What does it mean to prepare students for the 21st Century? Applied Learning? Technology integration? Inquiry-based learning?
For students to be successful as 21st Century professionals, they need to first develop the necessary skills—skills that Harvard professor Dr. Tony Wagner calls "survival skills.” At Concordia, these survival skills are at the heart of the Applied Learning (AL) Business and Finance course, where last semester students worked with a local start-up to complete their 2021 Marketing Challenge.
For the challenge, the class partnered with Loop Swim, an environmentally sustainable swimwear company based in Shanghai. Students were tasked with creating a marketing strategy to launch Loop Swim’s teen sustainable swimwear in China through e-commerce that authentically communicates the company’s brand narrative to a youth audience on a start-up budget.
Mr. Steven Sgourdos, Concordia high school teacher and AL Business and Finance course founder, was excited to partner with Loop Swim because of their mission of creating, communicating, and delivering environmentally sustainable products that help create a positive impact on society. The company, he shares, “demonstrates to our students that you can generate profits while at the same time being a positive driver of change in the world.
About Concordia’s AL Business & Finance Course
The AL Business and Finance course equips students with the fundamental principles that allow them to navigate the business and financial landscape of a globalized world, by teaching a diverse range of topics, spanning business management, to leadership, to team dynamics.
Throughout the school year, students are introduced to key business and finance principles through hands-on activities and asked applying these principles to business case studies and real-world simulations—from creating, managing, and marketing products and services of their own design to building an investment portfolio.
The course itself is divided into a marketing challenge, an entrepreneurship challenge, and an investment finance challenge, each of which teams students with corporate partners. Major areas of study within the applied context include the fields of business psychology, marketing, investment finance, management, business entrepreneurship, and capital markets.
“Financial literacy is not taught in most schools today, even though it is perhaps one of the most critical subject areas we can teach our kids,” says Mr. Sgourdos, adding that students in the AL Business & Finance course are not only required to learn through an applied and experiential lens but also utilize the Design Thinking framework, a framework that has been adopted by some of the world’s leading business schools.
He adds, “As future business leaders, my hope is for Concordia students to participate in conscious capitalism which focuses on elevating humanity through business.”
AL Business and Finance is among several applied learning courses available to Concordia high school students. Click to learn more about our Applied Learning program.