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LHBS Announces New Co-Curricular Program

Monmouth’s Leon Hess Business School (LHBS) recently launched its new co-curricular engagement program, Hess ENGAGE, which tracks and rewards students for on and off-campus involvement in and outside the classroom. The School formally announced the program in an email on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

The program is hosted on Suitable, an academic-founded software that enables colleges and universities to promote consistent and quantifiable student engagement. According to Suitable’s website, the purpose of the platform is to “help schools increase student participation outside the classroom, track and assess experiential learning, and empower all students to tell their unique stories with our modern co-curricular transcripts.”

Janeth Merkle, DBA, Assistant Dean of the Leon Hess Business School, explained Hess ENGAGE as it relates to the mission of the LHBS.

She began, “Hess ENGAGE offers the opportunity to align co-curricular activities with the School’s Assurance of Learning and employ the layers of career readiness competencies prescribed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)…Hess ENGAGE focuses on enhancing students’ communication, leadership, teamwork, analytical and critical thinking skills, global and cultural engagement, civic and social engagement, business knowledge, and career and self-development.”

Hess ENGAGE hosts a variety of activities that students can participate in and earn badges correlating to different engagement levels. Merkle continued, “Hess ENGAGE uses the following leveling rubric: Level 1 (Exposure), Level 2 (Participation), Level 3 (Engagement), Level 4 (Expertise), and Level 5 (Mastery).”

“Students who complete activities on Hess ENGAGE are awarded competency badges. Students will be able to share these badges on social media outlets, as well as their co-curricular transcript. Currently, Hess ENGAGE offers 245 various activities,” Merkle said.

Raj Devasagayam, Ph.D., Dean of the Leon Hess Business School, noted how pivotal one’s co-curricular transcript is when transitioning out of higher education and into the workforce.

“An important outcome of Hess ENGAGE is the ability for a learner to obtain a co-curricular transcript in real time! Our students are able to differentiate themselves in their networking, internship, and employment conversations by clearly demonstrating their engagement and leadership in co-curricular initiatives, in addition to their academic accomplishments,” started Devasagayam.

Benedicte Reyes, Ph.D., Associate Professor for the Department of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, concurred, “Toward the end of your college career, Hess ENGAGE can help you summarize what you did outside of the classroom and use it to build your professional profile…You can share that information with a potential employer either on LinkedIn or during a job interview.”

Daniella Walano, sophomore management/marketing student and Vice President of Monmouth’s Future Business Leaders (MFBL), noted the importance of involving oneself on campus during one’s time as a student.

She said, “Speaking from a club perspective, Hess ENGAGE is an awesome way to encourage and increase participation for on-campus events. The points system almost makes participation a competition, compelling students to get more involved in our School’s community.”

“It is so important for students to get involved during their college careers so you can discover what you enjoy doing and see yourself pursuing in the future,” resolved Walano.

Mariana Marques, a senior business student and Secretary & Public Relations Manager, felt similarly to her MFBL colleague.

“As students engage more and more with the platform, Hess ENGAGE will become increasingly well-known and students will want to participate. In highlighting the advantages of the Hess ENGAGE, students can create productive habits that lead to greater on-campus involvement and, overall, a fulfilling college career.”

Stuart Rosenberg, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Management and Leadership, elaborated on the future prospects of the program. He began, “The program is new as we just launched the platform. We are promoting it now to bring awareness and underscore the importance of taking advantage of such an opportunity.”

“In subsequent semesters, faculty will have the ability to tie this into their learning objectives noted their syllabi, pairing complementary activities to their curriculum. Just as there are the usual metrics to measure students’ performance in the classroom, Hess ENGAGE is an additional tool students can use to maximize their portfolio,” elaborated Rosenberg.

Although the use of this platform is optional, it comes highly recommended by students and faculty to ensure students earn a competitive edge before graduation.

Rosenberg concluded, “The LHBS wants our students to show off a variety of skills that are separate from the knowledge that they gain from academics. Other business schools have begun similar programs, so we felt it was important to also do this in order for our students to be competitive in the job market.”

“Our mission at the LHBS requires of us to develop well-rounded business leaders. We believe that teaching-learning opportunities transcend the boundaries of a classroom. An engaged student is encouraged to continue their learnings beyond the classrooms through co-curricular opportunities,” closed Devasagayam.