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University and Community Collaboration in Management Education: Lessons learned and Insights after a Decade of Experiential Learning

Track: Management Education & Development

Keywords: experiential learning, collaboration, management education

University educators have long recognized the importance of experiential learning outside the classroom. Internships, cooperative educations and community based class projects in undergraduate and graduate curriculum are common program experiences. Despite this proliferation of experiential learning, best practices and lessons learned are seldom systematically shared. The purpose of this paper is to identify important lessons learned about effective university and community collaborative using consultancy projects at a state university over the past ten years. The lessons learned are categorized by when they occur (before, during and after the consultancy project) and responsibility (instructor, student and community based organization). Five insights underlying the lessons learned are offered: (1) establish clear instructor, student and client organization project expectations and role responsibilities, (2) instill student diagnostic skills that identify opportunities for improvement, (3) emphasize critical thinking skills that are required to propose compelling improvement recommendations, (4) provide ongoing constructive feedback to students during the project, and (5) maintain high levels of student and client motivation throughout the project. Effective implementation of these lessons learned and insights have improved the efficacy of the university and community collaboration over the past ten years.

Author(s):

Barry Friedman - barry.friedman@oswego.edu
State University of New York at Oswego

 

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