What is problem-based learning? At the Graduate School of Business, this learning approach uses real-world situations that help students learn why they'll need to know in business. Students work cooperatively to:
- Identify the real issues behind a problem
- Determine what they need to learn and who they will need to contact in order to get additional information
- Define solutions to the problems
The University of Charleston establishes connections with a wide range of regional, national, and multinational businesses to draw on the current, real-world problems. These opportunities provide a heavily experiential dose of reality in business decision-making. Therefore, students discover the real-world aspects of business that are not present in lecture-based classrooms.
These real-world challenges, the networking with the business community, and strong foundations in analytic skills and communication all enable graduates to leave the Graduate School of Business as leaders. If you are a motivated and creative self-starter who recognizes the need to be a team player, this program is for you.
Professional Mentoring & Practice
- Professional Mentoring. The local and regional business community play and integral part in many facets of a successful experiential program. This element of the program pairs you with a mentor for the academic year. Mentors enhance the educational experience by providing tighter bonds between you and the business community, and by offering a trusted resource for academic, professional, and personal advice and guidance.
- Professional Practice. This core element of the program provides a real-life setting where you apply and strengthen the skills learned in the problem-based setting. you will be engaged in structured, practice-related activities that require you to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for results.
What is experiential education?
"Experiential education is the process of actively engaging students in an authentic experience that will have benefits and consequences. Students make discoveries and experiment with knowledge themselves instead of hearing or reading about the experiences of others. Students also reflect on their experiences, thus developing new skills, new attitudes, and new theories or ways of thinking (Kraft & Sakofs, 1988)."
According to The Association for Experiential Education, the key components of experiential education include:
- Engaging in a process through which a participant constructs knowledge, skill, and value from interactive experiences
- Requiring the participant to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for results
- Learning from carefully chosen experiences that are supported by reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis
- Using the personal results to form the basis for the future experience and learning
- Developing and nurturing the following relationships: participant to self, participant to others in the group, and participant to the world at large
- Experiencing success, failure, adventure, risk-taking, and uncertainty, because the outcomes of experience cannot totally be predicted
- Recognizes and encourages spontaneous opportunities for learning
- Sets suitable experiences, poses problems, and sets boundaries
- Supports participants, insuring physical and emotional safety
- Designs the participant experience to include the possibility of learning from natural consequences, mistakes, and successes