Sprott School of Business hosts professional development day for high school teachers

Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business has had enormous success in the past by making connections with high school students through their Sprott Business Competition (SBC). This year the school hopes to facilitate stronger connections between its professors and Ottawa-area high school teachers by hosting a professional development (PD) day on February 9.

This is the first time such an event has been held at the school and, in addition to attending presentations from various faculty, teachers will have the opportunity to tour Sprott’s eLab facilities and classrooms.

“Entrepreneurship in Ottawa” is the theme of the PD day, and External Relations Officer Kelley Love is excited about the possibilities the day offers for developing a stronger connection to local high schools. “In addition to learning more about our programs and current business research, teachers will also have access to innovative teaching techniques that they may be able to implement in their classrooms.” For example, Professor Al Pilcher will demonstrate how he modifies a traditional contentheavy introductory course into an opportunity for students to learn hands-on. His Introduction to Information Systems course is built around a fictional company called petGRO that manufactures and sells cat and dog food.

This company moves through three unique stages, which gives students the opportunity to experience different organizational cultures, business models and business environments.

Students are assigned to one of 14 functional groups within the company, such as accounting or human resources, and must then think about problems and solutions from this perspective when completing assignments and tests.

“This course is a little harder than others because the students have to know both the company and the content,” explains Pilcher. He hopes that high school teachers will benefit from learning about his method of “turning content into context.” Teachers are looking forward to the event. “I am already getting lots of questions about university from my senior students,” says Brent Howard, a business teacher at John McCrae Secondary School.

“I know that this event will provide me with up-to-date information about what is being taught at the university level, which I can then pass along to my students.” More information about the PD day can be obtained by contacting Kelley Love by email at kelove@sprott.carleton.ca or by telephone at 613-520-2600, ext. 8681.

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