Point one of 25 chosen for work-based learning consortium

Published 8:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2023

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At the core of Point University’s College of Business is what Todd Weaver, dean of the College of Business and Leadership, calls the practical application of academic study, or “pracademics.”

Helping further that initiative, Point University was one of 25 institutions recently chosen to participate in a Work-Based Learning Consortium by the Council of Independent Colleges.

The WBL Consortium, partnered with Riipen, is an experiential learning platform meant to provide experience through access to internships and real-world projects.

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The employer-based projects will be integrated into five business courses at Point University to provide students with learning that they can apply to the real world.

“What this program was about was trying to integrate more real-world practical experiences into the classroom,” Weaver said.

The College of Business offers an internship course; however, not all majors are required to take it. Plus, some students struggle to find an internship in the field of their choice. Others may not have time to add an internship on top of their studies, work and family obligations.

Weaver has used simulation projects and even real-world projects with local companies for his courses before. He said he has seen firsthand the positive impact hands-on learning has had on his own students.

“They really are excited by the opportunity to work with a real company,” Weaver said.

In the past, he had to seek out and develop relationships with companies himself. He said he hopes the partnership with Riipen will help reduce the barriers instructors face when searching for business partners.

The online platform will also open Point University up to a nationwide network of colleges and businesses, which can expand the boundaries for students.

“That takes work and effort and communication, and so I’m excited about the possibility of having those barriers to more professors putting these experiences in their classes reduced by the ease of the Riipen platform,” Weaver said.

CIC and Riipen will work with the Point team to integrate projects into five College of Business courses for the upcoming semester, spring 2024.

During the program, CIC will work with Point administrators to evaluate the selected courses in comparison with similar courses at Point. Data will be collected to analyze the impact of the program on the student and instructor experience.

“I’m hopeful that it’ll be something very successful that our students will enjoy and that having worked with Riipen, maybe, the members of this consortium would get a good deal on Riipen’s services,” Weaver said.