Neil Niman, Faculty Director of Business in Practice, and Jennifer Chagnon, Associate Director of Business in Practice, were invited to the 2024 annual conference of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC, to present Written in the Stars: Liberal arts and the development of work-ready skills.

In the presentation, Niman and Chagnon demonstrated how to utilize the STAR2 Approach as a framework for embedding work-ready skill development in experiential courses or in the redesign of existing courses. Business in Practice’s work, as well as Niman’s and Chagnon’s new book, "The Work-Ready Graduate", addresses the growing issue surrounding how to better prepare students for the workplace as well as generating greater value in the undergraduate experience.

AAC&U’s recent 2023 Career Readiness report surveyed employers to identify those skills and mindsets they value most and how well students have developed those same skills/mindsets. Students’ preparedness was often evaluated at the 50% mark for many of these essential skills (such as communication, adaptability, creativity, collaboration). This leaves a great deal of opportunity for experiential programs like Business in Practice to make a profound difference on students as they practice these skills within a structured learning environment.

Niman and Chagnon will also be presenting at AAC&U’s conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment (GEPA) in Providence, RI, this April. This presentation will focus on choreography in the classroom and share techniques for engaged learning along with the intentional development of smart skills and work-ready capabilities.