Experiential Learning Module in Practice
With butcher paper tacked to a mud wall for training and 40 dark brown faces looking at the speaker in anticipation, a year of prayer, planning, and partnership came together.
In a co-curricular initiative, Student Development partnered with the School of Business for the second year in a row to create a unique opportunity for students to apply what they¹ve learned in the classroom to develop business training modules for those most in need in Uganda. Led by Greg Leeper, Dean of Student Engagement & Experiential Learning, and Bill Tibbetts, Director of the School of Business, Eight students facilitated multiple business and leadership seminars (module style) in front of 184 nationals in townships and remote villages, along with two crusades. Students researched and developed modules on topics including: financing, market differentiation, financial management, leadership, and other necessary topics for small business success.
Attendees ranged from current business owners to villagers living off of a few dollars a month.
“Excitement and nervous describe how we felt just prior to our first conference," said Janessa Miller, graduate in Business Administration. “But, once we started, you could sense the presence of God. What we were sharing could change the lives of everyone person that attended.”
Approximately 60 attendees from last year returned to testify of the impact the NCU team had on their lives, including Sarah Wataka. “Last year, I was taught in (the) seminar to mobilize other members of my community for collective resources,” said Wataka. 30 members later, she and her partners began planting groundnuts and eventually harvested 40 100-kg bags. After selling in the market, the entire group earned enough to pay for all of their children’s’ school fees. “Paying school fees are no longer a problem. We are now lending money to others to start their own business.”
The NCU team came along side Mission Moving Mountains, a 30-year, Ugandan-ran organization that practices a holistic approach to ministry (spirit, mind, body). Partnering with them with business modules was an additional link in a long chain of development that has occurred for many years.
“This trip was successful on many levels,” said Bill Tibbetts, Assistant Professor of Business. “The application of their education is a powerful experience for students and will play a significant role in their careers after graduation. More so, the spiritual development that occurred will last a lifetime.”
A long-term commitment has been developed with Mission Moving Mountains for future trips and ongoing business development in Uganda.