11th Annual Symposium
June 15-17, 2022 | Cleveland, OH

Workshop A – 2019

Workshop A: Developing I-Shaped Students


– Judith Cone, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

– Sheryl Waddell, Director, Global Innovate Carolina Network


Our students are a renewing resource and arguably, our greatest resource. About 30,000 are on UNC’s campus every year; most will be out in the world working for more than 40 years — and they are being prepared in a new way. Conventional wisdom says effective people need “T-shaped” skills, with core strength in a specialty (the vertical) and related cross-functional or cross-disciplinary knowledge. But it takes more to lead and succeed in today’s world, so at Carolina we are educating all students to have I-shaped skills. The vertical core is still deep domain knowledge, developed in majors and minors. The top crossbar is the quality of being a global citizen — competent across cultures as well as across disciplines, able to interact with people from any background and to understand, literally, how the world works. The base of the “I” stands for innovation skills. This means being able to bring ideas into the world through the capabilities and mindset of an entrepreneurial thinker. The workshop leaders will share details on the many steps under way within UNC to build I-shaped skills, including an increased focus on experiential learning, addressing major real-world needs and embedding the innovation process throughout the curriculum. New co-curricular programs, such as the makerspaces, also support this goal, along with growing efforts for inclusion and global outreach. Workshop leaders will also provide tools and frameworks to enable workshop participants to incorporate elements of the I-shaped student program into their campuses.