Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Career School, Convergence, Creativity, Digital Technology, Education, Innovation, Work Skill Demand, Liberal Arts
Today’s businesses are investing heavily in IT transformational tools to keep pace with the 21st century’s ceaseless advances in digital technology and artificial intelligence. However, business leaders are realizing those investments go nowhere without the creative minds to discover new ways to converge technology advances in software clustering algorithms, Big Data Analytics, data lake deployments, blockchains, chatbots, and social media apps with customer engagement for growth opportunities
Traditional business skills are no longer viable in a globalized digital ecosystem. Departmentalized linear and vertical thinking skill competencies have been usurped by the value chain of integrative, non-linear and lateral thinking. Complex problems arising from unfamiliar and multifaceted complications caused by globalization and technology advances need nontraditional, unconventional and atypical responses. The intellectual agility of the creative mind uncovers new associative links by converging disparate knowledge domains to provide innovative solutions.
Converging different ideas from different knowledge domains to form new patterns of thought has become one of the most valuable 21st century workforce skills. Yet, an overwhelming amount of higher education institutions separate, silo, and isolate one subject area of knowledge from another. A liberal art “breadth of knowledge” is no longer sufficient without establishing a methodology that provides a convergence of knowledge.
It is the finding of this paper that the case study of The North Coast College demonstrates a pedagogical model which converge disparate knowledge domains to redefine education for the 21st century.
The North Coast College’s Principle of Convergence pedagogy is a response to the changing 21st century business environment and its need for “transdisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, and multidisciplinarity” minds to stimulate idea generation for innovation. The 4 Layers of The North Coast College’s Principles of Convergence Plan are: The Convergence of Business and Design; The Convergence of Design Industry Standards with The NCC Academics; The Convergence of Linear Thinking with Lateral Thinking; and, The Convergence of General Education Requirements with Everything. Each layer is designed to interact with today’s needs of a workforce skill which values convergence of knowledge to foster creative thinking and innovation. The NCC’s pedagogical construct converges career skill-based competencies with the holistic breadth of a liberal arts education while providing an epistemological methodology to converge disparate knowledge domains for creative thinking and innovation aptitudes.
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