Service-Learning Project Offers Students First-Hand Approach

Service-Learning Project Offers Students First-Hand Approach

Service-Learning Project Offers Students First-Hand Approach

Dr. Gökhan Eğilmez incorporated a service-learning project in his business analytics undergraduate course last semester that offered students a glimpse into solving real-life situations.

An associate professor of management in the Plaster College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Eğilmez’s students teamed up with Beyond Housing, a non-profit organization headquartered in Pine Lawn, Missouri, which provides resources to communities in need of housing, education, healthcare, childcare, and food support.

Eğilmez’s class, which was comprised of mostly upperclassmen, split up into groups of three and worked to solve a problem presented by Beyond Housing. Each of the 10 groups met in person, in the classroom, and with Beyond Housing staff throughout the semester.

The project, which helped students connect theory and practice, enabled them to get a first-hand glimpse at "state-of-the-art business analytics methods and applications," Eğilmez said.

From there, Eğilmez said, students incorporated their knowledge and skills, and then provided their own input to Beyond Housing for future work and projects.

"Beyond Housing provided their client survey data and (we) analyzed the data, and helped them prioritize their future project focus areas," said Eğilmez, "(and) they can create higher impacts with better utilization of their resources."

Junior Alicia Macias, and seniors Anna Heck, and John Stewart were among the students that took part in the service-learning project.

Macias spoke volumes about being involved in the semester-long project.

"(It) was an enriching opportunity to put in practice every business analytics concept," Macias said. "I was able to use my critical thinking on what solutions I was able to offer to Beyond Housing. If I got the opportunity to participate in another service-learning project, I would definitely do it again."

After students provided their findings and recommendations, Eğilmez said he plans to continue to expand his relationship with Beyond Housing, as well as other nonprofit organizations to provide "data-driven support" in the future.