DEC Curriculum

The Design, Engineering & Commerce Core

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 Design, Engineering and Commerce (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.