26th Annual Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education Meeting

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Charles Braymen, Department of Economics and Finance, Creighton University, Lizzy Curran, Global Engagement Office, Creighton University, M. Lance Frazier, Department of Marketing and Management, Creighton University, Dustin Ormond, Department of Accounting and Business Intelligence and Analytics, Creighton University

The Hungers of the Inspirational Paradigm and the Practicum in International Development

In recent years both the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) have encouraged business schools to play an increasing role in addressing the challenges of society. The Practicum in International Development integrates classroom learning with travel and active participation in the development of educational technology and social entrepreneurship initiatives in developing countries. This course is, in many ways, a response to the calls for business education to address global challenges. This paper examines the course through the lens of the hungers described in An Inspirational Paradigm for Jesuit Business Education (IAJU, 2020). The paper provides an overview of the semester-long course, which is highlighted by travel to the Dominican Republic over Fall Break. The course seeks to expand our students’ existing business and technology skills, as well as provide an education on culture and altruistic endeavors. Students in the technology track of the course develop an educational technology device that provides a digital library of open-source educational materials to schools without internet access. Students in the business and economics track develop a background in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, with a focus on the roles played by education and social entrepreneurship. All students in the course also participate in readings and reflective writing assignments that focus on potential of individuals to meaningfully impact society. We also measure the intercultural competence of our students using the Intercultural Development Inventory. While in the Dominican Republic, visits to cultural sites are included but most of the itinerary is focused on the educational technology and social entrepreneurship projects. The class typically visits several schools, where teachers and students are trained on the use of the technology, which is then donated to the schools. The class also visits two health clinics and meets with patient groups to develop entrepreneurial ventures which are used to fund health care in the communities. Following the trip, students engage in projects of their own choosing in interdisciplinary teams. A key component of the post-travel projects is for students to recognize that the usefulness of their technology and business skills extends beyond that of corporate environments. Previous projects include the development of the course website at bluebox.creighton.edu, enhancements to the educational technology, the development of a basic entrepreneurship curriculum for individuals with limited education, and business plans for entrepreneurial ventures in collaboration with one of our partner organizations. The class utilizes a cross-disciplinary, experiential learning approach to stress the responsibility and potential of our students to meaningfully impact others around the globe using their business and technology skills. In doing so, it addresses several of the “hungers” noted, including “A Hunger for Experiential Learning”, “A Hunger for Integrated Knowledge”, among others. This paper will elaborate on the specific ways in which the components of the course relate to the hungers of the Inspirational Paradigm and support these propositions with student feedback.