Systems and Solutions Certificate
Concentrations & Certificates
The Systems and Solutions Certificate will prepare students from all disciplines to use systems thinking and STEM tools to model complex systems and to use design thinking to innovate and iterate toward solutions within these systems. We strive to educate and graduate the leaders who will solve the future's most pressing challenges. Understanding and solving these challenges requires preparing students to create knowledge and innovate within complex systems. We propose undergraduate and graduate certificates in Systems and Solutions within the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota.
Scientific Solutions for Society (SS4S) is a graduate & professional certificate program aimed at training participants to solve key societal problems of today and the future using science and innovation. The program will focus on effective science communication, the impact and processes of establishing policies, and the principles of sustainability and real time assessment of innovations for society at local & global level. Participants will gain essential skills to be applied in solving real world problems and develop leadership skills by serving as trainers for subsequent course offerings.
The Inquiry, Design, and Ethical Action Scholars (IDEA-S) Certificate Program is designed for incoming STEM and STEM education freshmen. Scholars will navigate through a series of virtual and in-person design thinking and inquiry-based experiences during the summer months leading up to their freshman year. Each experience will be intentionally designed to build participants' capacities to take ethical action and impact change within the context of STEM-related issues. At the culmination of this interdisciplinary certificate program, scholars will apply the inquiry, design, and ethical reasoning skills learned to solve complex problems in high-need communities.
Our team aims to create a certification for STEM educators that applies the ideals and strategies of SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) and adds practical professional development in pedagogy, science communication, and community collaboration. SENCER courses and programs use civic problems and big interdisciplinary public challenges (e.g. infectious disease, climate change, etc) with student-centered pedagogy to teach rigorous foundational knowledge while building civic awareness. Because SENCER courses take a problem-based, systems approach to learning, they inevitably engage the humanistic and social science knowledge, as well as meta-knowledge and skills, that learners need to be scientifically informed civic agents in their communities. The certificate program will help instructors teach STEM content "through" pressing social and civic problems of direct relevance to local communities by providing: course/program design guides, student-centered pedagogical training, grounding in principles of effective science communication and informal science learning, and the development of collaborative opportunities with community-based STEM educators.
The Holyoke Community College (HCC) Team developed a unique approach to assist STEM students with accelerated learning in the Community College setting, which will position first year students for internships and research opportunities faster, to increase persistence and completion of a certificate. This program is focused on the recruitment of historically marginalized students and supports our Colleges Strategic Plan, to support the needs of our Hispanic student Community. Holyoke Community College is currently a HSI withroughly 26% Hispanic students. By supporting our student's development of technical skills, coupled with essential skills, students will be able to work in industry at an earlier point in their academic journey. We will be using high-impact practices, coupled with accelerated learning, in a supported community to fast track our students.
Translating across disciplines, which are often identified by their different styles of reasoning, is challenging, but responsible citizenship requires the use of multiple perspectives to solve problems. Our translation goal is to value what other disciplines already do and know, and find pathways to incorporate that knowledge both within and outside STEM. This team has considered these translational challenges from both a liberal arts perspective and an engineering/science perspective, and have connected both to the use of narrative and story. We present two credentials in STEM communications and in ethics that help students learn the skills of translation, while practicing integration.
Many contemporary problems that impact our daily lives – from the spread of infectious diseases to climate change – demand expertise from one or more STEM domains. Effective solutions require an understanding that moves beyond STEM, integrating the culture, values, and interests of impacted communities. This Community-Based Interdisciplinary STEM Certificate prepares students to solve complex, interdisciplinary problems in the real-world context of their own communities.
Many Montana higher education students don't currently have good access to the real-world STEM experience employers desire. This is due to many factors, such as institutional focus on academic learning and relatively low number of local pre-graduation training and research opportunities. Therefore, Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) has created a hands-on STEM certificate that will form a guided path to prepare the participants to start their careers.
The proposed Certificate in Sustainability Solutions prepares students to apply sustainability principles and approaches to address complex human and environmental challenges. Through 6 courses, including an applied project, the Sustainability Solutions certificate offers practical, skill-based experience positioning students perfectly for today's job market.
This is a certification program introducing ethical frameworks for collaborative STEAM research with Indigenous communities and/or on Indigenous lands. This certificate is designed for academic researchers, student researchers, funding program managers, and similar professionals (referred to here collectively as researchers). The certificate is based on Indigenous governance and rights-based metrics for integrity.