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Service Learning Projects

 

Websites Developed as Class Projects

The students in the Project Management for Business course (MIS 300) worked on two community engagement projects- one in Fall 2014 and one in Spring 2015. Both projects were focused on creating web sites providing support for children of incarcerated parents and their community caregivers and parents.

In Fall 2014 our client was The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) in New Britain, a non-partisan research institute which seeks to provide solutions to regional issues through policy development and implementation. One of the Institute's grant programs, Connecticut's Children of Incarcerated Parents (CTCIP), is dedicated to providing information that may be helpful to those with a loved one in a Connecticut correctional facility.
Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation (BIMEC) is our client in Spring 2015. BIMEC is a community based organization serving the New Haven community and is a grassroots non- profit service agency mostly oriented toward youngsters between 12-16 years at risk.

Such projects provide a unique community service-learning opportunity for the students. The projects not only enhance the students' professional skills and knowledge but also give them the opportunity to engage with the community.

The projects have direct impact on children with incarcerated parents and provide a service to organizations and communities by providing timely and appropriate information that is easily accessible.

 

Service Learning Project: e-Commerce website for non-profit or small businesses

In the e-Business course (MIS 305), students worked in teams under the direction of Dr. Robert Schumaker to create a turnkey e-Commerce solution for local non-profits and small businesses. Throughout the semester students learned project management skills, effective communication and technological skills using WordPress, web hosting, database integration, PHP and eCommerce elements. The website created had to offer something for sale. A shopping cart and payment system were a required minimum. Websites needed to be designed to store and retrieve data; therefore, careful attention to database design was essential. Additionally, teams were responsible for devising a way for website administrators to access customer data through a secure login portal. How these teams chose to meet these demands was determined by the teams, leaving a significant latitude for creativity.

At the end of the semester, student groups gave two presentations: the first was a class presentation to fellow students and the Instructor, while the second was a mixer-type function where students mingled with their project liaisons and local business leaders to present their projects in a social setting.

Student projects were nothing short of amazing. Given the raw creative and impressive commitments to the project, students built website solutions for the American Legion, local automotive repair shops, ice cream parlors, landscapers and more. All in all it was a win-win for students and businesses alike.

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