First Place: Stackable Knowledge Units

Winner: Alice Stewart, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, School of Business and Economics, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Idea: Rather than a fixed generic curriculum, Stewart suggests creating specialized stackable "knowledge units" made up of perhaps three or four courses or co-curricular activity units each. This allows students to consume "chunks" of knowledge as needed or desired for career development, have some certificate as an intervening credential, and potentially create a market for knowledge units in specific technical or specialized areas drawn from engineering and the sciences. Individual students could choose and combine accredited knowledge units, even across multiple universities, to create unique career development sequences based on their individual needs.

Stewart: "If breaking down barriers to trade is good for business, it should also be good for business education. Let's create a market for knowledge units instead of degrees."
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