STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT TEAMWORK AND HELP COMMUNITY THROUGH CLASS PROJECTS

During a typical day, you will hear and see people discussing strategies about how to raise money for a charity, how to better promote an event, or how to reach audiences across the community as they work together brainstorming ideas and taking notes to evaluate their performances later. No, you aren’t at a bustling marketing agency but in a Team Development course at Community College of Beaver County.

From volunteering at local organizations and holding fundraisers to benefit charities to organizing campus events to bring the community together, students in Donna Bogle’s class have learned the importance of teamwork through hands-on event planning and marketing experience. Mrs. Bogle, Assistant Professor/Business, has incorporated team projects in the course since it was developed over 15 years ago and is still impressed by the dedication of her students.

“The students have been wonderful,” said Bogle. “Our students never cease to amaze me.”

Being able to work in a team to complete projects is a vital skill most employers seek in today’s job candidates. Students enrolled in Team Development courses at the College not only learn how to successfully plan, market, and evaluate a team project but also can choose to volunteer to help local charities.

This semester, one team, consisting of seven students, chose to volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House charities, which is locally located in Pittsburgh and provides a home away from home for families with seriously ill children who are receiving medical treatment.

“We all wanted to help support the families of sick children,” said Margo Parker, a General Studies major. “Five of the seven of us are parents and can’t imagine what these families are going through.”

After Margo contacted the Ronald McDonald House in Pittsburgh, she learned that volunteers are needed to either collect donations or serve a meal to the families who stay at the House. Margo’s team decided to do both.

“We are currently collecting donations from local businesses, churches, coworkers, families, and friends,” said Margo. “Items such as paper goods, travel-size toiletries, individual snacks and beverages are in most need.”

The team will deliver the donations on April 4th as well as serve a spaghetti dinner to approximately 40 people.

“We hope to put smiles on the faces of the families and let them know they aren’t alone,” said Margo.

Another team decided to help out the Beaver County Humane Society by selling candy bars, collecting items from the Human Society’s wish list, and volunteering their time.

“The donations we want to collect around campus are important products that the Humane Society needs, such as detergents, cleaners, and paper supplies” said Nicole Craddock, a General Studies major. “Boxes are set-up around campus, including one outside the library, to collect the donations. Profits made from the candy bar sales will be donated to the Human Society as well.”

One team chose their cause when they realized they all knew someone who had been impacted by breast cancer in some way. The team is selling candy bars, on campus in the Titan Café every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. now through April 10, as well as off campus. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

“I’ve learned that, as a team, you must work together to achieve a greater success,” said Tawnya Worst, a Media Communication major.  “Staying on top of tasks, being organized and communicating with team members are all very important.”

Antoinette Lombardo, a Human Resource Management major, and her team are helping local families by holding an on-campus food drive for Central Valley High School food pantry. Donations to the food drive benefit families in Monaca, Center Township, and Potter Township.

“Through this project, we have enhanced our communication skills in order for all of our teammates to stay on the same page and work together in harmony,” said Antoinette. “We also learned about organizational skills as we contacted and worked with an established food drive organization.”

Angela Brooks, a Communication major, and her team decided to take a different route on their project by organizing a community event that showcases local talent. The team’s Open Mic event was decided upon due to the team’s love of music. Angela is learning how to market the event, not only to gain an audience but also to find performers.

“My team is putting up flyers, which we created, around the area,” said Angela. “I’m really hoping we get a good turnout and this project is a success.”

While the course only has students completing one project, the team’s grades are based on a variety of factors, which include tasks they would encounter in real-world work environments. In addition to coming up with a project idea, organizing the details of the event or fundraiser, and marketing the project to the College community and local areas, students are also required to design agendas and keep minutes for each team meeting, post status updates on Blackboard (the College’s online learning system) to track the team’s progress, evaluate each other’s work, and keep journals to later share their individual perspective of each activity.

“After completing the course, I hope students obtain a better insight into working together, learn how to effectively communicate with one another, know the importance of being proactive, and can overcome obstacles,” said Bogle.

To learn more about the projects or how you can help make the projects a success, contact Donna Bogle at donna.bogle@ccbc.edu.