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Experiential Learning From a Classroom Desk: Exploring Student Perceptions of Applied Coursework

Jaime R. DeLuca and Emily Fornatora

Experiential learning promotes the development of a variety of skill competencies that will better prepare sport management students to enter the industry. In order to maximize opportunities for experiential learning, many sport management curricula incorporate applied coursework options in addition to internships, because the classroom serves as an important conduit for preprofessional learning in which faculty can both supervise and mentor students. It has become increasingly important to delineate the pedagogical and professional value of students’ experience of applied learning, because more programs have integrated these types of experiences into coursework; however, there has been limited research exploring this topic. Anchored in qualitative-data collection with students enrolled in four different applied courses, this research identifies three themes—curricular freedom, skill development, and relationship building—that highlight the categorical benefits and nuanced mechanisms through which knowledge is transferred in and through applied coursework.

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An Evaluation of Sport Management Student Preparedness: Recommendations for Adapting Curriculum to Meet Industry Needs

Jaime R. DeLuca and Jessica Braunstein-Minkove

Experiential learning has become a driving force of universities around the world, and is a crucial part of many sport management programs. This is particularly true given the competitive nature of the field and the rapid changes the industry continuously faces. This work seeks to reexamine the sport management curricula to ensure a progression and evolution toward a superior level of student preparedness for their internship experiences. Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, our major findings recommend a focus on academic, experiential, and professional development. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed along with limitations and directions for further investigation.

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Framing Course Content on Diversity and Inclusion: Varying Outcomes From Teaching on Disability in Sport Management

Molly Hayes Sauder and Jaime R. DeLuca

Diversity and inclusion are identified as necessary for enhancing the sport industry. Undergraduate sport management programs play an important role in educating aspiring sport professionals with respect to these topics. However, the literature indicates that sport management education can improve with respect to this work. Therefore, the purpose of this instructional technique review is to discuss two comparable teaching activities that sought to incorporate diversity and inclusion education into the content area of disability and sport-related compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Student feedback showed that despite similarities between the activities (i.e., active engagement with the Americans with Disabilities Act as it pertains to sport facilities), students had substantially different reported learning outcomes related to diversity and inclusion. This review is thus designed to illustrate the importance of deliberate framing decisions in the sport management classroom, which can have a transformative impact on students’ learning around diversity and inclusion content.

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Journaling as Contemplative Practice for Sport Management Education

Samuel M. Clevenger and Jaime R. DeLuca

Journaling assignments are generative practices for the sport management classroom because they can help students process course content through self-reflection and relate their acquired knowledge to their experiences and worldviews. This essay presents journaling as an example of contemplative pedagogy, an educational technique that supports the development of skills in mindful self-awareness, as well as the translation of course content to practical knowledge through calm and creative expression. The essay outlines the practical implementation of contemplative journaling in undergraduate courses and contends that it is a useful pedagogical tool for the sport management classroom, particularly in helping students engage with topics concerning social justice and inequalities in the industry.

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Perceived Barriers and Sources of Support for Undergraduate Female Students’ Persistence in the Sport Management Major

Molly Hayes Sauder, Michael Mudrick, and Jaime R. DeLuca

Male undergraduate sport management majors substantially outnumber females, suggesting that the path to a career in the sport industry is male dominated and gender stereotypes may exist. Simultaneously, there is a dearth of research on females’ experiences while enrolled in higher education and within sport management career development. Through qualitative focus groups conducted at two institutions with female sport management majors, this research sought to understand the barriers and sources of support that female students perceive while engaged in this academic discipline. The authors identified four themes—otherness, roles and credibility, prior experiences, and people of influence—all of which help illuminate the lived experience of gender bias among women in the sport management major and generate suggestions for the creation of more inclusive environments that foster persistence.

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Understanding Student Perceptions of Diversity and Inclusion

Jaime R. DeLuca, Michael Mudrick, Molly Hayes Sauder, and Elizabeth A. Taylor

Colleges and universities should serve as inclusive environments positioned to provide a strong education to all students. However, bias and discrimination mar the college atmosphere for many. Simultaneously, there is a paucity of research that examines student views of diversity and inclusion in both higher education and sport management. Employing mixed methods, this research examined the perceptions of diversity and inclusion among undergraduate students in sport management programs. Data demonstrate that student perceptions differ across measures of sex, race/ethnicity, upbringing, internship experiences, and transfer status. Findings suggest implications for embedding diversity and inclusion topics within sport management curricula to develop competencies crucial to students’ educational success and future in the sport industry.

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Transferable Skills: Preparing Sport Management Students for Careers Both Within and Outside the Sports Industry

Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Jaime R. DeLuca, and Sydney C. Baucum

Sport management programs have a long history of incorporating experiential learning practices into curricula for the purpose of cultivating students’ practical competencies, both applied and transferable. However, research considering the concept (and value) of transferable skills in sport management education is notably absent. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to understand the salient, transferable skills that sport management students acquire during their undergraduate education and how these are applied to careers both within and outside the sports industry. This research is based on qualitative data collection intended to assess the impact of sport management education on career preparedness. Major findings include the importance of skills in the following areas: teamwork/collaboration, critical thinking/comprehension/analytical skills, general business knowledge, time management, public speaking/presenting, and leadership/management. This research offers important implications regarding the preparatory role of sport management academic programs and educators moving forward.