Developing Project Management Skills: A Service Learning Approach

This paper describes a unique approach to project management education. MBA students enrolled in a project management course have been renovating homes for low-income senior citizens. Concurrent with instruction in project planning and control methods, students must communicate with a customer, plan tasks, coordinate schedules, procure materials, learn construction skills, perform physical labor, and track project progress. Reflection activities ensure that students see the broadly applicable metaphors that emerge from the experience. Results indicate that a community service project can provide a powerful learning vehicle. Evidence from similar programs run through corporations suggests that this approach is suited to industry applications, as well.
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