Students in this semester’s Public Relations class at Lake State University were able to put their skills to the test with an experiential learning project that immersed them in a public relations role for local start-up companies. The PR class was divided into three teams that were each assigned two businesses for whom they would create a variety of PR materials. An initial meeting took place at the beginning of the semester, where students were able to meet their clients and get a feel for the company — its current PR tools, branding, etc. Throughout the following months, each team completed a full portfolio of PR materials for their businesses: infographics, fact sheets, social media content calendars, radio ads, and more. Each group also coordinated an event for each business that was complete with media coverage.
College courses with an “experiential learning” focus ensure that students complete a class with not only a transcript but a resume that reflects their skills and experience. For students entering the workforce upon graduation, this sort of education is invaluable, allowing them to gain notable work experience in concurrence with their studies. At Lake Superior State University of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, this style of learning is embraced across academic programs, from engineering and computer networking, to nursing and teaching, all the way to creative writing and communications.
“Opportunities to apply theory into practice is a key part of programs here in the School of Arts and Letters,” said Dean Donna Fiebelkorn. “It creates a more engaging curriculum for the students and strengthens the school’s ties with the community.”
“I’m really proud of my students and all they have accomplished this semester,” said communications professor Natasha DeActis. “This project was meant to challenge them and give them opportunities to put their skills into practice.”
Students presented their work on Thurs, Mar. 28, on the LSSU campus to an audience of professors, the university president, fellow students, EDC members, and business owners, including the participating businesses of Cardinal Plumbing, Capstone Leadership, Osprey Technologies, NORPRO USA, Northwestern Mutual, and Superior Aqua Systems LLC.
“Having a local university is a major resource for our community,” said Jeff Holt, EDC Executive Director. “We are looking forward to more opportunities like this where we can work closely with students while promoting local business.”
The Sault EDC is dedicated to bringing economic prosperity to the city of Sault Ste. Marie. They help local entrepreneurs take business ideas and turn them into realities. Through internal resources and community partnerships, the EDC facilitates the process of creating something entirely new or helping an existing business grow and expand. For more information on the EDC and their work in the community, click here.