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Rollins Hits Milestone as 1,000 Students Complete Training in Human-Centered Design Thinking

This month, Rollins College reached a milestone in training 1,000 students in the method of human-centered design thinking (HDCT), a way of approaching problems that moves goals from ideas to workable solutions.

A concept originated by IDEO, Inc., HDCT is favored by some of the world’s leading innovation consultants. It was introduced into the Rollins’ curriculum as part of the 2014 launch of the business management and social entrepreneurship majors.

Faculty members embed HDCT throughout the courses of the business management and social entrepreneurship majors. For instance, Visiting Assistant Professor in Business and Social Entrepreneurship Denise Parris teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing, a signature course in which students deepen their understanding of the empathy skill set. Professor of Business and Social Entrepreneurship Cecilia McInnis-Bowers teaches Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking, a course that introduces students to the HCDT mindset and skill set. Students also employ HCDT in the capstone course for social entrepreneurship taught by McInnis-Bowers.

Rollins’ partnership with Florida Hospital’s Innovation Lab makes it possible for students to spend time in intense, collaborative training sessions where they are challenged to identify problems, develop teams, and work through five modes of human-centered design thinking—empathy, defining and reframing, prototyping, giving feedback, and testing and re-testing.

Rollins’ social entrepreneurship major is the first social entrepreneurship major accredited by the AACSB, the premier evaluator of business degree programs. It is also recognized by Ashoka, a group that encourages and supports innovative solutions to complex social problems.