Critical & Creative Design Thinking Program

Faculty Credentialing

The benefits of being a CCDT-credentialed faculty member:

  • skill enhancement
  • unique student engagement experiences
  • new research and grant opportunities  
  • potential participation in community engagement projects and workshops
  • access to small monetary awards for CCDT projects
  • attendance at an annual conference
  • participation in faculty learning communities
  • creating new interdisciplinary collaborations to support your work

With our emphasis on design, you are able create your own activities that will incorporate critical thinking or both critical and creative design thinking. 

Faculty will complete the initial credentialing process by completing the training supplied in the faculty credentialing Canvas course and submitting a proposal. Proposals sufficiently demonstrating the integration of C&CDT into coursework, research, community engagement projects, publishing, and/or professional development such as faculty learning communities can be approved.  

Credentialed faculty will maintain their credentials through activities such as: reviewing other faculty’s submitted proposals, serving on the CCDT implementation committee, attending or leading an external or internal CCDT workshop, helping create content for online training in CCDT targeted for specific industries & disciplines or for other faculty, conducting research on CCDT, participating in other community engagement projects, publishing or participating in a professional development group, and/or other approved activities. Credentialed faculty may also attend a yearly conference, to learn about other CCDT opportunities, to mentor other faculty on CCDT, or to share their experience and activities.  

At the end of two years, the faculty member can let the activity/project end and then will report on the outcomes to the implementation committee. Alternatively, if the faculty member wishes to continue their activity/project, they can do so by submitting a renewal form. Also, credentialed faculty who wish to expand their commitment to CCDT can apply for awards or stipends to support their activities focused on CCDT.

Each fall and spring semester, credentialed faculty will submit a short progress report about their CCDT activity, either directly to the committee or via the Canvas course discussion board. Fall semester’s submission can include reflection on activity during summer. Faculty may take one semester off per two-year cycle of activity.

Faculty Awards

The aim is to enhance critical thinking (CT) or the integration of critical and creative design thinking (CCDT) for both the university and broader community.

Faculty who have earned the CCDT credentialing and have formally aligned an activity to the CT outcomes or CCDT outcomes (see below) are eligible to apply for this award. (Faculty who have already received this award are eligible for additional awards after the conclusion of the previous award; however, preference will be given to applicants who have not yet received this award.)

The award amount varies based on number of awardees and fund availability, between $500 and $2,000.  

Email Emily Pacula at to indicate interest in the faculty CCDT credentialing program. You will be added to a Canvas course for faculty with instructions for training and submitting a proposal.

FACULTY Learning Communities

Explore the application of critical thinking, creativity, and design thinking to faculty teaching, research, or service project. Faculty will explore resources and engage in live discussions twice a month to facilitate their own integration of these frameworks within their work. Through participation of this FLC, faculty may submit a proposal to become a credentialed Critical Thinking or Creative Design Thinking faculty member through the CCDT Program. By becoming a credentialed faculty member, faculty may mentor students working toward the student CCDT award. Credentialed faculty may also be asked to participate in external fee-based training workshops and may be eligible to apply for resources to support their work in CT or CCDT. Participation in this FLC will support the revision of any targeted courses for the integration of critical thinking or both critical thinking and creative design thinking. It may also support the application of these frameworks and rubrics into your research projects.

By participating in this FLC, you will become some of the first faculty members across all three USF campuses to earn this credential and join an interdisciplinary community of faculty who are innovatively applying this framework to create transformative solutions, products, research, and learning experiences. 

To join or learn more: Contact Emily Pacula at

Implementation Committee

  • Helene Robinson, program director (associate professor of instruction)
  • Jenna Luque, CBCS rep (associate professor of instruction)  
  • Garret LaForge, CAS rep (associate professor of instruction)
  • Adam Carmer, School of Hospitality rep, Muma COB (assistant professor)
  • Laura Hoffman, Data Analysis rep (associate director, University External Data Reporting)
  • Rebecca Gibbons, Assessment rep (assistant director for Assessment, Institutional Effectiveness)
  • Jennifer VanDeWoestyne, Advising rep (assistant director of Academic Advising, Student Success)
  • Kim Mones, Student Engagement rep (director, Office of Student Engagement)
  • TBD, student representative

Advisory Committee

  • Greg Smogard (assistant V.P., Innovation and Business Development)
  • Carlos Moreira (director, Campus Engagement for Veteran Success and Alumni Affairs)
  • Mike Gillespie (associate professor)
  • Lisa Penney (professor)