Educator spotlight: Philip Eappen, Assistant Professor, Cape Breton University.

Geographically remote university connects healthcare management students with organizations around the world to gain practical experience.
July 5, 2024
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We recently spoke with Dr. Philip Eappen, Lead Faculty for Healthcare Management at Cape Breton University (CBU) (enrollment 7,000) about his use of Riipen in his capstone course. Below he discusses his and his students’ experiences.

How long have you been using Riipen’s work-integrated learning platform?

I have been using the platform for the past 2 years, so I’ve worked with multiple companies on multiple projects. It’s been instrumental in helping me find very good companies and faculties from Canada, the United States, and Europe for my students to work with. In my field, healthcare management, it is especially challenging to find organizations willing to work with students because the sector is so heavily regulated. This term my class worked with a company from the U.K., a couple of companies from the U.S. and many companies from Canada.

How are your students benefiting from this experience?

CBU is located on an island in Sydney, Canada (population 31,000). For cities like us that aren’t large or internal, we don’t have connections with huge companies. We don't have that many industries here so it’s challenging to give students the practical experience they need. 

Riipen makes that happen for our students—it connects them with diverse organizations who are doing healthcare informatics, analytics, or research. We teach a lot of theory in class and these experiential learning opportunities help our students learn about the practical aspects of different careers. 

What have you heard from the employers you’ve worked with?

I have had very good feedback from employers. There have even been situations where companies decided to keep working with our students even after the project was completed. 

How will you be using the work-integrated platform in the future? 

I typically teach one capstone course a term. There are about 50 students in the course, and they work on projects with seven to eight organizations. Next term I will be teaching two classes, so I’ll need to find 18-20 companies on the platform to work with. 

What would you tell a colleague about Riipen?

Partnering with Riipen was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It connects students with the right companies and the best CEOs, directors, and faculty from other universities. 

I would recommend Riipen to any faculty in any university who is looking for organizations looking to provide hands on experience to students, all on an innovative platform. 

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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