Educator spotlight: Dr. James Ruether, Full-Time Faculty, Strayer University.

Strayer University course teaches students teamwork and project management skills through real-world projects.
July 5, 2024
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We recently spoke with Dr. James Ruether from Strayer University (enrollment 39,923) about his Business 399: Business Experience through Workplace Learning course which uses Riipen for real-world projects. Below, he explains how he structures the course and how students and employers/clients benefit. 

What does the Business 399 course cover?

Our focus at Strayer is to bring practitioner learning into our courses. Business 399 was designed to give our students experience in developing teams and project management strategies by working on real projects with real deliverables for real clients.

It gives students great learning experiences including how to organize a team, how to get the team working together, and how to overcome challenges. We talk a lot about best practices and being prepared for challenges that will pop up. 

I’ve been teaching the course for two years.

After using Riipen to vet and select client projects, how do you structure the course?

It’s an 11-week-long course. During the first two weeks, the student teams start working together. They organize the team, try to figure out when they can meet, share contact information, etc. 

They meet the client for the first time in week two. After that meeting, the student teams develop their scope of work and the deliverables and decide how to divvy it up. In week five, there’s another client meeting that is student-led, where they have the opportunity to ask questions, get more information on the direction they're going, and have the client fine tune things. Then in weeks six and seven they finish the project and start working on their PowerPoint presentation. 

For the next few weeks, I meet with every team individually and there is a lot of back-and-forth feedback and practice until the final client presentation. 

What have your students said about the experience?

Students tell me that it is very rewarding and that they will use the skills that they learned in the course for the rest of their lives. The student feedback is probably the most positive feedback I have received in any class I've ever taught.

What feedback have you received from clients? 

We've had amazing clients. What's nice is that after the term ends, every client wants to come back. 

We usually have four student teams per client and every presentation is unique. The  clients are always amazed at that. And because I work with clients over multiple terms, I see that they're actually implementing things that the students have suggested.

What would you tell a colleague about Riipen?

Riipen helps facilitate amazing learning experiences for students.

I never want to stop teaching this course. It is the most rewarding course that you’ll ever teach. And it will probably be the most rewarding course that your students will take.

Book a chat with our team to discover how Riipen can help you integrate real-world projects into your classrooms today.

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