Business Skills and Action Learning Take Over College Orientation

Aug 24, 2012, 18:06 ET from Leeds School of Business


BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new pre-entry program for undergraduates at the Leeds School of Business signals an escalation in the drive to focus on business skills for Generation Y.

Entering students will go through a day-long action learning experience before they even start classes. In partnership with corporate executives and peer coaches, the students will work on intense, live business challenges. They'll get real time direction and feedback to help them with their professional skill development.

It's a far cry from the standard college orientation – and a big leap for recent high school graduates.

It's called CoLab: Essentials of Business Collaboration and Innovation. It sends the signal that developing high job performance skills is as important as high grades, and it raises the bar for business schools.

CoLab also sets high expectations for hard work – not the coddling many associate with Gen Y. While this type of professional skills focus is more common in MBA and executive-level programs, it's rare at the undergraduate level. But undergrads are at a more impressionable time of their lives and they also make up about 70 percent of US business school students. It's an important teachable moment and a powerful educational strategy.

The intensified focus comes at a critical time. Projections are that China's will be the world's largest economy when the entering class of 2016 graduates. That's just one indication of the hyper-competitive world they'll enter, a dramatically different world than the one they've known up until now, as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and others have pointed out. 

The new world comes with huge challenges but also amazing opportunities for those who know how to collaborate, innovate, and turn inspiration and knowledge into high performance.

The program kicks off Saturday, August 25 at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder.  CoLab is part of a set of reforms advances underway at Leeds.

The University is based in one of the most innovative business towns in the US, has four Noble Prize winners and a track record of inventing industries of the future. The Leeds School has roots in the business community, historical strengths in business creation, flagship-quality academics, and one of the most infused ethics and social responsibility programs in the nation. Leeds also delivers an unusual level of personalized student development, including through extensive mentorship programming, which helps students find focus.

It's a potent formula.

Keith Decie
The Acuity Project for Leeds School of Business 


SOURCE Leeds School of Business