Philosophy of Teaching
Students enroll in McCann School of Business & Technology, in our programs of study, in order to develop knowledge, skills and competencies that will prepare them for their careers of choice. As an institution of higher education, we have purposefully selected the markets in which we operate and the programs of study that we teach. We have been deliberate in the particular segment of the student population that we have elected to serve.
We believe that all students that enroll in McCann have the capacity to learn. We recognize that students have diverse preferences in terms of how they prefer to engage with content, peer students and instructors. Our students represent great diversity in terms of prior educational experience, prior experience utilizing technology to communicate and learn, and in confidence in their ability to learn. We believe that it is the instructor's responsibility to develop a relationship with each student and to assist each individual in accordance with his/her own learning needs.
We believe that collectively, the students and the instructor, within a classroom, form a learning community. Respect for others within the learning community is essential to the learning process. We believe that each individual brings to the classroom, the sum total of experiences that he/she has had up to that moment. These experiences inform the student perspective. The diversity of perspective within a classroom contributes to the richness of the learning environment.
The instructors who have been engaged to teach our students have been hired as a result of their subject matter expertise and their ability to facilitate development of career-related competencies. We believe that our instructors genuinely care about and respect our students and that they desire to treat each student as an individual.
Instruction, the facilitation of learning, is the centerpiece of the career preparation provided by McCann. We know, and research validates, that meaningful interaction between instructor and student is the single most important factor contributing to the student learning experience.
We believe that excellent instruction is characterized by frequent student-faculty interaction. This contact, whether face-to-face or virtual, within the confines of a class, or outside of scheduled class meeting times, is key to student engagement. Research has proven that the single most important factor in a student's persistence is interaction with his/her instructor.
We believe that excellent instruction facilitates interaction among students. Optimally, learning is a collaborative process. The richness of the learning experience is dependent upon the creation of a safe learning environment that encourages students to work together and to share their personal perspectives. When a student is encouraged to share his or her perspective, he/she is acknowledged. When an individual’s point of view is challenged, an opportunity is presented to strengthen one’s opinion by defending it. Concurrently, an opportunity is presented for students to question one’s personal point of view and, as a result, to develop a broader, enlightened perspective.
We believe that excellent instruction is characterized by instructional methods that actively engage students in the learning process. Students do not learn by passive listening or memorization. Active learning requires that students engage in meaningful learning activities and that they engage in reflection about what they are learning. It is necessary to engage with the content in a variety of ways and to integrate new concepts with existing knowledge and experience.
We believe that excellent instruction involves responsiveness and provision of prompt feedback. Instructors who make themselves available to students, virtually or in person, are demonstrating that they care about the student.
Excellent instruction is characterized by frequent assessment. Students need assistance from their instructors to gauge how well they have mastered the content. We believe that learning can be described as a continuous cycle of engagement in educational activity, reflection upon the results of that learning activity and collaborative analysis between the instructor and the student. One of the most important responsibilities of the instructor is to teach students how to engage in critical reflection, allowing the student to become a more successful and confident learner.
We believe that post-secondary education is a process that affords our students the opportunity to learn how to learn. All individuals learn at different rates, in different ways, depending upon their previous experience, aptitude, learning style preferences and motivation. Within McCann, the instructor is responsible for nurturing student ownership of the learning process. We want our students to accept responsibility for their own learning so that they will be prepared to participate in lifelong learning long after they complete their program of study.
The design of our programs of study begins with the identification of specific career outcomes and knowledge, skills and competencies required for employment. Employers who serve as members of our local advisory boards, as well as standard-bearing agencies such as programmatic accreditors, professional associations and industry regulators help to determine the technical competencies that will be developed within a program of study.
We believe that it takes more than technical skills to be successful in the workplace. That's why our programs are designed to develop four different types of competencies:
- Foundational Competencies
- Workplace Competencies
- Life and Career Competencies
- Technical Competencies
Foundational Competencies provide the foundation for success in school and work. Foundational Competencies are essential to an individual’s ability to engage in lifelong learning and are typically associated with the General Education curriculum. The Foundational Competencies that are developed across all programs of study include:
- Information Literacy
- Quantitative Literacy
- Reading Comprehension
- Written Communication
- English Language Literacy
- Oral/Interpersonal Communication
- Technological Literacy
Workplace competencies are essential to an individual’s ability to function effectively within an organization. The Workplace Competencies that are developed across all programs of study include:
- Critical Thinking
- Ethical Decision-making
- Customer Service
Life and Career Competencies
Life and Career Competencies are essential to each individual’s ability to reach his/her full potential as a productive member of society. The Life and Career Competencies that are developed across all programs of study include:
- Cultural Literacy
- Civic Literacy
- Health Literacy
- Environmental Literacy
- Financial Literacy
- Job Search Readiness
Unlike Foundational Competencies, Workplace Competencies, and Life and Career Competencies, which are developed in all programs of study, Technical Competencies are unique to each program of study. The development of technical competency refers to the knowledge and skills that an individual must possess in order to secure employment and be successful within a specific field of work.
Making the choice to go to school is a difficult one. It may have been a while since you have been in a classroom. Maybe your previous educational experiences have not been positive. We know that you are capable of learning. We will help you to develop confidence in your ability to be a successful student. The approach that we take toward developing our coursework creates opportunities for you to develop and practice competencies across your program of study. That means that your program was developed in a way that gives you multiple occasions to master a skill, so that by the time you graduate, you will be prepared to describe the competencies that you have developed with confidence.
Adult students have complex lives, often managing a job and family responsibilities while pursuing their education. It is important that every activity—every assignment—contribute to readiness for employment. That means that the coursework needs to be relevant to the career outcome. That's why every assignment, assessment and activity in our programs contributes to the development of one or more competencies. Your time is valuable and we want the time spent on coursework to be relevant to your career of choice. Our competency-based approach to curriculum development means that your program of study is much more than a list of courses—it is an opportunity to develop a unique set of competencies that will prepare you for your ultimate goal – a career.