Stephen Courtright

Assistant Professor
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I was asked by my department to develop a course starting in Fall 2015 for masters-level students in Human Resource Management that will focus specifically on leader training and development. The project I propose is a service-learning activity for this course in which students will partner with Startup Aggieland to provide leadership coaching to new entrepreneurs. Startup Aggieland is a student business accelerator that helps entrepreneurial-minded students all across Texas A&M University to successfully launch their business ideas.
As part of the course, students will learn how to conduct a competency-based needs assessment. In conjunction with learning about needs assessments, students (in groups of three) will be matched with one Startup Aggieland organization. Students will do an actual needs assessment on the entrepreneur/organization to whom they are assigned. Then, after learning principles of designing effective training interventions, students will develop a training program for addressing the skill needs brought up in the needs assessment. At this point, students will provide me with a report of the needs assessment and a plan for their training design.
After receiving feedback from me on their needs assessment and training design, students will deliver their training intervention to the client. The training will at minimum consist of a one-hour coaching session with the client. In the coaching session and any other development activities that they may wish to do, students will focus on helping clients develop the skills which the needs assessment identified as needing improvement. Students will then write up a formal report for the client summarizing their main suggestions for improving upon those skills.
Finally, in conjunction with our learning unit on assessing the effectiveness of training interventions, clients will provide students with an assessment of their reactions to the intervention. After receiving this feedback from clients, students will write a reflection paper (to be turned in to me) regarding their experience with the service-learning project.