DEC Curriculum

Integrative Design Process: “How do I discover opportunities?”

Business Models: “How do I create value?”

Systems Thinking: “How do I navigate complexity?”

Research Methods: “How do I ask the right questions?”

DEC Advanced Electives: “What does this mean in the real world?”

Capstone: “How do I put it all together?”

The DEC core curriculum offers an integrated educational experience that prepares students to think critically about the world, which gives them a multidimensional understanding of their rapidly evolving fields. 

The Kanbar College-wide curriculum includes five courses; four core courses—Integrative Design Process, Business Models, Systems Thinking and Ethnographic Research—that culminate in an integrated senior capstone project. Each course fosters collaboration among designers, engineers, and business majors to give students a breadth of expertise that goes beyond the boundaries of a traditional degree. It’s an approach that aggressively addresses changes in the 21st-century work world, where a sophisticated interdisciplinary understanding makes young professionals more effective in their own field of expertise and enhances their ability to lead and succeed.

Integrative Design Processes introduces students to dealing with ambiguity through finding problems, prototyping and iterating solutions while working in diverse teams of students.

Business Models introduces students to the concept of how a value proposition is delivered to customers through infrastructure to create financial, social and environmental value.

As an introduction to systems thinking, a holistic problem solving approach, students choose between one of two courses: Sustainability & Eco-Innovation, or Biology for Design, to explore inter-connections of natural and social systems.

Ethnographic Research Methods, the last course students take before their integrated capstone, brings together students’ DEC core studies with the liberal arts and discipline expertise through a focus on understanding people and behavior.

Through this curriculum, students learn effective strategies to innovate across areas of expertise, an approach that adds educational value to each major and prepares students for strategic leadership in their fields.