(MERIDIAN) Every student who walks through the door at Broadview University quickly discovers the meaning of applied learning. Each student is required to engage in at least one project during the course of his or her college career. The idea behind it is simple; learn through an act of doing. To highlight some of the benefits students get through these hands-on learning opportunities, the Broadview University-Boise campus made applied learning the focus of its annual Community Partner Appreciation Luncheon.Community partners, faculty, staff and students were among the 50 people who attended the event on Friday, Sept. 21. It was the second time Broadview University held its annual luncheon. The partners who attended were directly linked to every project in which the campus participated. Representatives from several local nonprofit groups, the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, and a number of radio and television outlets all came to be honored and show their support. “Since we held this event last year, our students, faculty and staff have participated in 241 community engagement events; contributing 1,745 volunteer hours to our community,” Tiffany Morrin, the campus’s community manager, said. “The numbers are quite staggering considering that the size of our staff last year was 25.”
This year’s event was the first time students participated. Along with the campus’s very first graduate, Clint Reed, three other students from the accounting, veterinary technology, and business programs were honored for their contributions to Broadview University. Business Program Chair Debra Schmidt, this year’s guest speaker, talked about the important role that hands-on learning opportunities play in developing the best students for our workforce. One of Schmidt’s students, Dan Gray, stood in front of the audience and talked about the impact of one of his applied learning projects.“I transferred here from a very large school,” the business program student said. “I learned more here in one quarter than I did at the other school altogether.”
Last year, Gray was one of two business students who managed an entire campus project as part of a supervisory management course. The duo held a drive for Toys for Tots, coordinated a food collection effort for Idaho Food Bank, and coordinated the involvement of 20 volunteers at the Boise Rescue Mission’s annual holiday dinner.
“I gained so much experience in doing those projects,” Gray said. “I can’t stress enough the value I have received through hands-on learning.”
Gray is currently playing yet another instrumental role on campus. He is working with Schmidt to establish the campus’s latest student group—DECA—which will give fellow students even more hands-on learning opportunities.