Forces of Change


UC Forward: Forces of Change is a cross-college (CECH, DAAP, COB, ENGR, A&S) multidisciplinary certificate program designed to help students acquire the skills and dispositions needed to develop innovative ideas that address market and/or societal needs and to bring those ideas to market at or after graduation, through a combination of focused foundational courses and experiential learning activities. The Forces of Change certificate brings together faculty and students to enhance core disciplinary skills while challenging deeper fundamental tenets in order to promote innovative and collaborative commercialization & entrepreneurship.

Core courses within the certificate focus on understanding the processes of transformative innovation with the goal of developing students who think creatively and critically and who are confident to take risks and be a force for change in their organizations and communities. The certificate program structure provides opportunities for students across the university to collaborate in multidisciplinary environments focusing on problem-solving and innovative approaches to market needs.

Each student will complete a portfolio that illustrates the process and product of the transformative experience. The portfolio will be developed and refined throughout the certificate experience. In addition, the portfolio will provide an instrument for ongoing program evaluation and improvement. Students will complete the certificate by participating in the annual Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase in the spring semester.

Course Requirements

Students must complete two core courses:

  1. Inquiry to Innovation (PD2030): This multi-disciplinary course helps students develop the skills they need to be effective collaborators and problem-solvers. Topics include strategic thinking, research, design thinking, collaboration, gaming strategies, decision making, brainstorming, and community engagement. Students work together to solve an authentic real-world problem that changes each term.
  2. Leading Change - Ideas as a Force for Change (OLHR4051): The course addresses the environmental, social and economic components of innovation. The program encourages students to examine the big picture as well as the minute scaffolding that accompany all implementations of change. Students will learn to examine their environment to implement transformation successfully. All change is met with some form of resistance; this course will prepare students by providing learning opportunities that address “change agent” functions, convincing communication skills, and accountability expectations while considering local, regional, national and international interests.


Students must complete at least nine credit hours from the approved elective courses in the table below.

NOTE: Students who wish to take an elective that is not on this list can petition that it be accepted for credit. This will be determined in consultation with the UC Forward faculty advisor within each representing college. Additional courses that may qualify can be found by searching for the T Attribute in OneStop (T = Transformational).

Elective Courses for Certificate in Forces of Change
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
AFST3021 Black Entrepreneurship  3
BME3050 Medical Product Design I  3
BME5010 Medical Device Innovation I* Prereq. BME 3050 3 to 6
BME5020 Medical Device Innovation II* Prereq. BME 5010 3 to 6
ENGR6010 Effectiveness in Technical Organizations* permission of instr. 3
ENGR6050 Fundamentals of Leadership 3
ENTR2001 Essentials of Entrepreneurship 3
ENTR4001 Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship 3
FIN4008 New Venture Finance 3
HIST3027 American Economy and Society 3
HIST3079 Stock Exchanges & Global Capitalism 3
IT1040C Website Creation and Management 3
OLHR2010 How to Change the World 1
OLHR2011 Changemakers: Lessons Learned Through Travel in the Developing World 3
OLHR2049 Intro to the Practice of Leadership 3
OLHR6050 Teams 3

Additional Requirements

Each student must maintain an e-portfolio that presents a cohesive and engaging depiction of his or her journey though the certificate program, provides details and illustrations of course work and collaborations, and includes genuine reflections about the process of innovation.

Students must also present a poster at the Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase that outlines his or her certificate program or that is specific to a single trans-disciplinary project completed while in the program.