlines some of the concepts covered in this year long learning community:
Fall Quarter: MIndsets and THE DESIGN THINKING PROCESS
The creativity and entrepreneurship course is not about teaching students how to be creative and/or entrepreneurial. We do not use textbooks or give lecture-based instruction. Instead, creativity and entrepreneurship are ideas and skills that must be experienced in order to gain an understanding of what they look like and mean.
While all three quarters are embedded with experiential learning, the fall quarter focuses on developing mindsets and providing theories of creativity and design thinking. This happens through various activities including practicing the design thinking process, reflecting on how our own personalities affect how we work in interdisciplinary teams, participating in improv, playing games, amongst many other activities.
winter Quarter: APP DEVELOPMENT, DESIGN AND BUSINESS ISSUES
During winter quarter, students continue gaining new skills and being exposed to many new and different facets of creativity and entrepreneurship. The course focuses on a variety of important themes including topics such as social entrepreneurship, designing board games, programming and app development, and developing business skills. Throughout the Winter and Spring we will be joined by a number of guest speakers from the local community.
spring Quarter: BUILDING OUT OUR OWN PROJECT (BUSINESS or NON-PROFIT)
Students continue to work in teams, collaborating with others to share skills, and problem solve a particular challenge that exists in the local community, either at the University of Denver or within the surrounding city. Using design thinking, which is rooted in human-centered issues, and other skills from fall, winter and spring quarters, students are tasked with developing a real-world solution that adds value or makes a positive difference whether it be through a business or a non-profit organization.