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April 11, 2008

What do sexual assault, the Alberta tar sands, and joyful living have in common? The answer is that all of these are topics that students in the Office Administration Program have chosen to satisfy a major program requirement. Other topics students have opted for include fashion, homelessness, emergency preparedness, and numerous worthy causes such as women in need and childhood cancer.

Capstone project-turning a gloomy wall into somethin bright!The capstone project allows students, while working in groups, to integrate the knowledge and skills gained throughout their program by conceiving, planning, and executing an event. Events are each two hours long and occur in the final month of second semester, after 10 to 12 weeks of planning. In the end, funds are raised, awareness is elevated, and most importantly, students are able to experience how their disparate courses work together in a real-world endeavour.

In the course of completing the assignment, students meet regularly, create agendas and minutes and weekly update reports; they utilize the features of MSOffice to compose and format a variety of business documents including memos, letters, reports, PowerPoint presentations, and spreadsheets; they practice public speaking and/or work with the community to arrange for public speakers – all of whom they must properly greet, introduce, and thank; they research and document a wide variety of information; and they have an opportunity to utilize the time management, personal effectiveness, and team skills that are so important for success in today’s workplace.

Students are amazed by what their peers are able to accomplish in their teams. It seems that each succeeding group manages to raise the bar.

So the next time you see a bake sale table in the atrium or your attention is grabbed by a poster advertising an interesting speaker or demonstration, it may very well be an example of active and integrated learning by students in the Applied Business Technology Department.

For an example of something one group did as part of their presentation (4 minutes out of a 90-minute production). Turn your sound up and move over PowerPoint! Or wander past the wall painting located in the corridor around Rooms 104-07 in the Campus Centre to see how one team turn gloomy to joyful!

If you would like to learn more about this integrated project, please contact Colleen McGavin at or call 370–4143.

Last updated: April 16, 2008 1:36 pm

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