Lebanon High School, UC partner for real-life lessons

Students from Lebanon High School and University of Cincinnati recently joined forces for a collaborative learning experience.

UC students in Professor Tom Mobley’s Organizational Leadership and Human Resources class were tasked with creating six fictional companies that would hire teenagers – complete with job descriptions, job applications, advertisements and interview packets.

“For our students at UC, my goal was to replicate what they will be doing in the HR field relevant to recruitment and selection,” explained Mobley.

The UC students visited LHS juniors in Libby Turpin’s College Life Skills, a course that includes career exploration, interviewing skills, resume-writing and planning for post-secondary options. They pitched positions for jobs in a camp, swim club, restaurant, recreational center, bowling alley and movie theater. Their presentation also offered LHS students tips about applying for jobs.

The high school students then completed applications, submitted resumes and even interviewed with their college counterparts. At the conclusion, they were given feedback on their resumes, applications and interviewing skills.

“It helped me get ready for the future. I know I need to prepare a couple of days before an interview so I’m ready for the questions,” said LHS junior Kathan Patel.

“When we do peer-to-peer interviews, we don’t take them as seriously, but working with UC students made us want to take it seriously,” added classmate Kasey Pot.

In all, UC students conducted more than 180 interviews in just two days.

This experiential project gave both groups of students a chance to develop and practice skills outside the classroom

“My students got real-life experience with the application and interview process, which they will be using in the next few years: for a job, college or scholarships. Because my students were interviewing with college students, they really wanted to do a good job,” Turpin said. “This class is all about preparing for the future. The application and interview process is such a huge obstacle for some students that they don’t bother to begin, because they aren’t confident in their ability to succeed. This process gives them confidence, not to mention constructive feedback, that will help them in their future.”

“Students tend to learn better by participating in real-life assignments. Most of our students will be conducting interviews as part of their jobs working in HR. I can try to explain what interviews are like or a student can engage in actual interviews,” Mobley added.

Mobley previously partnered with Fairfield schools in a similar fashion, but he hopes to broaden the experience to include more high schools this fall.

He and Turpin already presented this collaborative concept at a UC-sponsored workshop and are scheduled to present at two K-12 conferences this summer.

“We think this concept is cross-curricular, and there are unlimited possibilities for primary, secondary and post-secondary students to learn with and from one another,” Turpin said.

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