Management Students Design Programs for Local Businesses

Management students in BUS 386: Employee Training and Development are challenged to take their education into actual organizational situations, area business and non-profits by designing workforce learning programs that these organizations can actually implement. Thanks to Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing emphasis, students feel empowered to explore employee development needs based on actual business capability gaps and create a learning program that can make an immediate impact.

Management Lecturer Calvin Stevens taught a section of this course last fall with seven student groups who worked directly with Ralph’s Supermarkets, Collaboration Business Consulting, Central Coast Health, Richardson Properties and others. In each case, students took the lead to determine a need for employee and volunteer training and create a corresponding program suited to that business.

One such organization, the American Cancer Society (ACS), used the student-designed program to supplement their national training program for volunteers. After the class concluded, one member of the student team further developed the program for her senior project. She put the content into final form, down to the individual slides that the ASC would used in the training. ACS’ leadership is now determined and equipped to provide improved organizational training developed by Cal Poly management students.