Students Critique President as Part of Final Exam
Introducing a living lesson in management and leadershipFor Immediate Release: April 15, 2013
It’s not often that students get the chance to critique their school’s President, much less so during a final exam, but that’s exactly what Professor Michael Kukhta has planned for his Leadership and Management of People course in Sheridan’s Post Graduate Certificate Program in Manufacturing Management.
On April 15, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO of Sheridan will give a lecture to Kukhta’s students about the vision to transition to Sheridan University. Students will be evaluated on the quality of the questions they ask Zabudsky and on their written answers to questions about the theories, models and practices they’ve studied and how they relate to Zabudsky’s vision. The final 10 percent of their mark will be based on a self-grading exercise.
“All year, I’ve introduced online simulations from Harvard, reached out to experts in the business world, and instituted team-based activities that allow students to put theory and knowledge into practice,” says Kukhta. “Rather than analyzing an historic case that has no direct connection to their everyday experience, I wanted to introduce a real-time, living lesson in management and leadership.”
There are 15 people in the course, many of whom have degrees, diplomas and work experience from other countries. “They’re striving to find more productive jobs here,” says Kukhta. “What they lack is Canadian experience and context. These methods fit the bill perfectly.”
Kukhta gives kudos to his boss for accepting the invitation, and full marks to his Program Coordinator Marisela Strocchia and Associate Dean Farzad Rayegani for allowing him the freedom to be innovative in his teaching style. “Our president continues to articulate patiently and with determination that our journey to Sheridan U is evolving. He’s also extended his trust to the faculty to create and manage the policies and procedures that will help facilitate the transition. Involving my students in this journey makes their learning more relevant and helps to give them ownership over the outcome.”
As a result of this exercise, Kukhta’s hopes for learning outcomes for his students include the development of greater self-awareness, an ability to ask the kinds of questions that matter, and a better understanding of the impact of leadership in the competitiveness of organizations.
As one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, Sheridan offers over 100 diploma, certificate, and bachelor degree programs. Its aim is to become Ontario’s first university dedicated to undergraduate professional education – a model that will be based on applied learning and Sheridan’s renown for creativity and innovation. The model also focuses on meeting university accreditation requirements so that Sheridan graduates have more pathways to the continued learning that will underscore their personal, career, and industry success.
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