Post Classifieds

Summer MBA class stirs interest among students

By Rebecca Bayens
On October 31, 2012

A new summer course engaged Xavier graduate students
in the community around them between July and August this
year. Professor George Gordon and senior Owen Raisch educated Xavier MBA students with their Management 654 class: Project Management." Raisch stated that this class
was centered around the idea of experiential learning, which
is an alternative learning theory that competes with the traditional university practice of education through memorization. According to Raisch, this memorization
theory reflects Jean Piaget's "Genetic Epistemology"
and his ideas for a more experiential approach came from these publications. Raisch believes that Xavier's future lies in implementing more classes that include this experiential component because a proliferation of online class offerings
across the country that make learning more affordable could potentially decrease the value of campus offerings. Experiential learning, however, enhances the quality of
education in several areas that are not necessarily provided for in online learning environments: attendance, engagement and learning, according to Raisch. "The crisis (for universities in the future) is a choice of how to move forward (with education)," Raisch said. "It is a choice between involvement with online education, enhancing the classroom experience through experiential learning or a combination of the two." This management class is just
one example of an overall effort by Raisch, other students
and faculty to create a Center for Small Business Engagement. "This effort is strongly service oriented, because serving local, independent businesses is
serving our community," Raisch said. Ways in which the summer class served local businesses included planning a coffee tasting for Betta's Italian Oven as well as assisting in launching its recent Festival of Saint Rocco. "This class really connected two needs with one common solution," Raisch said. "Independent businesses need access to the education of the University. They need to know how to hire, make financial decisions, etc. The University needs businesses to provide students with experiences."
In addition, the students supported the Cincinnati Independent Business Alliance (CiNBA) by organizing their first meeting with local businesses owners. CiNBA promotes independent businesses in local communities
throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. "Students really seemed to love the class," Raisch said. "We got great feedback." Similar examples of the kind of experiences that this Center would support are exemplified by current Small
Business Consulting courses with Professor Joe Carter and
a Xavier Design Studio with Professor Jonathan Gibson.
Raisch said that the enthusiasm for these projects is what
instigated the Center for Small Business Engagement.
At press time, Raisch stated that a recent meeting with
Williams College of Business Dean Brian Till garnered much
support for the beginning of the center. "This project has so much potential," Raisch said. "Dozens of students, professors and business owners are stepping up to
support this, [in fact] fundraising for the center has already
started."


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