Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program: A launchpad for positive change makers grounded in the science and practice of thriving organizations.

University of Michigan students enrolled in any academic program are invited to earn a Thriving Catalyst Endorsement to gain an interdisciplinary grounding in Positive Organizational Scholarship, a field dedicated to unlocking and nurturing the highest level of human potential in organizations and communities. Research has demonstrated that organizations that invest in an infrastructure of thriving tend to:

  • Have higher rates of retention
  • Draw out more creativity and innovation
  • Support greater wellbeing for their members
  • Exhibit more adaptability and resilient responses to downturns and shocks

The Transition from +LAB to the Thriving Catalyst

The Thriving Catalyst Endorsement was created in response to the changing wants and needs of students and replaces the +LAB. The program is open to University of Michigan students who have engaged with this field through various programs, including the +LAB.

Program Design

In this self-paced program, students will:

  • Learn how to design systems that sustain thriving on individual, relational, and organizational levels in organizations that matter to you
  • Engage with scholars, researchers, leaders, peers, and alumni who are actively working as positive change agents in their organizations or contributing to this growing field of study
  • Gain access to exclusive resources, tools, and interactions that rapidly build skills and confidence, equipping students to cultivate thriving for themselves and others in their organizations 

Thriving Catalyst students will acquire a full toolbox that is evidence-based, rigorous, and solution-oriented. You will emerge equipped with the capacity to unlock greater passion, energy, connection, and purpose in yourself and to take others with you on the journey to thriving. Given our rapidly-changing ways of working, this endorsement launches you into a whole new sphere of capability, helping you realize possibilities in yourself and in others.

Who is eligible to participate?

The Thriving Catalyst Endorsement is a self-paced program of study and application that is open to any full-time or part-time student at the University of Michigan. It can be completed fully online or with a mix of virtual and in-person programming.

How does the endorsement work?

Upon entrance into the program, you will:

  • Think, study, and work alongside a group of peers to build knowledge, skills, and imagination about a world of thriving organizations
  • Learn to make small shifts that fuel big change and see how you can do this from any position
  • Engage yourself and others more intentionally, using your daily experiences as a proving ground for micro-moves that unlock the potential for thriving
  • Understand a new way to see, understand, and imagine the roots of thriving organizations, accessing greater potential for yourself and the organizations where you work and lead
What are the steps for students?

Step 1: Define Your Trajectory

Thriving Catalyst students will craft personalized trajectories that align with their unique career goals and interests. The first step for all participants is the Online Welcome Module, which will show you how to choose from a combination of courses, workshops, peer activities, and active projects in order to complete the endorsement at a pace that works for you.

Step 2: Learn Your Way

There is only one way to complete the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement–and this is your way. Working within a flexible point system that allows you to create your individualized learning trajectory, you have the opportunity to dive deeply into the field in ways that make sense to you. You might combine courses and workshop learning with active projects or organizational change initiatives. Completely self-determined, you need a total of 50 Thriving Catalyst points over the course of your time at the University of Michigan to complete the program. Obtain points from any combination of our Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Activities.

Step 3: Celebrate Your Success

Upon completion of the trajectory you designed for yourself, you earn the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement from the Michigan Ross Center for Positive Organizations. In addition to the satisfaction you will feel from this meaningful and useful program of study, you can feature this endorsement on your resume, social media platforms, job search materials, professional biographies, and anywhere you want to convey the credibility you’ve earned by taking a deep dive into the science of thriving organizations.


Questions can be directed to cpo-learning-programs@umich.edu.

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