ORONO — University of Maine students can now obtain an interdisciplinary credential designed to help meet the needs of 21st-century employers.

The Certificate in Research Innovation and Strategy was developed as part of UMaine’s Experiential Program Innovation Central, which fosters collaboration among UMaine research and experiential learning centers, according to a news release from UMaine News.

Four pathways for the College of Engineering are now available, allowing students to tailor the content of the program to their field of study. Pathways in business, liberal arts and natural sciences are under development.

The initial certificate course, INT 125, will be offered from 2 to 5 p.m. Fridays beginning Jan. 29. The first 10 students to register will receive a $900 scholarship for the course.

The CRIS program is designed to complement a student’s core curriculum and provide tangible skills to meet the needs of employers. Participants gain hands-on experience in UMaine research centers, and understanding of changing and emerging technologies to creatively solve problems. They also learn ways to articulate knowledge clearly and effectively in real-world work settings.

“Students with this certificate become desirable candidates for the employers, showing their research, strategy, innovation and communication skills under a single certificate,” said Abedi, according to the release.

EPIC engages multiple UMaine research centers to promote undergraduate student research, advance scholarship and creative activity, and support innovation by leveraging available resources and expertise to create unique experiential learning experiences. Participating centers include the Center for Undergraduate Research, Advanced Manufacturing Center, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Foster Center for Student Innovation, and Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center.

The Division of Lifelong Learning is working with the UMaine colleges to create pathways and implement the CRIS curriculum across majors.

The certificate requires the completion of four courses. More information is on the CRIS webpage dll.umaine.edu/cris, or by contacting Ali Abedi, associate vice president for research and director of the Center for Undergraduate Research, at [email protected] or 207-581-2231; or Elisabeth Maberry, director of operations for the Division of Lifelong Learning, at [email protected] or 207-581-4750.

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