Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Heading To The Final Four - For College Credit

Imagine going to the Final Four – for college credit. That’s what a dozen students from Lynn University are doing later this month.

The sports management students from the South Florida liberal arts university will spend the week of the college basketball championships zigzagging their way through the Atlanta sports landscape, all with the help of their professors, Ted Curtis and Chad Barr.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students to see what the business of sports is really all about,” says Curtis, who took five students to the 2006 Baseball Winter Meetings in December. “They have been learning about it during their college careers. Now, they have a chance to feel it and experience it up-close and personal.”

The students will tour Turner Field, Phillips Arena, Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Centennial Olympic Museum. They will meet with executives with the NCAA, Coca-Cola and virtually all of Atlanta’s professional sports teams. And they will take in the excitement and pageantry of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament along with all of its pre-game hoopla.

“It’s one thing to tell a student that the Final Four is a multi-billion dollar event,” says Curtis. “It’s another thing entirely for the student to experience it. That’s a lesson that will last them long after graduation.”

The students hardly just pay the extra fees associated with the trip, show up at the basketball games and earn their three credits. Before and after the trip, students take examinations on the NCAA’s complex revenue distribution plan, complete papers on stadium design, conduct in-class debates on intercollegiate athletics’ amateurism status and prepare multi-media presentations on major sports facility and event operations.

“Experiential learning is a big part of what we do at Lynn University,” says Barr, who has taken students on study tours to sites including China, South Africa and Thailand. “For Lynn students, learning doesn’t end in the classroom – it only begins there.”

For more information on the College of Hospitality Management and its sports management concentration, visit www.lynn.edu/hospitality.

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