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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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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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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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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.