The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to overcome the dilemma of the lack of student workforce readiness upon graduation. Based on experiential learning theory, the authors propose an innovative three-step approach to marketing curriculum to help address this dilemma.
This study examines both quantitative and qualitative data. First, quantitative results were obtained from 5,222 end-of-course surveys of students taking an experiential learning course at a southeastern United States public university. Results were also obtained from 111 end-of-course surveys of students taking experiential learning courses in marketing. Second, qualitative results were obtained through a critical review of self-reflection assignments from over 1,000 students taking a variety of experiential learning marketing courses.
The authors identify a three-step process that can be used to develop curriculum that will better prepare students for entering the workforce. The advantages and disadvantages associated with this type of curriculum are also discussed. The outcomes indicate that an entire curriculum focused on experiential learning, self-reflection and ePortfolios will allow students to not only be better prepared for the workforce but also will help them be better communicators on what they have learned.
In this paper, the authors contribute to the literature by providing a curriculum-based approach to learning in order to minimize the gap between academic knowledge and workforce preparedness. Sample course projects, reflective prompts and grading rubrics are provided to aid others in the implementation of this type of curriculum.