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Gregory Ulferts and Terry Howard, College of Business Administration Renady Hightower, College of Health Professions University of Detroit Mercy

Integrating Alumni Into The Learning Environment and Developing Global Competence

The College of Business Administration (CBA) at the University of Detroit Mercy offers an international business study abroad (IBSA) course that exposes students to the global learning environment, exploring the inter-relationships among sustainability, innovation, and technology. The data continues to demonstrate that students and alumni appreciate the experience. In 2017, we initiated a pilot project to capture the experiences of the mentor-student relationship. The purpose of this presentation is to provide updated knowledge on the emersion approach to mentoring that continues to provide positive outcomes. We assigned a mentor, who is traveling with the course, to a small group of students at the beginning of the course that culminates in a one-week travel experience. The mentors are provided information on mentoring. Following the study abroad experience, the students and alumni are asked to respond to questions that measure the value added by the mentor-mentee relationship during the study aboard experience. The specific themes from the qualitative analysis resulted in ongoing refinement of the process during the five-year IBSA experience. The presentation will include information on current course design, the ongoing qualitative analysis, and the ongoing impact on students and alumni. The research demonstrates the value of longer-term immersion programs in engaging alumni in the learning environment and developing global competence.