A Taste of the Real World Business Education at PAA
Twenty-three Portland Adventist Academy students had the opportunity of taking an introduction to business class taught by Monte Knittel, Portland's Adventist Medical Center vice president of marketing and business development. The course provided credit from the Walla Walla College business department.
Class requirements included reading and reporting on five articles from Business Week magazine, reviewing accounting theory, discussing managerial techniques, surveying marketing strategies, and managing a stock portfolio.
Managing the stock portfolio required the class to be divided into four groups. Each group was given 100,000 imaginary dollars to purchase the stocks or bonds that they had researched and evaluated. To buy and sell stock each trading group had to e-mail their stock trades to Knittel who recorded the trades. Three times during the semester, the students gave class reports on the progress of their portfolios. At the last class period, each group had the opportunity of reporting on their gains or losses. Each of the four groups showed a net increase, with one group showing a $32,000 increase during the three-month class.
Students learned about business first hand from a lawyer, a comptroller, a quality assurance specialist, an information systems specialist, and a commercial real estate developer who spoke to the class.
Knittel stressed the importance of dressing for success, and used dress evaluation as a factor in each student's overall grade. Shirts, ties, suits, and dresses were standard attire for most of the students, in contrast to typical student dress.
The students were enthusiastic about the class, and Knittel says that he would like to teach a similar class next school year.