Written by Dana Krems
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics was recognized for the excellence of its Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management at the 36th annual LEAD Awards on February 8, 2018. In the category of Degree Program with Emphasis on HR, 150 programs were nominated and the top 15 were ranked. UW-Whitewater's BBA in human resource management placed third in this elite group.
The LEAD Awards program is an exciting part of HR.com's annual conference. Each year this conference draws esteemed executives and experts from around the country, and the awards celebrate exceptional leadership and innovations in developmental programs by organizations, education programs and individuals.
UW-Whitewater's award-winning human resource management major features core credits from the College of Business and Economics' respected BBA and 24 credits of courses that align with the standards of the Society for Human Resource Management. All students must complete a capstone course that integrates the HRM content from previous courses and builds critical thinking skills.
Program Coordinator and Associate Professor Kelly Delaney-Klinger explained, "The SHRM Competency Model has been very helpful for identifying learning objectives, both for individual courses and the overall major. Having students participate in hands-on activities, research and client-sponsored projects greatly improves learning in the courses. These activities also boost students' confidence in their ability to perform as human resource professionals."
A relatively new addition to the program is a required e-Portfolio. HRM students all must create an electronic portfolio, which is intended to collect and demonstrate what students learned throughout their courses. Students must present their e-Portfolios to human resource professionals during the capstone class.
Regarding the e-Portfolio component of the HRM program, Management Department Chair and Professor Jon Werner shared, "This has been an important tool for helping students integrate their knowledge and experiences. It is evident the competency-based curriculum, capstone course and e-Portfolio prepare students to effectively present themselves as human resource professionals when they graduate."
Werner adds, "In the marketplace, the program's success is ultimately measured in terms of job placement and career advancement. We have seen, on average, that 94% of the graduates of the BBA in HRM are working in their field of study within six months of graduation."
Dean John Chenoweth was pleased with the LEAD award distinction, which helps highlight the competencies-based model and e-Portfolio component.
Chenoweth explains, "The UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics places great emphasis on assurance of learning goals. We want to ensure our graduates are prepared to transition successfully from college to career, and that they have acquired the skills and business knowledge they need to succeed. The SHRM Competency Model used in the human resource management program allows faculty to map student outcomes onto the expected learning outcomes of the college."