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LEAP-ing Into Success

Besides being the rare added calendar day of February 29th, did you notice that UW-Whitewater celebrated LEAP Day with a conference on Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP)?

Yesterday, UW-Whitewater endorsed LEAP learning outcomes as a common set of skills and knowledge that all students should share as they walk across the commencement stage.  A “liberal” education doesn’t mean left-wing.  It means “broad” and inclusive, the sort of background that allows you to move into your first career with the ability to evolve and develop, change directions, and continually learn and grow throughout your life.  Education doesn’t stop at when you leave campus.

Did you get involved in any of UW-Whitewater’s LEAP Day activities? Perhaps you saw the poster sessions or the webinar with three UW-Whitewater alumni beaming their comments to 77 campuses and 1500 viewers across the United Stated?!  Two CoBE alumni, Paul Sara, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor in Milwaukee, and Floyd Bellman, retired executive at the Chicago multi-billion dollar investment firm, Harris Associates, discussed what students need to do in order succeed as they enter into a professional position in business.

Using language much like LEAP, our business leader alumni talked about the necessity of lifelong learning, good written and oral communication, teamwork and problem solving, and global understanding.  They also talked about students at UW-Whitewater — mentioning strong work ethic, positive attitudes, willingness to learn, and willingness to step up to new challenges. 

When Mr. Bellman was asked about what he received from UW-Whitewater while he was a student, interestingly, he mentioned two “liberal” education courses that he felt taught him to study and think.  He talked specifically about botany and history classes.  These courses gave him skills and close associations with faculty that he still values, many years later.

If you walked through the poster session in the Hamilton Room, you would have seen several CoBE projects applying LEAP values.

  • ITBE faculty, Andy Ciganek and Christina Outlay, developed a service learning approach to their their business project management class.
  • Eric Roche, CoBE Advisor, worked with a team of learning community coordinators who also developed a service learning component for spring semester LCs.
  • Dennis Kopf and Yushan Zhao from marketing demonstrated an elaborate assessment model for ensuring that marketing majors complete their degrees with strong skills such as critical thinking.
  • John, Smith, Andy Ciganek, Roger Yin, and JoAnn Oravec from ITBE worked on mapping high impact education practices (HIPs) such as collaborative projects and service learning to their ITBE major courses, to insure that graduates experience these activities that increase retention and grade point averages for all students.
  • Linda Yu and Jim Molloy from finance and business law showed their continuous improvement process for finance majors and how student performance can lead to changes in the way faculty teach and better student learning.
  • Richard Wagner, Kelly Delaney-Klinger, and Danielle Reavis (student) from the Human Resources area displayed a poster that explored a process for using e-portfolios for HR majors.

LEAP Day was a great success with CoBE fully engaged. Too bad we have to wait four more years for another one.  Or maybe… we’ll change the calendar!

Written by:Lois S. with pictures provided by: Jolene C.

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4 Responses to LEAP-ing Into Success

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