College of Business students continue learning through ELC, Passport and BELIEF program

As the world faces the challenge of a lifetime in the spread of COVID-19, our community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends is ready to face this monumental challenge with grit, perseverance, and compassion. The College of Business is embracing technology as a means to continue providing students with innovative active learning and personalized experiences.

“NIU Business Experiential Learning Center (ELC) consulting teams haven’t missed a beat as NIU has made the transition to virtual delivery.  The ELC team members are very tech savvy and communicate on a regular basis with their clients via Teams or Google Hangouts,” said Jason Gorham, director of business consulting. “All teams continue to work on their respective business cases and will deliver presentations as scheduled. The presentations may be virtual, but we are on track to complete them and deliver value to our clients by the end of the semester,” Gorham said.

Additionally, the Passport Program is hosting virtual events to assist local non-profits with business model recommendations and marketing plans while providing Passport Service credit to students. “We already had technology in place which allows us to pivot quickly and seamlessly. We want to create as little disruption as possible, especially for our seniors,” states Jacie Collum, director of the Passport Program.

BELIEF Week, which was scheduled for the week of April 6, has been cancelled. In its place are virtual events, produced by LEAD students (Leaders in Ethics and Academic Discipline). Material on ethical delimmas, such as the Volkswagen and Theranos scandal, will be viewed on Netflix, YouTube or elsewhere. Then, students will write and submit reflection papers for Passport Ethics credit. “We need to get the students to the finish line. We can’t lose them now and need to find creative ways to engage them and create a ‘new’ sense of community,” says Neil Doughty, director of the BELIEF Program.

Finally, traditional classes are transitioning as well. “Our faculty demonstrate incredible dedication and adaptability during this time as we all respond to this rapidly evolving situation. I’m grateful for the work they are doing to support our students as we shift to virtual instruction,” says Dean Balaji Rajagopalan.

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