Brad Weigle and Jennie Myers have a passion for mentoring young people and teaching creativity. They noticed that interns that they hired for their creative marketing agency, Against, were facing a skills gap when it came to exhibiting and applying creativity in the workplace. At the time, Weigle was teaching at the College of Innovation and Design (CID) at Boise State University and Myers was teaching at the College of Business and Economics.
They both saw creativity as a crucial skill and wanted to be a part of the solution. In 2018, they pitched four classes to CID, which were approved to start in January 2019. These classes became the foundation for the Certificate of Innovation and Design, and became the first four classes offered by Society for Ideas. Currently, Myers and Weigle are both directors and assistant clinical professors of the Society for Ideas.
Society for Ideas
Society for Ideas is a micro-school for creativity in partnership with the College of Innovation + Design. It allows students and professionals to augment their degrees and work experience for a digital-first world and grow their creative, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.
Society for Ideas currently offers three certificates. Each certificate has four seven-week courses, and each certificate is 12 credits. The certificates are open to all majors and each certificate can be completed in as little as one semester.
The offerings include:
- Certificate of Innovation and Design
- Certificate of Content Production
- Certificate of Creative Influence
Society for Ideas has grown out of the belief that people aren’t born with creativity, rather it is something that is learned and is essential to succeed in the modern workforce.
Weigle and Myers have applied their passion for creativity and teaching young people to their teaching assistant program. Society for Ideas currently employs about 15 teaching assistants per semester to assist with giving thorough and quality feedback to students on projects. The Society for Ideas also regularly asks their students and teaching assistants to give them feedback to improve their courses.
The teaching assistant program has proven to be successful. If students have questions or need help on projects, they can email a single help inbox rather than trying to figure out who to email. After that, all questions are fielded out to the appropriate person to answer. On average, teaching assistants get back to students within four hours. In the fall 2022 semester they fielded 2,211 questions from students.
Meet Danni Harrison
Danni Harrison is currently working as a Society for Ideas teaching assistant while she is in graduate school at Boise State for her Professional MBA. Harrison has an undergraduate degree in multidisciplinary studies and art. She also earned a Certificate of Innovation and Design and Certificate in Creative Influence, offered through Society for Ideas.
Harrison came to the program as a student in the Analytics for Design course.
“Everything from the content, the format, the accessibility and flexibility was everything I was looking for and got me excited about doing more,” she said.
Harrison is a teaching assistant for Creative Concepting, Analytics for Design and Career Hacking and said she enjoys seeing the range of perspectives students have on each project and loves playing a part in pushing them beyond their comfort zone in creativity and innovation.
“The structure of the classes and the mindset of the instructors and office support staff is all about positivity,” she said.
Meet Colin Shields
Colin Shields is a teaching assistant for the No-Code Development course and is currently pursuing his a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary professional studies. His focus areas for his degree are UX design and content production. Shields is originally from Boise, Idaho and currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
After taking Agile Design, No-Code Development and Creative Concepting from Society for Ideas, Shields appreciated the engaging projects, real-world experience and quality feedback. So, when he saw a job posting for a teaching assistant in the program he decided to apply.
Shields said that he enjoys seeing student’s work, something he does not always get a chance to do as an online student. He also enjoys further developing his ability to give thoughtful and constructive feedback and appreciates the inclusive and welcoming environment working as a teaching assistant.
Become a teaching assistant
Teaching assistants work an average of 10-15 hours per week, earn $15 per hour and can work from anywhere. Those interested in becoming a teaching assistant can learn more at boisestate.edu/sfi.