University of Dayton Launches B-WISE Program

Undergrads must complete hours in international experience, service, or experiential learning.
Some activities are no longer optional for business students at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Under the new Business Wisdom Through International, Service and Experiential Education (BWISE) program, the 450 freshmen who started their programs in fall 2015 must complete prescribed levels of activity in two of three areas—international experience, service, or experiential learning—before they graduate.

For the international requirement, students can study abroad, complete international internships, or enroll in international business or language courses. For the service requirement, they must complete at least 50 hours of service. They can satisfy the experiential requirement by completing internships, participating in projects, or launching their own businesses; working as officers for UD’s Flyer Enterprises, a student-run business that runs cafes, a storage service, and a convenience store; or working with the student-run Flyer Investments portfolio, which manages US$20 million of the school’s endowment fund.

This year, all freshmen will have to write plans that outline how they will complete these requirements so they start thinking early about their educations and career preparation.

“Business is more than just making a lot of money,” says Janet Leonard, assistant dean. She adds that faculty hope that BWISE will both provide students with a more comprehensive set of experiences by graduation and broaden their perspectives about ways they can serve society and design more meaningful lives and careers.

Faculty will evaluate BWISE at year’s end, says Leonard. Depending on their findings, it might be expanded for the next incoming class in the fall.