Requirements for Participating Students
Entry to the Welch College of Business’ Undergraduate PBL lab is selective. Students will be required to formally apply for entry by completing the online Student Application and will be competitively selected to participate on an interdisciplinary business project. Students will be enrolled in the program as a three-credit course and work in teams of ten students and two faculty advisors to research and analyze a complex business problem. Student consultants will first work closely with the entity on mutually agreed upon objectives, then the student\Faculty team prepares a final report and makes recommendations to the participating firm.
Consulting assignments will include a top-down and/or bottom-up review of the business /organization and the industry in which it operates. Depending on client need, students may perform an evaluation of the business strategy as well as its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. They may evaluate marketing strategies and create a marketing plan for the business. Thus, the WCOB PBL consulting assignments vary according to the need of the client and the size of the team.
Experiential learning is becoming an increasingly important pedagogy for business school programs as business schools and their regulators increasingly recognize that critical aspects of managing and leading are learned most effectively through professional practice rather than through traditional academic engagement. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) articulates that business schools are professional schools that exist at the intersection of theory and practice. As such it is expected that business schools are firmly grounded in both the academics and the professional practice of business and management, because the academic and professional engagement within a business school are not separate activities; rather, they intersect in significant ways. Business schools can achieve effective business education and impactful research by striking different balances between academic study and professional engagement.
Standard 13 of the AACSB’s revamped standards requires a “Curricula that facilitates student academic and professional engagement appropriate to the degree program type and learning goals”. This new standard 13 also requires that;
- For any teaching and learning model employed, degree program curricula include approaches that actively engage students in learning. Many pedagogical approaches are suitable for challenging students in this way—problem-based learning (PBL), projects, simulations, etc.
- For any teaching and learning model employed, the school provides a portfolio of problem based learning opportunities for business students, through either formal coursework or extracurricular activities, which allow them to engage with faculty and active business leaders. These problem based learning activities provide exposure to business and management in both local and global contexts.
- The business school provides documentation of problem based learning activities that provide business students with knowledge of and experience in the local and global practice of business and management across program types and teaching/learning models employed. These problem based learning activities may include field trips, internships, consulting projects, field research, interdisciplinary projects, extracurricular activities, etc.
The Business Incubation Program is designed to:
- Contribute to student education in business, analytics and strategic management.
- Create strong interactions between Sacred Heart University and the greater Fairfield County business and financial communities.
- Contribute to economic development of the region by launching new businesses and providing business solutions to existing business problems.
- Facilitate students development of advanced skills in critical thinking, analysis, research, problem-solving, project management and writing;
- Allow students to explore a field in which they may be interested in pursuing a career.
Managing Client Firm Deliverables
- Set the right scope for projects:
- After the project has been approved by the WCOB PBL Committee (see below), projects faculty advisors will work with students to ensure they are supported by a detailed scope of work and work plan;
- Students will work using a project management or process driven approach to ensure completion of all projects;
- The process driven approach is built on milestones and have students reporting out each week;
- Clients expectations and students understanding of their delivery should be carefully aligned;
- Project recommendations are actionable and are supported by data and analyses.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
PBL LibGuide Site
(1) MOOC on FN215
(2) MOOC on AC105
(3) MOOC on BU201
(4) MOOC on MK201
List of Previously Completed Projects
List of Current PBL Students and Projects
List of Readings Relevant to Current Projects